Business of the Month: InControl Electric

Business of the Month: InControl Electric

Today I got the pleasure of interviewing one of our frequently used vendors for electrical work, Rico Juarez owner of InControl Electric. He was nice enough to let me come to one of his job sites to show me a little more of the behind the scenes of what he and his crew do on the job. This current job is new construction that is about 5,000 sq ft ocean view home in Santa Barbara where they are doing the electrical, audio and visual installation. 

What is really amazing about Rico is he doesn’t view himself as the “boss” though he is the owner of his company. He likes having his crew “tight knit like a family” in his words, which we can appreciate because Kat and I have become close as well, and consider each other family. Having the blessing of that in a work environment is hard to find and sustain. Read more about Rico and his business: 

How long has InControl Electric been in business?

4 years

How did you get into this line of work? How did this start?

No, I actually worked GrayBar which is an electrical whole sale house and got into it from there. Started selling materials and eventually started doing the electrician work.

How long have you been in the industry in total?

About 15 years now


How many guys are on your crew?

6 guys 

You do more than just electrical, as you were showing me here. What other services do you offer?

Electrical, audio, video, and security systems.

What areas do you service?
LA County, Ventura County, Santa Barbara County out to Santa Maria.


What do you think makes you stand out from your competitors?

You know, it’s not really a competitive thing to us, everyone is pretty much blessed with work. We work as a team. I think also, honesty, 

Disclaimer * we love recommending Rico and his team for our clients because they are communicative and professional and good at what they do.

What’s the best part of your job? What do you love most about it.

Everything, getting up every day and having a job to go to and lay out the guys and answering all the questions. I am doing work that I am confident in.

If there is something we can’t handle we are honest and we tell the client straight forward. 

What do you think is the hardest part of your job?


Trying to be at ten different places at one time. :) 

Do you guys service commercial and residential clients?

Yes. Mostly residential, commercial is sometimes too massive where I would refer it out to another electrician I know personally.

What jobs do you take the most pride in?

We take pride in everything we do whether it is a service call or something like this where it’s a 5,000 sf new construction project. We don’t take short cuts. We stay and get it done right.

It seems it helps a lot too that you have been doing it for so long you know exactly what needs to be done and what needs to happen for city requirements etc.

That is exactly right.


You can hire Rico and his crew at InControl Electric for all of your electrical needs at : 805-331-9463



Business of the Month: Time to Shine

Business of the Month: Time to Shine Window Washing

 Tomas Castelo- Owner of Time to Shine Window Washing

Tomas Castelo- Owner of Time to Shine Window Washing

This month I sat down with Tomas Castelo, owner of Time to Shine. Time to Shine offers window cleaning, power washing and more. They keep homes and businesses shining and looking their absolute best. Tomas and his team were there after the mudslide to get the Montecito Inn looking great for their grand re-opening.

Read more about Tomas and his amazing team:

How long has Time to Shine been in business?
In 10 days it will be 11 years

How did you get into the industry?
I got into this business through another business. I owned a clothing company and I needed something to generate a little bit of revenue. I had a friend who had a window washing business and he kind of showed me the ropes. I went down to Home Depot, picked up a bucket and a squeegee and started knocking on doors. It’s pretty cool, we’re very lucky.

Awesome! I noticed you have a crew, so you have grown since then! How many people are on your crew! 
5. I have 1 guy that works for me in Ventura, 2 part time guys in Santa Barbara, and 3 full time guys here in Santa Barbara. 

That leads me to my next question which is what areas do you service?
From Ventura to Goleta.

What do you think makes you stand out from your competitors?
I believe it is our service. I try to pride myself on paying attention to detail and listening to customer’s needs. We try to tailor our services to give our clients exactly what they are looking for. 

What do you love most about what you do?
The job satisfaction of doing a great job as a perfectionist. I have a great functioning case of OCD. It doesn’t stop me from living my life but it certainly keeps me up if I say forgot a window, or didn’t do a good job. 

So you do commercial and residential businesses, correct?

Is it mostly commercial or residential customers you are servicing right now?
It’s about 40 % commercial. 

How does someone hire Time to Shine?
People can find us on Yelp! or call us directly. Our business is largely word of mouth.

We do a lot of work here in Santa Barbara. We were lucky enough to get hired to clean the Montecito Inn after the fires and mudslide. We did the whole hotel, we pressure washed the entire building and cleaned all the windows, did the final clean up before their grand re opening. 

