Can you tell us a little about what you do?
I am the vice president of retail and design for HD Buttercup. I run, design, and re-merchandise all six stores in addition to running all the operations. So I am in charge of everything from staffing to product to all the things that go on in a store.
How have you been juggling all these responsibilities at once? We heard there's another store opening in Hong Kong.
We’re opening a store in Hong Kong in November, we are a growing company but predominantly in California. We have six stores here and most of them are in LA and the OC, so you can drive to most of them. Our sixth location is in San Francisco, though, so when I moved to California a year ago it was really hard for me to find the time to go to San Francisco. I live in Beachwood Canyon so to run over to LAX and get on a flight, go through TSA and all that requires some planning.
I can’t always plan ahead, so for Christmas the owner of HD Buttercup said, 'Hey, I sent you a gift,' and it was Surf Air.
How has Surf Air helped your day-to-day?
It completely changed my life. I take it from Burbank and it’s great because you can be kind of spontaneous — which is what I need to be. It’s the nature of the business, things happen! And I take the 6am flight. Get up at 5, be there at 5:30 and it’s fantastic. I fly into Oakland because my store manager lives out there and he picks me up, we have a little time together. I've gone up there almost every week since I became a Member, but generally speaking I go every week to visit him and his team, so it’s been amazing.
What do you do with the two hours you save when you fly?
It is awesome to save the 2+ hours (I think it is more like 3 hours each time I fly up and back). It gives me extra time to work with my team in San Francisco and have more quality use of my day.
What do you like the most about flying private?
It’s amazing to be able to book a flight 15 minutes in advance. No TSA, it’s the best thing ever! And the staff is awesome… I’’m not just saying that. The concierge in Oakland is so precious, and the concierge in Burbank who I see in the morning — I feel like she knows me personally. It’s a really nice feeling to fly in and and feel recognized and cared for, and then the flights are hilarious! Sometimes no one says a word to each other, everyone has their earphones on and other times it’s like happy hour and we’re all talking to each other and having a good time.
Have you met some interesting people on flights?
It’s interesting because just recently I’ve really decided to meet those sitting next to me and it’s great to see the different types of people. There is this one man I’ve flown with so many times , and we never introduced ourselves until last week. He was in a very different field, but then one week I flew with someone who was from a construction company for high-end residential projects, which is very in line with what I do, and we had this really great conversation.
Which flight do you take the most?
Burbank to Oakland and back. It’s great to sit and watch people. They are all taking pictures out their windows! We should do a Member photo wall in the lounges because there are some beautiful shots of the sunset. It’s always different! Some of the sunsets have been amazing. The other day there was this amazing full moon on one side and then a sunset on the other side, and you could see both at once.
Have you explored the other airports yet?
I’m dreaming someday I'm going to go to Napa and Santa Barbara. Being new to California I have not been to either one of those places, only to Sonoma. So it’s great that I am a Member, I can just jump on a flight and do it!
What’s your favorite place in California so far?
I’m mostly in LA. We have a dog and my daughter just graduated and moved out here so we like going to Runyon Canyon and I love the Getty. I have done so much fun stuff, there’s never a time when I don’t have something to do. Sonoma was pretty amazing, I did go to Sonoma for 4 days and it was so relaxing.