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Meeting up for a juice is the LA equivalent of meeting up for coffee anywhere else. It's just what we do. To explore our city's many fresh-pressed, well-blended options (and as an excuse to get out of the office), we're juicing it up with some of our talented friends—and asking them delightfully random questions in the process. This is A Juice With.
Fifteen years ago, Ling-Su Chinn opened a 400-square-foot shop stocked with organic cotton clothing and named it Planet Blue. Today she has five locations, two in-house labels and one extremely packed schedule. Designing for both Blue Life and Blu Moon while also buying for the store keeps Chinn logging 10 to 12 hour days but it's merchandising that she really loves. "I don't call myself a designer," she says, "I'm a merchandiser."
Chinn arranges the boutiques by color so they are easy to shop and lays out product so customers feel like they're in their own bedroom. "To me, my store is about lifestyle. It's about coming in and feeling happy," she reflected. Chinn wanted to create a place that was welcoming to everyone from teenage girls to their grandmothers or boyfriends, one that nobody feels like they should wait outside.
Over juices at Kreation Kafe, we chatted with the retail guru about her fashion icon, why she loves rap music and how she unwinds after a busy day.—Cat Wright
What are you drinking today?
"I'm drinking 'The Peaceful.' I love it because I love pineapple (I'm from Hawaii). And it has a touch of mint."
What is the last book you read?
"The Hunger Games because my son had to read it for school."
What is your life motto?
"'Work hard.' Sorry it's not 'be happy,' it's 'work hard.'"
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
"I wanted to be in the FBI because I love murder mysteries and I love getting the bad guy. If I weren't doing what I was doing, I'd definitely want to be in the FBI or like Nancy Grace. I love that."
What is your favorite day of the week?
"Saturday because I work almost every day and that's the one day that I know, 'okay at least I have Sunday 'til Monday before I'm bombarded.' Sunday I have anxiety, Saturday is peaceful?like my drink."
What is your most fond memory?
"My most fond memory was playing Bingo with my grandmother. [We were] playing Bingo when she had lung cancer and she died a week later, but she still was bright and she actually won!"
Who is your fashion icon?
"Isabel Marant because she's close to what I do. There's something boho and hippie about her designs and it's so well polished. I love her stuff so much."
What is your favorite genre of music?
"I don't think I have a favorite. If I was to pick one that I like to listen to in my car, it's rap and I hate to say it! I like everything, but I love rap! It gets me into a whole other world and I can escape. And I don't get sad. Rap is easy and fun."
Describe the perfect Saturday night.
"Sitting in front of the TV watching my murder mysteries or the cooking channel. Just sitting on the couch with no disturbances."
And now, for the speed round:
Silverlake or Venice Beach?
Coffee or tea?
Phone call or email?
Mountains or beaches?
Paper or plastic?
Early morning or late night?
Leather or lace?
· Planet Blue [Official Site]
· Wren's Melissa Coker Hearts Grandma, Wes Anderson & the '60s [Racked]
· Talking Fashion With Clippers Fan and E! News Host Catt Sadler [Racked]
· Designer Tori Praver Can Tap Dance, Is a Fan of Fifty Shades [Racked]
· Reformation's Yael Aflalo Loves Mondays and Frank Ocean [Racked]