 Tomas and his family

Tomas and his family

That is amazing! So you do more than just window cleaning?
Yes, we do pressure washing, we can repair and fabricate screens, we do gutter cleaning and we can do some exterior house painting. I have a crew of three guys that have been working with me that I subcontracted out and together we have painted 12 homes so far. 

You can hire Tomas and his team by calling (805) 965-6777

Click here to see Time to Shine on Yelp!




Business of the Month: CI Fiduciary Group- Courtney De Soto


Tell us about your company and what services you offer.  
It’s fun to explain because not everyone knows what a fiduciary is, let alone how to spell it! I describe it as an umbrella term which encompasses various positions of trust and legal authority, including trustee, executer of a person’s will, Court-appointed administrator of a person’s estate, and Court-appointed conservator of a person and/or his or her estate. I step in and manage people’s medical, financial, legal, and other affairs by acting as a liaison between him or her and involved family and friends, and the various professionals providing medical treatment, day-to-day care, financial guidance, legal counsel, etc., when they are no longer able to manage these things for themselves. It’s a largely a decision-making role that may need to be filled where a person is mentally or physically incapacitated, or has died, and there’s a need for objective and efficient oversight and action on his or her behalf. Generally, my clients are older and have some form of dementia or Alzheimer’s, though occasionally they are younger people with mental illness, cognitive impairment and/or brain injury.


That’s amazing it’s probably good too if it’s a large family with a lot of different personalities in different situations, to have you there as a third party. 
I handle a lot of cases where family dynamics are highly complex and contentious, and, oftentimes, that is the very reason a neutral, private professional like myself becomes necessary. I manage a lot of different personalities, and, though I can’t make everyone happy, I can act in the best interest of the incapacitated person from a well-informed and objective perspective.



What brought you into what you are doing now and how long have you been in the industry?
I have been working as a private professional fiduciary for five years, and I own Channel Islands Fiduciary Group. I previously worked as a Court Investigator for the probate judge here in Santa Barbara. In that capacity, I investigated people like me who had been appointed by the Court to manage the affairs of incapacitated, and often also elderly, people. I made home visits to oversee the fiduciaries’ work and ensure the conservatees’ well-being. I liked getting out there and checking in on these people - they are vulnerable and I think they are too often forgotten in our society. I enjoyed seeing them, but, legally, visits were only required about once a year. I wanted to get more involved, so I learned what the fiduciaries did by watching and talking with them. With the number of seniors growing exponentially, I recognized the need for more fiduciaries (there are only about six fiduciaries in town currently), and the match between that need and my interest, education and training. Before going out on my own, I networked with attorneys in the community because I knew that in order to be successful in this business, they would have to know and trust me, as referrals are mostly word-of-mouth, and it’s difficult to market a service that many people don’t know exists or fully understand.



I think it’s genius. I ran into this situation where it was a complicated family situation and I felt like there wasn’t really an advocate for the parents. Which was a hard position for me to be in I wish I would have known then about your services. 
So many people tell me that, and it’s so true, but some people say “we don’t have that kind of family drama, so we wouldn’t need someone like you”. As unlikely as conflict and disagreement may seem, the reality is that these situations can be highly stressful and emotional, and appointing a neutral professional can help agreeable families stay that way! Also, while it may seem like a great honor to be appointed, it is actually a highly demanding job with a steep learning curve, and most people don’t have a lot of time and energy for responsibilities beyond their own jobs, families, etc. It gets even more complicated when responsible parties live out of the area and are unfamiliar with the laws, procedures, etc. It’s much more efficient for families to use someone like me who does this work on a regular basis and has established relationships with qualified, local professionals and vendors, and it can keep families united and focused on the well-being of their loved ones.


I feel like everyone has a story, whether its them or someone they know has an experience where maybe someone’s passed away and it rips the family apart. Maybe the estate planning wasn’t crystal clear or there’s a family member who changed it at the last minute or... I just feel like there’s horror stories. 

What do you love most about your job? 
This may sound silly, but I love my clients. I love checking in on them, especially if they spend a lot of time alone and bored. Some of them don’t remember who I am, but some do, and they are almost always very appreciative when they do. I appreciate them and I like getting to know them and helping them feel like they’re protected. I enjoy doing everything we do for them, and I have peace of mind knowing their money is safe and no one is taking advantage of them. Sometimes I see my clients more often than their own families do! 


