COVID-19 and the Current State of Content

Posted by melissa kandel on April 28, 2020 in business journey | 1 Comment

There’s an interesting idea circulating that content creators are right now getting back to basics. Stripped of the glitzy studios, the majestic mountain backdrops or the artsy mural walls, the inner artist is the outer artist is the Artist. True creatives are rising from the fiery rubble of a global pandemic to simply create. These are the meme-makers and the risk-takers, the TikTokers and the House Party heroes, and they’re changing the current state of our content today and probably forever.

How? Let’s break it down … Read More

GUEST POST: Earth Day Reflections from a Rock in Newport Beach

Posted by melissa kandel on April 23, 2020 in Guest Post, Photography | 3 Comments

Words and photography by Guest Contributor Paul Bivens

Yesterday was Earth Day, April 22, five weeks into quarantine.

It’s certainly been interesting; airports are empty, beaches are closed, restaurants are only open for takeout and 30% of the country is unemployed. As Bob Dylan says, times they are a changin’. But really they are, and there’s no telling how long this will last or how the world will behave after this is over.

Like many of you, I’ve missed running away for a weekend and getting lost in the great outdoors. So, here I am, sitting on an oddly uncomfortable rock perched high above the Pacific Ocean on Crystal Cove’s El Moro Canyon, for a quiet hometown adventure. With camera by my side, I take time to write down a few thoughts … Read More

Outdoor Spaces & Designing Places: AllModern Home Décor

Posted by melissa kandel on April 19, 2020 in home decor | No Comments

In total honesty, I was asked to write this post. I’m not getting paid to do it but when the email came through from AllModern, intrigue set in. The inquiry: Curate a selection of the company’s outdoor furniture I’d purchase to decorate my home then explain why. Could I do it? My fake-designer senses tingled. A recent itch to beautify every space of my new apartment mingled with an oft-flaring competitive spirit. And here we are, me typing on my outdoor patio as the white clouds thicken a soft blue sky. The ocean hums waveless and empty. A peaceful Sunday to write about outdoor furniture or anything. Read More

Small Biz Studio: Helping to Promote Shop Local

Posted by melissa kandel on March 28, 2020 in Uncategorized | No Comments

We are a small business but we want to support small businesses during this time. If you can, shop local. Order delivery from the restaurant down the block or if you’re able, pick up coffee from your neighborhood cafe, (many mark where to stand when waiting for an order and have hand sanitizers available when you pay). Take that Instagram live yoga class from an out-of-work trainer. Comment on your real estate agent’s post about a virtual walkthrough of a listing. Purchase that painting you’ve been eyeing by your favorite local artist. Buy products directly from a brand’s website and not through a third-party retailer that takes a cut of their margins.

Small businesses are the backbone of an entrepreneurial society, and owners are not guaranteed a paycheck; they rely on customers, followers and fans for their livelihoods, especially now. Shop local isn’t just an empty phrase; it’s the difference between closing shop and survival.

There’s also brand new page on the website – – that will be updated daily with free, downloadable resource guides (on topics like earning press, communications strategies, team communications, safety communications, etc.) as well as links to helpful blog posts and a Marketplace, which is a curated list of local shops to support small business owners during this time.

As always, the hotline is open (949) 903-9752 to text with your communications questions. We are in this together and together, we will seek solutions with solidarity and success.

Small Business Survival Strategies in the Days of COVID-19

Posted by melissa kandel on March 24, 2020 in small business | No Comments

You’re a small business shifting strategies. Doubling down on free shipping. Reinvigorating your subscription service. Hosting virtual open houses, Instagram live barre classes. Every day adjusting, iterating and making this work.

