I met Cathy Cluff, President & CEO of The Oaks at Ojai 10ish years ago (!) because of my fascination with daughters who work with their mother – I do, and she does too (her Mom is the amazing Sheila Cluff). And we happen to work (and play) in the same industry. Since our first meeting during which we talked about the dynamics of family business and specifically mother-daughter relationships, we have shared stories of love, life, loss, and shots of Patron (although now we will have to switch to Crown and ginger…).
AP: What city were you born in? CC: Plattsburg, New York.
AP: What city to do you live in? CC: Ojai, CA.
AP: What is your middle name? CC: Sheila, after my Mom.
AP: What is your astrological sign? CC: Virgo on the cusp of Libra.
AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? CC: I like oddities like circus side shows and Lucha Libre. I also ignore everyone in the room while watching TV.
AP: What is your most prized possession? CC: Sophia and Roman, my kids.
AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? CC: Today it would be Jodi Foster for her intellect and talent. From the past would be Frieda Kahlo for her tortured creativity.
AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum. CC: Hipster, business, stylish.
AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? CC: Yes, it depends on the outfit but usually has a wide leather band.
AP: Diamonds or pearls? CC: Diamonds of course.
AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? CC: Sunscreen.
AP: What fragrance do you wear? CC: Georgio Armani.
AP: Botox or not? CC: If I need it but I hope not I am deeply afraid of needles.
AP: Hair color: natural or not? CC: Natural with added highlights.
AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? CC: Gluten Free and high protein snacks.
AP: What do you do for exercise? CC: Swim, hike and walk on the beach, but not often enough.
AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge? CC: Peanut or almond butter, milk and Girard’s Italian salad dressing.
AP: What is your cocktail of choice? CC: Crown and Ginger plus Baileys and coffee.
AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? CC: Simply recognizing the need for one and realizing that the work will always be there tomorrow.
AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average?CC: Only about 10,000.
AP: What are your three top tips for travel? CC: A magazine, no alcohol on the flight, and hydration.
AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. CC: Jackson by Johnny Cash, Problem by Ariana Grande and Los Angeles by X.
AP: What book are you reading right now? CC: Positive parenting.
AP: Quote to live by. CC: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain” by Vivian Greene.
AP: What is your worst pet peeve? CC: Being late and watching a movie from the middle.
AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? CC: 6am and out of bed by 6:30. I need 8 hours of sleep but I am not a great sleeper.
AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? CC: That beauty can come in so many different forms.
AP: Least favorite thing. CC: That people let external beauty rule their lives.
AP: Who is your mentor? CC: My dynamic and innovative Mom Sheila and the late Alex Szekely.
AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. CC: Surround yourself with really smart people and always be kind because it will be remembered. Hire the attitude teach the skill.