What makes you stand out from other fiduciaries?
I think there are a few reasons: 1. I have considerable experience, and a lot of working years ahead of me, so I am neither too green nor too near retirement. Often, I am close in age to my clients’ children, and this can be advantageous in that I will likely outlive my clients and therefore be able to carry out their wishes after they’ve passed. 2. I think my background in the legal and social spheres helps me navigate difficult family dynamics. 3. Fiduciaries have to have thick skins because they have to make significant, life-altering decisions, and not everyone will agree with all of them all of the time. A fiduciary can’t be indecisive. I have 47 unique client cases right now and there are so many decisions that have to be made on a daily basis that there is little time for indecision or in efficiency.




Business of the Month: Drew Maley



Kat and Drew met for a morning coffee in the Fernald Conference room which boasts local history of the founder of the firm dating back to 1852. The long existing firm, which has been serving Santa Barbara for 166 years, brought Drew on as their Family Law Division Attorney 6 years ago. This is their interview:

How long have you been practicing law?
I have been practicing since 2013, so I am in my 6th year of practice.

How long have you been at Price, Postel & Parma?
I lived in Santa Barbara before I became a lawyer and about 3 and half years ago I had the opportunity to come back to Santa Barbara and start a family law practice at Price, Postel & Parma. I have been developing the practice from scratch since then.



 Charles Fernald via PPPLAW.COM

Charles Fernald via PPPLAW.COM

What is the story behind Price, Postel & Parma? 
This firm is well established in the community dating back to 1852; the longest lasting law firm west of the Mississippi. We’re doing this interview in the Fernald Conference Room which is named after Charles Fernald, who was the founder of the firm back in 1852. He was also the first judge in the County. The firm is what you would call full service, we have a lot of different practice areas ranging from estate planning, to real estate, to litigation, and so on. But for the 6 years prior to my joining the firm in 2015, PPP did not have a family law practice. They were keen on re-growing the practice, as they kept receiving inquiries from their clients asking for referrals. However, they were unsure whether they wanted to grow the practice in-house from scratch or hire somebody local to bring in their book of business. With the latter option, you run the risk of not having the new practice gel with the culture of the firm and so the firm had been reluctant to pull the trigger. Ultimately, the firm decided that they wanted somebody who was experienced and entrepreneurial enough to take on the challenge of growing a family law practice from scratch, while still being fresh enough to become a natural part of the firm culture. All of this just happened to be around the time that I was wanting to come back to Santa Barbara and, once I was introduced to the firm, it was clear that it was serendipity and I was the guy to grow the family law practice for PPP. It also checked all of my boxes; an entrepreneurial opportunity but with the support and backing of a well-established firm. It’s been a great fit so far.


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What made you want to get into practicing law?
I had worked here in town for a tech company for several years between college and law school and I was fortunate to work with a lot of really great people, but I ultimately found myself feeling unsatisfied with the work I was doing. After some soul-searching, I realized I want to have a career where I am continually challenged, and where I can work with people I can learn from. I also wanted to feel like I was applying my time in a worthwhile way. I was in my mid-20s and so I spent some time traveling the world and trying to decide where to go next with my career that would satisfy all of those things. After a jaunt in New Zealand and some backpacking through Eastern Europe—during which time I was strictly pondering the direction of my life, of course, and not having any fun whatsoever, I settled on law school. Law school had always been in the back of mind, and so I made the decision to attend Northwestern and I haven’t looked back since. 


What do you love most about your job?
What I find the most rewarding about my job is being able to help people through a difficult time.  While I am practiced at and enjoy negotiating premarital and other agreements, a large part of my practice is centered on litigation matters. Essentially, marital dissolutions or contested child custody cases, and so on. What my clients are going through is probably one of the most difficult and consequential times of their lives. Let’s face it—nobody gets married expecting a divorce; in almost all cases it is unexpected. Maybe someone sees it coming, but this was never part of the plan, and, in every case, it is a major life-disrupting event. So, what I do is very important personally to my clients, which is a lot of responsibility and pressure. However, if I can apply my skills in a way that makes those difficult experiences easier for my clients, then I feel like I’ve contributed in a worthwhile way and that I am, frankly, doing something good with my legal degree. Divorce lawyers get a bad rap, and don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of bad ones out there who enjoy the fight (and running up your bill with it), but there’s also a tremendous amount of good you can do in my field. Your work, as a family law attorney, will impact your clients’ lives in profound ways and if you can help them navigate their matters in a way that minimizes their suffering and gets them to a resolution they can live with , you are truly doing good.

