In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating lady bosses across the Bay. It is no secret that San Francisco is home to some of the most innovative thought around, and this same mindset holds true in the sphere of women’s achievement. This year as we #PressforProgress, let’s take a moment to shine a light on some of our favorite local heroes. These women have not only reshaped their own industries, but they continue to blow us away in what they are doing for women’s achievement in our city we call home.
1. EMILY HOLT // HERO SHOP
After a ten-year stint in New York, San Francisco native Emily Holt returned to her hometown to curate a space that combines global fashion, local talent, and a passion for the local community. Hero Shop, born from the fusion of each of these passions, offers a mix of clothing, jewelry, accessories and giftware from both established designers and emerging local brands.
The boutique is not only a place to find your next #ootd, but a place where women can become part of an inspirational community. “The perfect birthday gift can save someone’s day. Or the right cuff bracelet can turn any ordinary human into Wonder Woman. We all have the power to be heroic in different ways.”
Because Emily is one of our favorite local heroes (pun intended), we were excited to feature her in the inaugural installment of What She Said, a speaker series featuring extraordinary women from the worlds of fashion, music, tech and media. The series evolved from W San Francisco’s “W Inspire”, and has featured dynamic conversation with the Bay Area’s most influential women. Join the dialogue and tap into Emily's secrets of San Francisco on The Angle.
2. ROSHELL RINKINS // LIQUID COURAGE
Following her eight-year journey in corporate America, Roshell was inspired to break into cosmetics after her frustration with the lack of diversity and inclusion in the beauty industry. She began this facelift of the confined industry starting with lipsticks, which she created for the everyday woman on the go. Liquid Courage was shaped for women who are conquering life, family, career, and everything in between.
Of course, delving into a homogeneous industry headfirst does not come without challenge. Roshell transitioned from working in a male-dominated industry, where she was used to feeling underestimated for many reasons, one of them including the fact that she is a woman. “I have found that the best cure for any ‘ism’ is to address it with bravery, courage, and with strong allies.”
Roshell’s success with Liquid Courage in the cosmetic industry is only taking off, with its first retail launch at Macy's at the Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas next month. Her inspiration and momentum come from other women. “There is nothing more empowering than meeting other women who are breaking barriers, challenging conventional thinking, shattering glass ceilings, triumphing through adversity, and leaving their stamp in this world.”
AVERY RUZICKA // MANRESA BREAD
Chef Avery Ruzicka has found her space in a predominately male-dominated industry with her very own Manresa Bread, but her rise to becoming a lady boss in the culinary field didn’t happen overnight. Her interest in cooking began with her upbringing, where every night her family sat down to a home-cooked meal that the entire family took part in preparing. It wasn’t until her time abroad during and after high school that she developed a professional interest. Avery spent her sophomore year studying in Spain and a year in England before heading to college, which opened her eyes to different cultures and lifestyles.
Chef Avery graduated from the French Culinary Institute, trained with Master Baker Ben Hershberger at Per Se Restaurant, and eventually ended up at Michelin star restaurant Manresa. But she didn’t get baking straight away. Avery accepted the only open position as a food runner before she worked her way into the kitchen, and eventually became the head of the restaurant’s bread program. After years working farmer’s markets and tangoing around the Manresa kitchen, Chef Avery opened Manresa Bread in 2013, which now includes two brick and mortar locations in the Bay Area. Today Avery is considered one of the top twenty-five bakers in the nation and continues to break down barriers for female culinary professionals.
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Booming tech start-ups, trendy restaurants, and chic boutiques are just some of the things that make San Francisco one of the most modern cities in the world. It's so modern in fact, it’s hard to see anything past its present-day hustle and bustle.
But whether you realize it or not, the city by the bay holds a rich history; one that has sparked eras of social revolution and political opinion. At the center of it all will forever stand one of it's most historical treasures: San Francisco City Hall.
