Starting January 24 thru February 4, our West Coast friends can get the full Zola experience at the new Zola Townhouse popping up in The Parachute Hotel in Venice. If you’re in LA, stop by or make an appointment to shop hundreds of registry items and get inspired to build your newlywed home.
Or just hang. You can always do that, too. Because, #humblebrag, the place is oh-so-cozy and we’re so happy with how it turned out. And a lot of that is due to our host and city guide, Ariel Kaye, Founder and CEO of Parachute. We chatted with the LA native about her recent engagement(!), her brand, bedding tips for couples, and The Parachute Hotel’s neighborhood.
ZOLA: Congrats on your engagement! Tell us how it went down. And we have to know… anything you or your husband-to-be are excited to register for?
AK: Thank you so much! My fiancé proposed on Christmas while we were walking our puppy by the beach in Santa Monica—just a few blocks away from where we grew up and used to hang out in high school. We’ve known each other for over 20 years! We had planned a trip to Paris over New Year’s, so I had been suspecting that we might get engaged there. But while we were mid-selfie overlooking the ocean, he got down on one knee, and I thought he dropped something and asked him to stand back up! He caught me completely by surprise. Both of our families were waiting about half a mile down the beach and we spent that night celebrating together. There were many happy tears and loving words shared. It was the best night of my life because he had made our families—including our puppy!—a part of it. And we haven’t started our registry yet, but I know we’ll be using Zola! Hosting is super important to us, so I know that there will be some kitchen essentials on the list, like a Le Creuset casserole dish, KitchenAid mixer and Vitamix. We’ll definitely have our loved ones in mind as we make our selections.
ZOLA: Let’s talk about Parachute. What inspired you to start it?
AK: I spent six months in Italy during my sophomore year at NYU. As a way to practice my Italian, I would go to markets and chat with the artisans about their beautifully made textiles. I’d hear stories from sons who were running businesses started by their great-great grandfathers. One night, I checked into a picturesque hotel on the Amalfi Coast. I pulled back the duvet, arranged the pillows to my liking, crawled into bed…and found perfection that I didn’t know existed. Those sumptuous sheets were softer than anything I had ever experienced. Fast forward to 2012 when I went shopping for bedding. I wanted comfortable, quality sheets like the ones I had experienced in Italy, but I didn’t want to spend a fortune or settle for the cheaper options covered with synthetics and chemicals. I was working in advertising at the time helping to build brands and started to do some research. I found out that there wasn’t an affordable bedding brand with true brand loyalty. Many consumers remembered where they bought their bedding (a department store or big box retailer), but there wasn’t a brand that connected and engaged with customers with them past the point of purchase. I recognized a true business opportunity and in January 2014, I launched Parachute with an assortment of bedding essentials.
ZOLA: What would you say makes Parachute’s products unique from all others?
AK: Most important is the quality. We use the finest materials and partner with the best manufacturers to create our products. We obsess over every stitch, fold, finish and hue. Our home essentials are also Oeko-Tex certified, meaning they’re free of synthetics and chemicals. Better for you and the environment. And Parachute products give back, too. We partner with the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign to prevent malaria, a leading killer of children in sub-Saharan Africa. For every Venice Bedding Set sold, we send one life-saving malaria prevention bed net to people in need. We’ve donated over 10,000 nets so far!
ZOLA: So what should a couple look for when they register for new bedding?
AK: Your bed should be cozy and comforting for both of you. It’s important to choose a color and fabric that you will enjoy from the start. Pillows, however, are a personal choice, so each of you should choose the right pillow for your sleeping styles. If you don’t know where to start, we created a super helpful guide.
ZOLA: Why did you choose to have The Parachute Hotel in Venice? What are your favorite things about the neighborhood? Any great places to grab coffee or lunch?
AK: The relaxed vibe and sense of community in Venice Beach are integral to both my brand’s aesthetic and work culture. I also love that the neighborhood celebrates health and wellness with several yoga studios, fitness centers and juice bars within walking distance of our headquarters. And we’re surrounded by some of the best food in Los Angeles! If you’re in the area, these are a few of my favorite eateries:
- Groundwork Coffee: The coffee is the perfect morning pick-me-up, but it’s the avocado toast that keeps me coming back.
- Moon Juice: This spot is just a block away from The Parachute Hotel and is a delicious and healthy breakfast option for guests.
- Oscar’s Cerveteca: My go-to spot for a lively Friday night meal, and conveniently located across the street from The Parachute Hotel.
- Rose Cafe: Situated on the same street as The Parachute Hotel, this Venice institution is one of my top recommendations for dinner.
- Venice Beach Wines: If it’s more of a wine and beer night, head here. Don’t be afraid to arrive hungry—they also have excellent light bites.
- Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams: This purveyor of incredibly delicious small batch artisanal ice creams is moving in next door to Parachute. We couldn’t be happier!