I also enjoy the opportunity that practicing law, and family law, in particular, gives me to dive deep and gain some mastery at the craft. I recently passed the Certified Family Law Specialists Exam and now I am working on the long and arduous requirements to become a CFLS. Yet another way I can bring to bear the best for my clients. 



For layman out there, what exactly ‘family law’ encompass? Is it all divorce and custody, or is there more?
Family law is actually a fairly broad area of the law. The bulk of the practice tends to be what you would think of; cases for marital dissolution (divorce), child support, spousal support, or child custody matters. But it could include adoptions, paternity or parentage actions, and a wide range of contractual work, like pre- and post-nuptial agreements. I have had clients consult with me pre-filing (e.g., before filing for divorce) to ask my help in determining if they want to get divorced in the first place. I’ve taken clients through the dissolution process all the way from start to end. But, it’s also very common for me to get calls from people who are somewhere in the middle of the process; they have been battling for years and want new counsel, or they have already been through most of the process, received their judgements and just need help closing it out. I have experience working on any and all of those types of matters. The other interesting thing about family law is that it touches on so many other areas of the law and so I have to be conversational in a lot of them: bankruptcy, tax law, real estate transactions, estate planning, trusts… Oftentimes, it’s my job to work with other experts and counsel as well to ensure that the client is protected—so that a dissolution or premarital agreement doesn’t conflict with a will or trust document, or create some unfortunate tax consequences, for example. So, my day-to-day work often extends to much a broader prospective than just family law. 


Can you share any interesting stories with us?
I have been involved in a handful of cases, maybe half a dozen, where, by the time I got involved, the case had already been pending for seven or eight years. In a lot of these cases nothing has even been accomplished during that time except fighting and spending a lot of money on lawyers. That is something that tends to surprise a lot of people. That proceedings can go on that long. How can it really take years to get divorced? But it can; though it certainly doesn’t have to. Oftentimes, the parties are highly emotional and a bit irrational, and certainly unwilling to compromise. But, the reality is, the lawyers are almost always, at least partially at fault, when a case to goes on that long. You can always help your client see that a given path might lead to a more contentious, expensive, and drawn out process, and provide them with alternatives. I think the longest dissolution proceeding I’ve ever seen was almost ten years. I got involved  and resolved it as quickly as I could for my poor client. Of course, with attorney-client privilege, that’s about as much detail as I can divulge with the stories. 



What do you say is the quality you pride yourself most on? 
One thing that distinguishes me is the level of focus that I give to each of my clients. Personally, I think it is required to successfully navigate these often very complex family law matters. To apply the law correctly, you need to know your client and you need to know the facts. I am able to apply a professional and rational lens to the facts for clients, even when they can’t see it that way for themselves. I have been down this road many times before and I know what twists and turns might be out there. I am able to help my clients stay on the path to get to where they want to be.  Usually where they want to be is done with their legal matter and feeling as though they have been treated fairly by the judicial system. That is not necessarily the case with a lot of attorneys. I hear a lot of stories about people being unhappy with their experience because of the quality of their attorney, or because they simply haven’t heard from their attorney for several days or weeks. I pride myself in being responsive and responsible to my clients; assuring them I am on track and keeping them on track with what we have to do in order to accomplish their goals.



Business of the Month: Alana Clumeck

 Artist, Entrepreneur and Mother of Two - Alana Clumeck   Photo by Brittany Taylor Photography   

Artist, Entrepreneur and Mother of Two - Alana Clumeck   Photo by Brittany Taylor Photography  

Business of the Month: Alana Clumeck

Inspired by our recent trip to the Santa Ynez Valley we have a new Business of the Month! We were honored to interview our favorite artist a Mother of 2 and entrepreneur: Alana Clumeck. Her story is truly inspirational and her art is one of a kind. The minute you see her work you will always know when you see an Alana Clumeck. 


How long have you been painting? 