Our concierge team at W San Francisco set out on an exclusive VIP City Hall tour with Beyond the Fog, a local tour and special events company known for their one-of-a-kind experiences. With the help of the company's founder Susan Brown (former Mayor Willie Brown's daughter) and veteran guide Ellen Schumer, our team got a first-hand look at the inner workings of one of the nation’s most iconic of city halls.
We started our tour at the bottom of the main rotunda where artfully designed stairs made of Tennessee pink marble and floor to ceiling limestone walls make for the perfect photo op.
From there we made our way to the second floor Ceremonial Rotunda where over 45 couples get married DAILY (fun fact: this is this is the same place Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe got hitched back in 1954)!
We headed to the Board of Supervisors’ Chamber where San Francisco's top politicians meet every week. We couldn't help but get 18th century vibes from the sight and scent of the oak carved walls covering the chamber top to bottom.
Our guides led us up several sets of spiraling staircases all the way to the very top of the city hall dome. The best part of the tour had to have been seeing up close and personal the 23.5 karat gold leaf finish on the renaissance inspired decor. Equally amazing was the panoramic views of San Francisco’s downtown area and rolling residential hills.
It goes to show that our tour was an experience full of history and old-time charm. Not many have yet ventured to this vintage crown jewel of San Francisco. So whether you’re a first time visitor looking for a unique urban experience or a SF native looking to further explore your hometown, let our concierge team at W San Francisco and the professionals at Beyond the Fog arrange you a one-of-a-kind tour with exclusive VIP access.
BEYOND THE FOG
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If you followed along in the Twitterverse last week, you know that W Hotels hosted Marie Claire’s second annual The Power Trip. It was hard not to Tweet (or insert your platform of choice) about all the bold and stirring remarks from the likes of Mila Kunis, Taraji P. Henson, Emily Ratajkowski, and Priyanka Chopra.
The Power Trip started in New York City early Monday morning, where 100 of the most influential lady bosses in tech, fashion, and media hopped on a chartered Jet Blue flight to San Francisco for a 36-hour pop-up conference. The East Coast entourage was met at W San Francisco by some of the most powerful names in the industry on West Coast, such as Ty Stiklorius of Friends at Work and Boz Saint John of Uber.
Between conversation of overarching topics such as fighting for fair pay in the workplace, the ability to say no, and how social media might pave the way for gender equality - the panelists addressed topical issues such as #MeToo, Harvey Weinstein and the last charges on their credit card statement.
We all know that Mila Kunis loves her bourbon and Emily Ratajkowski is an outspoken advocate for women’s rights, so we gathered a few fun facts about our favorite women in Hollywood that we learned at The Power Trip.
Mila Kunis's guilty pleasure is The Real Housewives.
We know Mila Kunis is a bourbon fanatic and a proud member of Bachelor Nation (her cameo on Rachel's season of The Bachelorette was everything), but Kunis admits that her latest guilty pleasure is The Real Housewives. "When you're up at two in the morning - pumping, nursing and holding a crying baby - that's what's on TV."
Priyanka Chopra can put her legs behind her head.
Not only did we learn that Priyanka aspired to be a maid as a child, but we were also graced with the fact that her secret talent is being able to put her legs behind her head. "That's a talent you guys!" Enough said.
Emily Ratajkowski is guilty of deleting Instagram photos just to make her grid more visually pleasing.
Emily Ratajkowski, better known as Emrata, spoke on breaking the internet and the role of social media in shaping the future for women. She revealed that she is guilty of deleting photos if it doesn't look right in the layout of her feed - or in laymen's terms "if an old selfie lines up the wrong way with a new selfie."
Conversely, Ratajkowski never deletes comments because censoring is never the right answer. The dialogue in the comments just as important as the photo.
Taraji has a book in the works.
Maybe not in the works, but definitely in the mind's eye. Taraji P. Henson has an amazing story to tell with her role as an African American female in Hollywood. Henson revealed that she loves the word no. "I love the word no, I love when people doubt me. That just adds fuel to the fire."
