Meet Puno Dostres

A web designer and digital entrepreneur, Puno is the founder of ilovecreatives, a platform connecting creatives. She also created, an Instagram marketing tool where you can strategically build an organic community. You can find her vlogging on YouTube in DTLA on the hunt for the city’s best food or exploring incredible locations with @madewithmap, a trusted community of travel influencers.

Jumper: LACAUSA,Turtleneck: Weekday, Rings, J. Hannah

on her morning routine

My cat will knead my neck until 7 AM when I get up to feed her. Before I get sucked into emails, I'll put on gym clothes, grab my wireless Beats, and head to the treadmill. If I'm feeling ambitious, I'll do some Nike Training Club or Tracy Anderson mat workouts for another 30 minutes. When I don't have morning meetings, I love taking my time to get ready. 

on developing her business ideas

The idea for PeopleMap came out of necessity. We needed a faster way to grow our community on @madewithmap. A lot of the manual processes involved mining people's following to find like-minded people. My husband is a programmer, and he built PeopleMap to help me scale my efforts. About a year later, I was talking to my friend, Chelsea Matthews who owns Matte Black, and she was like, "Yo, can I use this?" That's when we decided to pivot.

Ever since I quit my job, I started meeting a whole bunch of freelancers, designers, and small business owners. All creative folk! More and more members of our generation are quitting their 9-to-5's to do their own thing. Although rewarding, it’s tough cookies! Most of the problems came down to not being able to access a more curated network with their needs. I wanted to build a curated Craigslist. One weekend, Eva Goicochea and I built a website and newsletter. Two years later and a ton of outreach, it grew into a business. My favorite thing about my job is executing my ideas. I love brainstorming ideas, but I get super fulfilled when I execute them and see how people interact with them. 

Puno's favorite books
“Discovering Korean Cuisine” is the best Korean cookbook ever. It takes all the best restaurants in LA and shares their recipes. Korean food is so incredibly simple to make, and it’s super healthy. The hwe dup bap (sashimi rice bowl) recipe from A-Won is killer. “Cat & Gnome” is a book by my favorite picture book writer, Graham Roumieu. He’s hilarious. “You Are a Message” is a book by my good friend, Guillaume Wolf.
— on her favorite books
Puno's favorite books

some advice for entrepreneurs

Do the math. More specifically, sit down and work out how much money you need to make and how many hours you can dedicate. One of the biggest issues with freelancing or starting your own business is getting burnt out. To grow any business or be good at any skill, you're looking at 2-3 years minimum. Be the best boss you've ever wanted and make sure your employee (you) will be happy for the next few years. Check-in every month and ask how things are going. What can you change to be happier and more fulfilled?

on useful creative skills and photography

I used to be an art director at an ad agency, and we were constantly sent photographer books. When I quit my job, I reached out to a photographer I followed a lot, Sisilia Piring, and asked if she would mentor me. We ended up becoming super good friends. She's always working on her craft, and that's super inspiring. Photography a skill that I want to use for my businesses.

on her tools and tips for photography

I use a Canon MKII, Speed Light Flash, Lightroom, and VSCO filters. I really hate carrying around the MKII now. It's so heavy. I've been using my iPhone 7 Plus and a Canon G7X for vlogging. My best tip is to shoot a lot. When I got my camera, I was shooting almost everyday in manual mode. Have a photographer friend explain to you aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. Then experiment with just one mode until you get why it exists. Shoot things you get excited about, and you'll keep doing it.

Top: Frank and Oak, Pants: Lisa Says Gah, Shoes: Vintage

Top: Frank and Oak, Pants: Lisa Says Gah, Shoes: Vintage

If I’m doing a shoot for myself, it’s super quick. Pick a spot, fiddle with settings, then go for it. I like to shoot as fast as possible. The magic usually happens in Lightroom. I’ve got a ton of settings based on previous projects so I usually go through those libraries first, and then I tweak them.
— on her tips for photography

on her beauty routine and recommendations

I love creams, gels, and liquids. My blush (Rimmel Stay Blushed Liquid Cheek Tint) and highlighter are creams, and my eyeliner is a gel. My skin looks better with a bit of glow. Every night, I massage my face with DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. Then I wash my face one more time with Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser. If I'm feeling icky, I'll put on the Kiehl's Cilantro & Orange Mask. The next day, my face feels incredibly soft and hydrated.

I also recommend Korres Guava Lip ButterLe Labo Santal 33 Eau de ParfumGold by Commodity Eau De ParfumAesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand WashLaura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer, and Radiant Creamy Concealer

on her makeup tip

This is my cat eye tip. I love Eyeko Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner. Alexa Chung helped make it. The only issue is that it's not waterproof, so I usually start with Eyeko, Q-tip the mistakes, add eye shadow, and go over with Tarte Clay Paint Eye Liner.

on her shopping habits

If I see something I like, I usually just purchase it. I love buying from friends or local shops. My aesthetic is pants and color. I'm really into wearing all the same color right now. Usually you'll see me sporting a baseball cap, but that's because I'm too lazy to do my hair.

Puno's favorite beauty
I went to Europe for two months and lived off a week’s worth of clothes. When I got back home, I gave away all of those clothes. Instead of buying more hangers, I just go through what I haven’t worn and give it away.
— on keeping her closet balanced
Top, Frank and Oak ; Pants, Lisa Says Gah ; Shoes, Vintage

Top, Frank and Oak ; Pants, Lisa Says Gah ; Shoes, Vintage

puno's favorite books

You Are a Message: Meditations for the Creative Entrepreneur by Guillaume Wolf, Discovering Korean Cuisine: Recipes from the Best Korean Restaurants in Los Angeles by Allisa Park, UCB Comedy Improvisation Manual by Matt Besser, Ian Walsh, and Matt Walsh, Cat & Gnome by Graham Roumieu, Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

puno's favorite movies

Waking Sleeping Beauty, Jurassic Park, Gentlemen Broncos

puno's favorite places in los angeles

Ledlow for brunch.

Mega Bodega for beer.

Formerly Yes to shop.

Woodspoon for dinner.

Yangban Sul Lung Tang for soup. I love soup. 

Top: Cocodune, Pants: Vintage Seafarer, Sunglasses: Phillip Lim, Shoes: Zara

Top: Cocodune, Pants: Vintage Seafarer, Sunglasses: Phillip Lim, Shoes: Zara