 Write here…

Write here…

I began painting 4 years ago when pregnant with my second child. I never expected ‘artist’ to be my career path, yet I look back at the past 4 years and I pinch myself at how life has unfolded. While pregnant with my son, River, I suffered from antenatal depression. From somewhere deep within I had an overbearing desire to be creative. So I purchased some art supplies, and once I started, I couldn’t stop. It became my therapy, time stood still, and I’d lose myself in my paintings for hours on end. Once River arrived, painting took on a different therapeutic role as my ‘mommy time’ away from the busy life of raising 2 young children.

In the Light.jpg

Your paintings are all so full of life and color, where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration definitely comes from things of "God made" beauty. I know that is broad, however when I look at nature, landscapes, animals, even humans... I am usually planning (in my head) how I can portray that beautiful thing in a delicate way on the canvas. 

What medium or mediums do you use? What would you consider your style of painting?

Typically I paint acrylic on canvas, I enjoy the way the paint mixes easily on the canvas and it is quick to dry. I also like to dabble in oil and water color. Since I am completely self taught I am always looking for other mediums to try and master. I would say my style of painting is contemporary realism... I like to paint my subjects to look realistic but include some sort of twist to the painting. 

  Brittany Taylor Photography    

 Brittany Taylor Photography   

What is your creative process like?

Most of the time an idea might pop into my head and I will put it into the queue with my other ideas until i find the time to get to it. I work from photographs, so, while I am preparing to "birth" my idea, I am usually snapping photographs and collecting a pile of images to use as reference for my paintings. I have come to realize (after many failed paintings) that every good painting must begin with a good plan. Once I have planned out my idea and drawn out the painting on the canvas I start to paint it... I rarely deviate from the idea that I had concocted in my head.  

Do you paint in a studio or outdoor more often?

Wonder (1).jpg

Since I am "mom" first, and then artist, I usually paint from my home studio so I can keep an eye of the kids as they play. This can be challenging at times to keep my creative tangent focused on my painting. However, I feel wonderfully blessed that I am able to work from home whilst juggling motherhood. On the rare occasion, (usually when the kids are at school) I am able to paint en plein air, and I find that to be a real refreshing treat!

What are your favorite subjects to paint?

Its so hard to pin point my favorite subject, as there is a certain amount of satisfaction gained from painting all subjects. That being said I am really enjoying my wallpaper series that I am currently working on. This is a mash-up of masculine meets feminine ( see my painting "wonder" as an example), this way I can pick all my favorite subjects and put them into one painting. 

 Artist, Entrepreneur and Mother of Two - Alana Clumeck   Photo by Brittany Taylor Photography   

Artist, Entrepreneur and Mother of Two - Alana Clumeck   Photo by Brittany Taylor Photography  

Living in the Santa Ynez valley, do you pull inspiration from your surroundings?

Yes, absolutely. I definitely draw inspiration from my country roots and the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. Having grown up in rural Western Australia, wildlife, nature and the outdoors bring a certain amount of nostalgia to me. I love the simple beauty of what God has created and I try to portray it in colorful and vibrant ways, and there is no shortage of that type inspiration in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Do you do custom paintings?

I do! I really enjoy working with my clients to see their vision realized on the canvas. I currently have a 6 deep waiting list, so if you have something in mind, don't wait to get your name on the list. 

What do you love most about what you do?

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I grew up in an artist family; my parents owned a pottery for 20 years, which was attached to our house, so there was never a moment in my childhood where they weren’t throwing pots, decorating, or working on other artistic ventures. My mother also painted beautiful, vibrant, and abstract oil paintings. I have memories of her being lost in her paintings for days on end, and now I can relate! I was born to be a maker / creator, and what I love most about being an artist is living out a career that I was born to do. I feel extremely blessed! And... I am not going to lie, my kids talk A LOT, painting allows my brain to be quiet for hours on end, which gives this momma the mental downtime that I need!




To see more of Alana's work or purchase or request your own (recommended!)  go to:

instagram / facebook : @alanaclumeckart


 Photo credit: Brittany Taylor Photography  




Business of the Month: Santa Barbara Dog Jog

 Laina, Pack Leader, left

Laina, Pack Leader, left

Business of the Month: Santa Barbara Dog Jog

 Lucky, Macaroni, and Trouble on 60 minute trail walk around More Mesa  #sbdogjog   #luckysbdj  #macaronisbdj   #troublesbdj   #moremesa

Lucky, Macaroni, and Trouble on 60 minute trail walk around More Mesa #sbdogjog #luckysbdj#macaronisbdj #troublesbdj #moremesa

We have a new an exciting Business of the Month for you all this April! We interviewed Laina Malm, owner of SB Dog Jog. As you may have noticed, we are both self proclaimed DOG people, naturally we wanted to highlight Laina's wonderful dog walking business with a twist. At SB Dog Jog you can get your fur baby their own fitness plan whether it be a walk, jog, or hike in the beautiful mountains of Santa Barbara. Laina herself is an avid runner, hiker, and race athlete, and can often be seen putting in miles down on the waterfront bike path or in the Santa Barbara hills, hiking with her two dogs, Macaroni and Trouble. 