Henson revealed her favorite word in discussion of her role as Queenie in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, where she was paid a mere fraction of what stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett were making. Henson stuck with the job because she knew that it was eventually going to pay off. "I know that this is just a part of the story that I'm going to put in my book one day. This is going to be a great story to tell. We're going to flip a negative into a positive and change the narrative of our lives as women."
There is so much to explore in Golden Gate Park, you could spend the whole day and still not see it all. Whether you're riding around on Scoot, renting bikes or walking, here are a few Insider-approved stops to amplify your journey.
Hippie Hill earned its name in the 1960s, when it became a well known gathering spot during the Summer of Love. Today, you'll find drum circles, Frisbee throwing, picnics and the best people watching around.
Conservatory of Flowers
The Conservatory of Flowers has to be one of my favorite spots in the city. The greenhouse and botanical garden is full of exotic flowers and plants from around the world. Oh, and bring your cameras. There are many photo ops and lots of Insta-worthy material.
de Young Museum
The de Young Museum brings many world-renowned exhibits to the middle of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Visit during their normal business hours or after-hours for Friday Nights at the de Young.
Japanese Tea Garden
The Japanese Tea Garden is another one of my favorite gems in Golden Gate Park. The garden will transport you to a village in Japan, where you can enjoy the natural calming beauty of the surrounding nature. With many native Japanese plants, koi ponds, and stepping stone paths, you'll leave feeling fresh and renewed.
Strawberry Hills offers panoramic views of the city, but the hike to the top will make you work for it. Walk around Stow Lake or make the trek up to the top - either way, the views are stunning.
If you're feeling adventurous after your tour of Golden Gate Park, head to Sutro Baths at the far Western edge of the city.
Marnee Thai and Nopalito
I'm sure you will have worked up an appetite after your Scoot journey in Golden Gate Park, so stop at Marnee Thai or Nopalito for a bite to eat.
ELECTRIFY YOUR STAY AT W SAN FRANCISCO
For a limited time, enjoy a Scoot day pass for two included with your room at W San Francisco. Turn on excitement as you explore San Francisco by electric scooter. Ignite your weekend adventures with:
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Think you've seen all San Francisco has to offer? Think again. You've never seen the City by the Bay in its entirety until you've seen it from above.
The W concierge team may know the streets of the city like the back of their hand, but there's nothing like a bird's eye view of those iconic San Francisco hills. We hopped in one of SF Helicopter's choppers and let their pilots show us the city from their perspective.
We took off from the San Francisco airport, swept past Twin Peaks and headed toward Golden Gate Park. The three mile expanse sure does occupy a lot of real estate in this city!
From Golden Gate Park, we headed toward the Presidio and the Golden Gate Bridge. The pilot swooped underneath the bridge for an incredible view (it felt more like a nosedive - and yes I screamed). I mean, how many people can say they've been underneath the Golden Gate? #onceinalifetime
From the Golden Gate, we headed toward Alcatraz and the Bay Bridge. We floated over downtown San Francisco - spotting iconic buildings like the Transamerica Pyramid, the Salesforce Tower (set to become the tallest building in our skyline) and of course W San Francisco.
From downtown, our pilot took us to the ATT Stadium. This view is gold for both Giants fans and Kimye superfans (that proposal though)!
Our concierge team has exclusive access to unique San Francisco happenings. If you're looking to see the city from a different perspective, just let us know and we will customize your experience. Whatever/whenever.
SAN FRANCISCO FROM ABOVE
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In honor of National Random Acts of Kindness Week, we’re throwing it all the way back to December 2016 (ok, so only a few weeks ago) when we paraded around San Francisco sprinkling kindness everywhere we could. 2016 was a tough year. Even the New York Times recognized 2016 as one of the worst years yet, so we couldn’t think of a better time to take to the streets of Soma with kindness on our mind.
