Jodie Fried founded Armadillo & Co in 2009 with the notion of creating high-quality, handmade rugs that are also ethically produced in order to support the communities that craft them.
In the years following she quickly ticked off all three of these goals, turning it into one of the most exciting textile companies in Australia. As well as one of the most philanthropic.
Nine years later, she (alongside co-founder Sally Pottharst) has seen Armadillo & Co expand into the US. A move which has seen her entire family relocate to Venice Beach, Los Angeles.
Here, she shares a little of what she loves about living stateside, as well as her tips for travelling well while travelling often.
I’m constantly travelling between Sydney, India and Los Angeles so when I want to escape and really switch off my ultimate…
wind down place is Palm Springs. It’s in our backyard because our home is Venice Beach, but I so love the desert. It is a very magical and special place. Depending on the heat factor, there isn’t much to do except lie by the pool and be re-energized by the desert heat.
During the cooler months I love exploring and hiking in Joshua Tree National Park and nothing beats a jacuzzi in the middle of the desert landscape amongst the cactus and setting sun. It’s pretty breathtaking.
When I’m at home in Venice Beach, here are my favourite places to dine are…
The Butchers Daughter for brunch
This place is vegan and so, so good. Wellness lates (Golden State is my favorite – almond milke with tumeric and honey) and a whole section on the menu devoted to avocado toast.
Either Gjusta and their sister restaurant Gjelina for lunch. These are both Venice institutions because the food is out of this world. You can expect a hustle to get in there but well worth the wait/expense.
Wallflower for dinner. This is fresh and spicy Indonesian fare which is an immediate match made in heaven for an Australian deprived good Aisan food in LA with great cocktails to boot. The space is architectural and has a great bar to enjoy their famous cocktails too.
Elephante for cocktails. Designed by another fellow Aussie restauranteur, this experience is amazing from beginning to end, the interiors are gorgeous, cocktails are amazing and the food is SO SO GOOD and the view over the ocean is pretty sensational as well.
When friends visit town and want that unique LA experience I always recommend they stay at…
This one was also set up by Aussies (see a common theme here?)
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And for the ultimate downtown experience…
For a unique high end experience…
The Nomad Hotel: Pretty incredible as far as interiors go and a great position in downtown.
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My favourite free activity to do in Los Angeles has to be…
The Getty Museum: It’s such a great way to get your bearings in LA and experience the architecture, garden and culture.
My travel uniform always consists of…
Bassike pants, long tank/tee, leather jacket and my black nike sneakers. I always travel with a linen scarf which is perfect for temperature changes.
My ultimate carry-on bag is…
Aptly called the “Transport Tote” I have had this shoulder bag for years and it just keeps going! It holds everything and is a great for quick access to travel wallet, laptop etc.
And then when I am not checking in I travel with my Away carry on case. It’s so easy and packs more than you think!
In terms of tech…
I always need my laptop as I tend to always be very productive in airport lounges! Always travel with a back battery for my phone and computer.
drinking heaps of water and always hydrating my skin before boarding and during the flight.
I try not to eat during the flight except the fruit and I take my own snacks. I use Aesop products, they have a great skin spray hydration which always feels good during the flight. I also travel with Aesops’s Ginger Flight Therapy, it works wonders.
I tend to binge on box sets, being a busy working mama and not having a tv at home, I don’t often get time to catch up on tv/movies. It is such a good way to check out of work mode and relax.
My favourite holiday mood music is…
always a good road trip Pandora station of acoustic tracks, perfect for driving through the desert.