Since moving to Santa Barbara she has been on the Board of Directors at DAWG, the local no-kill shelter, and has been active in fostering and finding homes for dogs in need. 

How long has SB Dog jog been in business?

I started Santa Barbara Dog Jog in April of 2015 with my partner Gillian Conway. She has since left, but I've been in business for three wonderful years. 

How did you come up with this business concept?

    That smile says it ALL!  #sbdogjog   #sagesbdj  


That smile says it ALL! #sbdogjog #sagesbdj 

I grew up with dogs, my parents were breeders, and have often volunteered at local dog shelters in the various places I’ve lived over the years. After I had my son I had some free time while he was at daycare and decided to combine my love of running with my affection and adoration of dogs. 

What makes SB Dog Jog different from other dog walking services in town?

Most dog walkers offer just that - walks! We are so much more in that we offer K9 fitness. If your puppy is acting up and needs to get it’s run on, we’ll take him/her for a 6 mile run or a 90 minute hike. We believe a tired dog is a good dog. We definitely offer shorter walks as well but feel that the health benefits from fitness for all creatures adds to a longer and healthier life. We’re also a one-on-one service where your dog will receive individualized attention and will never get lost in the crowd. 

 Hank and jogger Charlotte spent 45 minutes on More Mesa yesterday. Happy smiles!  #sbdogjog  #hanksbdj   #dogsofsantabarbara

Hank and jogger Charlotte spent 45 minutes on More Mesa yesterday. Happy smiles! #sbdogjog#hanksbdj #dogsofsantabarbara

How many dog joggers do you currently have available for K9 fitness?

Right now it’s myself and a group of 4 auxiliary joggers who I can call if I can’t fit the jog into my schedule. We also offer house/dog sitting and that’s where I usually utilize my employees. 

What areas do you service?

We offer our services in Santa Barbara and the surrounding towns of Goleta, Summerland, and Carpinteria. Another aspect that sets us aside is that your dog’s hour doesn’t start until we get to the beach or trailhead. Travel time is not included! 

What is your favorite part about what you do?

My favorite part of my job is when I can make a difference in a dog’s behavior. A lot of time people think they need trainers to whip their dog into shape and correct destructive behaviors. However I believe that through exercise many of those behaviors will subside on their own. I often feel like I’m part dog. Occasionally I have to pinch myself when I’m hiking on a beautiful day with a client and know that this is the career I’ve created for myself.  

FOLLOW SB DOG JOG on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM! They create hashtags specific to your fur child so you can follow and share all of your pet's wonderful adventures with SB DOG JOG.

WE HAVE A GIFT FOR YOU! Receive $5.00 off your first walk when you mention Hitchcock + Associates! 




Recovery Project SB



Last week we had the pleasure of helping out at the Recovery Project SB Free Store in the Montecito Country Mart. It's a cause near and dear to our hearts that is allowing people who are victims of the Thomas Fire or Montecito Mudslides to go in and shop for free. We were completely overwhelmed at the amount of donations that has been given to this amazing organization.  Although they do have a lot of women's and mens clothing items, not to mention brand new shoes donated by a shoe company IMPO, they still need volunteers daily as well as teen items and furniture. 

We want to say a big thank you to the owner of the Montecito Country Mart, James Rosenfield for generously donating this space to such a worthy cause. 

See below for how to volunteer or where to make donations both items or monetary. If you are a victim of either the Thomas Fire or the Montecito Mudslides we encourage you to go shop and enjoy a comfortable, professional boutique environment with high quality options for you to look through and wonderful ladies to help. 




Their Story:

The Recovery Project is a community action effort by neighbors for neighbors in response to the Thomas Fire and the Montecito Mud and Debris Slide.