Four ladies, five hundred dollars, seven destinations in mind and one light up headband (totally necessary). Our one goal was to spread happiness through completely random acts of kindness. Our first stop was Starbucks, where they likely know W Talent by name. This time, we weren’t here to fuel our coffee addictions, but to surprise a few customers in line with a coffee on the W.
Our second stop was The Grove, another establishment where W Talent have become familiar faces. We talked to the cashiers ahead of time, handed over the credit card and told them that we would like to pay for the next person in line’s lunch. We waited for the right moment, and in walked a dad with his 6-year-old daughter. When the cashier explained that the W Hotel wanted to pay for their lunches, he immediately turned to us and said that he could not accept the gesture. He would rather us pay it forward to someone that needed it more than they did. He explained all of this to his 6-year-old daughter who learned a valuable lesson on this day. The sandwich we bought went to someone on the streets in Union Square.
Next, we hit Philz Coffee (that Mint Mojito Iced Coffee though...), where we attempted to start a chain of kindness. We purchased six coffees and encouraged the recipients to pay it forward to the next person in line.
From Philz, we headed to the Union Square Ice Skating Rink where we purchased a family’s tickets to ice skate. They were shocked and confused by the gesture but eventually came to terms with accepting the act of kindness.
One of the highlights of my day was our stop at Winter Walk, where children rode around on motorized stuffed animals. The inner-child in me really came out – I just HAD to try these scooters out for myself!
After some quality control, we bought four tickets for children to ride the scooters. The kids were just excited to get on these life-sized stuffed animals, but the random acts really resonated with the parents. We received big hugs, lots of laughs, and priceless moments watching the little ones romp around Winter Walk.
Then we hit the BART station (the Bay Area subway system) as rush hour was approaching, where we purchased tickets for eight lucky riders.
Our last stop was the AMC Movie Theater in the Metreon, where we met a group of 5 friends all seeing a movie together. We paid for their movie tickets and sent them off to enjoy the flick and their buttery popcorn.
Taking part in WISH was one of the highlights of my holiday season. There's something about not only giving back but getting to see the reactions of those that were touched by these acts of kindness.
My favorite reaction was watching others become inspired by our acts of kindness. WISH is testament that generosity is truly contagious, so we want to continue making the world a happier place during National Random Acts of Kindness Week. It all starts with one act - one smile, one coffee for a stranger, one favor for a friend.
We're passing on the torch - what will you do this week to make the world a better place than you found it? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag #RAKWeek2017 and @WSanFrancisco. Win brunch for two in our restaurant TRACE by submitting the most creative random act of kindness. Ready, set, go!
The holiday season has come and gone. Relive the best of the season at W San Francisco, from our epic New Years Eve party to our seasonal cocktails. Until next year...
TRACE joins for another year of San Francisco's favorite foodie event: SF Restaurant Week. Top restaurants across the city will be participating in this celebration of, in my humble opinion, the best dining scene in the country. Each restaurant will prepare a prix-fixe menu for lunch and dinner showcasing their best dishes.
Chef Jason Rea has crafted yet another all-star menu for SF Restaurant Week. Our prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus give the opporunity to try some of Chef Jason's best work. Start with our fried (so good you'll forget they're vegetables) brussel sprouts before your main course. Try our hard-to-resist TRACE burger or my very favorite broiled salmon with a black bean glaze.
LUNCH (2 Courses): $25
DINNER (3 Courses): $40
MARTINI ON THE SIDE
Because you can't have dinner without a cocktail. Insider tip: our award-winning holiday cocktails are still on the menu through January. Try our Winter Sunrise with Junipero gin, egg whites, blood orange liqueur, fresh mandarin and hibiscus syrup.
San Francisco Restaurant Week
Share you Restaurant Week photos with #SFRW and @TRACEWSF
It's that time of the year again - when we make resolutions we know we'll never keep, reflect on the past year and pop bottles to celebrate surviving 2016. This year we'll resolve to dance more, lose inhibitions, and play harder.
