Meet Holly Liss
ON HER MORNING ROUTINE
After a couple snoozes and Chester (my dog) belly rubs, I grab my robe and let Chester out on the terrace. While he does his morning laps, I head downstairs to make myself a fresh cup of coffee. While the coffee brews, I like to squeeze half a lemon into a cup of water and take the whole thing down. It really helps me alkalize in the AM. Currently, I have been very into brewing Blue Bottle Three Africas and mixing in Sun Potion Cordyceps adaptogens with Califia Farms Vanilla Almond Milk creamer. It’s the most peaceful way to wake up.
on her background and how she got her start
I immediately moved to NYC, after graduating from UCLA with a major in Communication Studies and minor in Women’s Studies. After growing up and going to school in LA my whole life, I was dying for a change. I was drawn to the electric energy of NYC and fell in love with its rich culture, especially the food. I started in fashion when I first moved there and launched Helmut Lang and Theory’s social media channels back in 2009. There was no such thing as a social media manager in those days. It was a role I created while doing a hundred other things at the company. I was always fascinated by new media and saw a real opportunity to build community and brand awareness. I got my foot in the Helmut Lang/ Theory door as an Assistant to the VP of Sales and had an amazing boss who believed in me. My role evolved into managing the brands on a 360 level. Then, I got the gig to be goop’s first social media director and moved back in LA for it. I always knew that I’d come home to the West Coast.
on her experiences at Helmut Lang, Theory, and Goop
I learned what it was like to work in both corporate and start-up environments and how to strategically build a successful social presence for different types of businesses. I also launched my side-hustle into photography at goop out of the need for more social content.
on launching her company, ENLISst
After goop, I launched what I call ENLISST 1.0 in 2015 and started to consult with a variety of different brands and businesses within the lifestyle umbrella of food, fashion, wellness, etc. One of my first clients was the restaurant review discovery platform, The Infatuation, that I worked with for about three years, half that time as a consultant and the other half as the Head of Social and Community. When I started with The Infatuation, we had one Instagram account, and by the time I left we had 24 Instagram accounts and 28 in total (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Snapchat). It was the most rewarding experience to architect a department and scale a social team. After a couple years, I missed the autonomy of running a business and decided to leap back into consulting.
In May 2018, I launched ENLISST 2.0 where I focus on strategic social storytelling. My five core offerings are strategy, content creation, workshops, team building, and daily support. No day is the same and that’s what I love about it. I get the privilege to collaborate with inspiring individuals and businesses that I believe in, help them grow, innovate, and bring their story to life on social. It’s a blast. It’s supposed to be fun, so I try to not lose sight of that.
on the logistics of building a business
I immediately created an LLC, opened a business account and credit card, and had a lawyer look over a Statement of Work client contract. Getting those things set-up is key before starting your own business.
on her tips for building a brand on social media
Focus on these five things: authenticity, consistency, engagement, collaboration, and quality content that speaks to your unique point of view and brand story. Make sure the content you are creating is diverse and optimized for each stream. What’s on your Insta-feed should be different than what’s on Insta-stories and IGTV, but anchored by the same overarching message. Give people a reason to follow you everywhere.
on bicoastal living and finding balance
It all happened pretty organically. My clients are in both NYC and LA. The key is familiarity, so the same running shoes, face cleansers, underwear (lots of it), and bath towels in both places. It relieves the friction. Creating routines in each city makes each place feel like home. Also, my partner Nic is back and forth quite a bit, so syncing up our trips definitely helps.
LA and NYC are very different cities. In LA, I slow down a bit and that’s okay. Everything feels more balanced. I want to stay home, nest, host, hang, and chill. In NYC, there is an adrenaline rush that is addictive and exciting. I naturally want to go, go, go. I want to eat at the best new restaurant, go to an art opening, then meet a friend for a drink. People can do ten things in a day in NYC, but in LA, I have to plan a bit more. I’ll get three things done if I’m lucky.