It was founded by Berna Kieler as long time resident of our little village who started re-covering people from her own closet and then reached out to her neighbors and friends for the shirts off the backs.  

The responce has become a Tsunami of giving.  She was joined by Cathy Link, Heather Sage and Susan St. John who partnered

in her effort to create a dedicated Montecito space as home for a Recovery Free Store, where people affected by this specific

double header tragedy could come and find wardrobe replacements  and  meet the volunteers who provided clothing from their own closets. 

James Rosenfield, owner of the Montecito Country Mart ,  stepped up and donated a beautiful retail space in his center for the month of March.  The volunteers are working feverishly to create a stylish setting where they can personally attend to the needs of people who have lost all or most of their wardrobes.

Organic Soup Kitchen, another local grassroots organization has joined in the effort supplying, volunteers, organizing expertise, and wholesome organic soup in the store for entire month.

The Recovery Free Store in the Montecito Country Mart,  store hours 11-7 daily.

Walk-ins are welcome. Appointments for wardrobe consulting can be made on the facebook page .  

Store closing , March 31  will be a spirited neighborhood event featuring food provided by the Organic Soup Kitchen, music and celebration honoring the volunteers and guest of honor James Rosenfield.


The store is open every day from 11-7pm until March 31st at the Montecito Country Mart - 1016 Village Road, Montecito, CA 93108  across from the entrance of VONS Market

Volunteers - WE NEED YOU!

To help woman/man the shop, please sign up at:

We also need your help in OUTREACH. Please send this/post this/share it with our community.


Facebook Page:

A few facebook pages have been started please search for “Recovery Project SB" or







Berkshire Hathaway Innovation 2018

Berkshire Hathaway Innovation 2018

Had a wonderful time at the Berkshire Hathaway Innovation 2018! Innovation is Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Sales annual convention, this year it was held in picturesque downtown San Antonio, Texas, along the banks of the alluring River Walk, the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center hosts the top companies in the world and their more than 500,000 sq. ft. facility showcases modern art, innovative design and cutting-edge technology.

We headed to Freeman Coliseum for a true Texas experience – for Rock On Rodeo! It was an evening of unbridled fun featuring exciting rodeo, great music and yummy southern food.

Grammy-winning country artists Little Big Town also performed after the Rock On Rodeo! 

To top it off our office here in Santa Barbara/Montecito was awarded 2nd office in the nation!  



Business of the Month: Richie's Barber Shop

Business of the Month: Richie's Barber Shop

 Richie's Barber Shop

Richie's Barber Shop

March business of the Month we are with Richie Ramirez owner of Richie’s Barber Shop on Coast Village Road in Montecito. Richie has made major changes to the definition of what a barber shop should be. He's not only the owner but he is a long time barber himself and the identity of the brand that is Richie's. He is quoted by the Santa Barbara Young Professionals as "someone who is involved in giving back to our community and helping other small local businesses thrive." He was one of many businesses during the recent mudslide that was effected, but had the optimism and strong support from clientele and their following to get through that rough time. Here is our interview with him:

How long have you open?
The shop has been open for 7 1/2 years.

How did Richie’s come to be, what was your initial reason for opening Richie’s Barber Shop?
The whole thing was that I wanted my own business, and where I was cutting at before I felt like it wasn’t….I wanted to do something bigger. I felt like where I was at was kind of stagnant. I felt like the people there were never going to grow. So, in order for me to build Richie’s Barber Shop I had to go off on my own and start it. 

There was a level of service you wanted to provide your customers that you felt wasn’t at the previous barber shops you have worked at, which leads me to my next question, what sets Richie’s apart from other barber shops?
Everything. The service, the haircuts, everything we provide is full service. Everything from the music that we play, down to what is on the television is all thought out. I have been doing this for 20 years now and I worked at shops before this and saw what could have been better, and what could be improved on so I took all of that and I built this. ( Richie’s ) 

That’s great! Have you always been at this location on Coast Village Road?

 Master Barber Richie Ramirez

Master Barber Richie Ramirez

What do you love most about owning this business? 
I like the sense of community. You make so many friends, and coming into work every day it’s not like coming to work. You get to hang out, I am watching sports on the TV, cutting my buddies hair, I have got a great team. I built this for that reason. I can come to work every day and be happy, and the other people enjoy it so it’s very rewarding. Every day it’s like I am hosting a super bowl party. 