PLAY AND STAY
The elevator is the quickest way to get home! Settle into one of our rooms after your night out. Book the W San Francisco NYE Room Package for the best deal, including tickets to our party, complimentary champagne, late check out and overnight valet parking.
THE MORNING AFTER
Who said the party has to stop when the bar closes? Grab a green juice from TRACE and head to Breakfast of Champions. The party starts at 6 AM on New Years Day and lasts until 6 PM.
900 Marin Street
Share all of your holiday photos with #NewYearNoRules
If we were to capture all the stories our guests bring in when they stay at W San Francisco, we would have an endless book of journeys. We love to be inspired by the endless creativity out there, so we sat down with the creative mind behind the Instagram account @paperboyo, Rich McCor.
We caught up with Rich over breakfast at TRACE. Not only did we get his story, we also got to watch him do his thing, live!
Rich started his Instagram account @paperboyo in 2015 with the intent of changing the monotonous and unchangeable scenery of some of the most iconic staples of the world. Think the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Burj al Arab in Dubai, or the Statue of Liberty in New York City. He wanted to make these classic staples different and make people smile, but never with a clear strategy or intention of turning it into a job. With the growing interest in photography and his previous knowledge in papercraft, he blended these two arts and did just that, change the scenic frames of the staples of the world with a twist of wit.
This is what he told us. Oh, and don’t forget to read it out loud in a British accent…
From your beginnings in 2009, when did it really hit you that your art form was taking off?
In October 2015, I was in Paris and I had just taken the photo of the lego man on the Arc de Triomphe and the press started to pick up on that. The Daily Mail in the UK reached out and asked a few questions, I sent them a few photos but didn’t think too much of it. At that point, I had 5,000 followers and had been focusing on building up my following. I remember going to a bar with some friends and whilst I was there I checked my Instagram and it jumped from 5,000 to 10,000 just from the article. By the end of that same week, I had 30,000 followers on Instagram.
How did this eventually turn into a job and how do you earn a living?
Right now, the traveling portion of the job isn’t covered, but it is the most fun part of it and where I create most of my content. Sponsored posts or promos for films is where I get my income at the moment, but I’m still kind of figuring it out and finding a path. I am also coming out with coffee table book with my photography. I am hoping to take February and March off and meet with the designers to get that going.
Is there an influencer that inspires you?
There is a guy called @abstractsunday who is an illustrator for the New Yorker, and he was one of the first people I followed. He does these really bizarre illustrations, and he just has a really good sense of humor. Looking at his stuff, I definitely got inspiration. There are also a couple of really great photographers in London that I follow, and I like bloggers that share good travel tips and advice. When it comes to bloggers, I like the ones that share their experiences rather than brag about them. I felt inspired by bloggers who had the ability to make their followers feel like they were coming on the journey with them.
Aside from W San Francisco, which W is the coolest?
I’ve only been to W Dubai right before I came to San Francisco, the design of that one was wicked. And I know the one in London which I walk past, but I live in London so I haven’t stayed there.
What do your family and friends say about your Instagram lifestyle?
I think they are so used to it now but gosh it was such a long conversation explaining to my grandma what I do. I remember telling my parents that I was quitting my job to go full-time Instagramming, there was this silence on the other side of the phone but then I told them how much I got paid for one of the jobs.
And this is where we mentioned that the oatmeal that was served at our TRACE breakfast table had honey from our own rooftop bees, and as any passionate photographer, Rich’s eyes lit up and asked us for the opportunity to check it out. Little did he know that we had something up our sleeves as well… we brought our own, San Franciscan symbol, a unicorn cut-out for him to play with!
This is what it looked like from our perspective.
Look out for @paperboyo's W San Francisco finished art on our page. We will share the amazing work once it hits our DM.
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