On her favorite cookbooks and passion for cooking
I’m very much a self-taught, at-home cook with so much more to learn! Food was always the center of our home growing up. My mom is an amazing cook. Her Chinese sticky rice is killer. Watching Barefoot Contessa all throughout my early-20s gave me the courage to start cooking in my kitchen. Ina makes things look so easy and delicious like pulling herbs from her garden in a denim button-down! I also started a cookbook club in LA with my friend Aliza, and it’s been a great way to get a diverse group of women together and push ourselves out of our comfort zones. It’s about sharing the excitement and fear of cooking from a new cookbook that brings everyone together.
Key cookbooks to have at home: Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten, It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow, Zahav by Michael Solomonov, Estela by Igancio Mattos, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner….Life by Missy Robbins, and Everything I Want To Eat: Sqirl and the new California Cooking by Jessica Koslow. My key kitchen accessories are good olive oil (Hi Ina!), different types of salt (kosher, maldon, fleur de sel, etc.), a sharp Japanese knife (Korin’s Masanobu VG-10 Santoku), Great Jones dutch oven, great cutting board (Heath Ceramics), and microplane (40020 Classic Zester/Grater). Zest is the secret to so many dishes!
On her self-care routine
Every Sunday we infrared sauna schvitz and do Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial. It’s a great way to reset before the new week. If we’re just talking about me, then seeing my personal trainer Allyson Gottfried twice a week is the best therapy. She also completely transformed my body. Another one of my favorite self-care rituals is doing a beauty day at Striiike where I get my feathered brows done by Kristie Streicher and hair cut by her sister Ashley Streicher. They have the best energy and are beyond talented. I always leave feeling better than when I arrived.
on her style and shopping habits
I get a lot of inspiration from the fashion and design accounts I follow on the gram. My “Saved” photos on Instagram are a dangerous place. I shop at The Line, No.6 Store, Need Supply, Ssense, Khaite, Mohawk General Store, Acne, Staud, Rosie Assoulin, The Row, Opening Ceremony, Alexander Wang and Style Lease for closet shopping and personal styling
on her skincare and makeup routine
When it comes to skincare, I swear by all things Drunk Elephant. It has done wonders to my skin. At night I have a hot shower, moisturize my body with Ahava Mineral, and do a full Drunk Elephant routine: Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser, T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream, and Protein Polypeptide Cream. Since my nighttime routine is intense, all I do in the morning is splash water on my face, one pump of C-Firma Day Serum, one pump of Protein Polypeptide Cream and apply the Umbra Sheer Tinted Physical Daily Defense sunscreen moisturizer. My makeup routine is low key: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi for my under eyes, Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer to cover blemishes, Glossier highlighter in Quartz, and Glossier Cloud Paint in Dust on my cheeks. For the eyes, a quick eyelash curl with Chantecaille Longest Lash Mascara, Hourglass Brow Gel, and Mary Kay Brow Gel. Then my lips is where I indulge. I definitely have a lipstick addiction, but my base is always Lucas Papaw ointment. Currently, I’m into Kosas Rosewater and Rodin Red Hedy lipstick. Two of my secret weapons are Rohto eye drops to make the whites of my eyes whiter, and UltraLuxe drying potion to zap blemishes!
holly's favorite books
I read You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein this summer and was legitimately laughing out loud. It’s the perfect poolside companion. I also recommend The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M Pirsig, and Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink by David Remnick.
ara's favorite movies
Boyhood by Richard Linklater, It’s Complicated by Nancy Meyers always puts me in the best mood, Moonlight by Barry Jenkins, and Austin Powers International Man of Mystery by Jay Roach. I watched all of the Austin Powers obsessively growing up.
holly’s favorite spots in NYC
For coffee: Marlow & Sons
Holly’s favorite spots in LA
Nail salon: Yen’s Nails
Dancing: Giorgio’s with my friend Ryan Scott