I know you are really involved in the community, so tell us more about some organizations or things you are involved in that you enjoy giving back to.
We get involved in a little bit of everything. From Toys for Tots to the Teddy Bear Foundation, and we do as much as we can. One of the girls who works from me coordinates that stuff for us. 

 Accepting the Young Professional of the Year Award 

Accepting the Young Professional of the Year Award 

So I also know you recently received the Young Professional of the Year Award, how was that?
I wasn’t expecting it. There was a lot of stiff competition, I figured there was no way I would win so when I received it I was really excited. I want to use it as a platform for small businesses. 

Well it’s well deserved, you are more than barber shop it sounds like. 
Richie’s is more than just a barbershop, it’s a brand. 

How long have you been involved in young professionals?
2 years.

 Richie with Jamie Slone Wines 

Richie with Jamie Slone Wines 

What was it like for you as a small business during the recent natural disasters? 
It was rough, it was a hard spot. But we did have so many people who came to help us like our clients and we opened a pop-up shop so we were still able to take care of our clients. We have so many faithful and loyal clients that they made that time way easier. 

That’s fantastic, where was your pop-up shop?
We did one at Jamie Slone Wines on Anacapa, it was a perfect location, we were there for a week and were able to tend to a lot of our clients. 


Visit Richie's Barber Shop next to the new Juice Ranch on Coast Village Road or online at / instagram @richiesbarbershop /




3  🛏   2.5  🛁  🗝 CHARMING SAN ROQUE HOME

It was wonderful to help our clients achieve their real estate goals by selling their home quickly and efficiently in order for them to purchase a new home in Santa Barbara.  If you or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell, please keep us in mind. Your referrals are our priority.




Business of the Month: Tax Edition


This February business of the month we wanted to not only have a featured business but, businesses that can give you advice this tax season. We all know taxes can cause a headache if you don't have the right person assisting you in your filing, so, we asked 3 of our top CPA's "What is your best advice for everyone this tax season?" Find their answers and contact information below.


Certified Public Accountant
Nasif, Hicks, Harris & Co., LLP

Best Advice: Keep calm and trust your tax advisor! Not only are taxpayers dealing with filing their 2017 tax returns right now, they are also trying to understand the new tax law effective January 1, 2018 and how it will impact them. Contact your CPA, or engage a CPA if you do not have one, to take the anxiety out of the situation and to help guide you in making tax-efficient decisions for yourself, your family, and your business. We are here to help every step of the way.

You can contact Elena at: 

Abel Barragan Headshot.jpg

Tax Senior Accountant
Barlett, Pringle & Wolff,LLP

Best Advice:  My biggest piece of advice for everyone this tax season is to get their information to their tax professional sooner than later. There are several reasons why taxes aren’t something to procrastinate until the last minute. By filing early, or providing you information early, it will give you a head start on determining if additional forms or other information is needed. Additionally, it allows you to plan payments accordingly. Many people forget that on top of your income tax due on April 15, the first quarter estimate for 2018 is also due. Furthermore, we have recently seen a surge in identity theft involving fraudulent tax returns and one of the best ways to combat that is to file your return before someone else can file it for you. Finally, this past December Congress passed major tax reform. Providing your information early allows your tax professional to start planning ahead for 2018.

You can reach Abel at:
 (805) 963-7811

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Certified Personal Accountant
Dennis Clark, CPA

Best Advice: Get your information to your accountant as soon as possible! Yes, the deadline is April 17 this year. But, the closer it gets to this date, the longer you will have to wait to get your return from your accountant (and your refund from the government!). And, if you end up owing tax, you don't have to pay it until the due date, and it is better to know about the payment sooner rather than later. So, only good things happen from getting all your info in early!

You can reach Dennis at: 
 (805) 963-2470






 It was an honor to represent our wonderful clients on the sale of their beautifully remodeled Goleta home.
+ Exceptional location backing up to Blueberry Hill Greenbelt
+ Carrara Marble Counters
+ Custom Cabinetry
+ Stainless Appliances
+ Open Floor Plan
+ Abundant Natural Light
+ Built-in Speakers
+ Brand New Professionally Landscaped Yard
+ New Driveway
+ Avocado Tree

OFFERED AT $1,015,000
SOLD FOR $1,023,500

If you have anyone looking to relocate to any of our beautiful neighborhoods please keep us in mind. Your referrals are our priority.