Or maybe you’re not quite there yet. If you’re a small business and aren’t sure how to pivot, here are two types of communications resonating now: Read More

Sunday Suggestion: Make a Hearty Soup

Posted by melissa kandel on March 15, 2020 in Recipes | No Comments

Things you can do today: Go for a hike. Other things you can do today: Cook a hearty soup. ⁣

This recipe for “sick soup” originates from the rustic countryside of France and is made with ingredients that are easy to find in even the most empty-shelved of grocery stores. Enjoy it if you’re feeling amazing or under the weather; it’s surprisingly filling for a vegetable soup and deliciously flavorful. ⁣ Read More

Five Ways to Proactively Prepare Your Business for the Coronavirus

Posted by melissa kandel on March 14, 2020 in business journey | No Comments

Let’s get something straight: I’m a writer not a doctor or a medical professional, so to publish a blog post purporting anything different or offering suggestions on how to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) wouldn’t just be irresponsible; it would be wrong. I have no idea what tomorrow will bring. I can’t possibly fathom why people are buying up toilet paper like they’ve never used it before. I don’t know why society as a collective has just now realized hand-washing is a mandatory thing. (By the way, Fork & Melon, a female-founded business, is offering 19% off on orders of their natural, non-toxic hand soaps. Check it out here.) As for my own situation, I work from home already. I just got back from a successful business trip to Nashville by way of a half-empty airplane. Yes, I’m having a hard time finding goat’s milk at any nearby grocery store but an Amazon Fresh delivery arrives Monday. Beyond that who knows?  Read More

LIVE IT 2020: How to Network for Success

Posted by melissa kandel on March 8, 2020 in business journey | No Comments

I wrote this post from a window seat somewhere above Texas, about 50 miles outside of Houston, my thoughts punctuated by the steady buzz of the plane and a baby’s high-pitched wails …

Framed by a small oval window, the sky is a mix of pale gray and striated clouds, the ground a patchwork of farmland slashed by thin roadway. I can’t see any cars moving but I know there’s life down below. The woman next to me adjusts her face mask (thanks, Coronavirus) and I’m sipping on a Bloody Mary mix that’s exceptionally tasteless.

Time to Nashville: Three hours, twelve minutes.

2020 marks my seventh consecutive year attending the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Convention. Last year, in Las Vegas, I attended as a burgeoning business owner and now in Music City, I return with an actual, thriving business I’m proud to say keeps expanding all the time. (Who knew?!!) Read More

Growth Hack: Self-Improvement

Posted by melissa kandel on March 5, 2020 in business journey | 3 Comments

*tap, tap* Is this thing on?? Yes, I know it’s been a little while – OK, months – since I’ve written in this blog but I’ve been busy writing for clients and working on my book. (NO EXCUSES, BLOG LIKE A CHAMPION!) Anyway, maybe this is the start of my triumphant return to the diminutive digital diary that is little word studio … maybe it’s not. We’ll see.

That’s not why I showed up on the blog. I’m here typing to you now because I had something of an epiphany around 7:38 a.m. today as I was walking my dog on a particularly grassy, half-shaded spot by my house. Nobody was around, I was wearing my pajamas and a sliver of early-morning sunshine illuminated my left slipper. Just as a chilly breeze picked up and a palm leaf above my head swayed, this is the thought that escaped my mind: self-improvement is a growth hack. Read More

Inside The Female Founder Collective LA Workshop

Posted by melissa kandel on September 24, 2019 in The Female Founder Collective | No Comments

By Melissa Kandel, founder and CEO of little word studio

I have no other word to describe my car last Thursday morning than to say it was moseying down a side street somewhere in the suburban underbelly of West L.A.

My friend Brittany and I had been stuck in a thick smog of traffic for almost an hour, with two miles left to drive, 250 feet until our next right turn and four minutes until the official start of The Female Founder Collective Workshop LA.

Three minutes. Two minutes.

In the starchy quiet cut only by a ticking blinker, my fingers played percussion on the steering wheel; my right foot stomped a bass line on the brake. Then, against the human symphony of my frustration, Brittany yelled, “Waaait, Melissa, I found another way. Don’t turn right, turn left. Left!”

On a sudden lurch, left we went, toward a matrix of other, much emptier streets and by 9:30(ish) a.m., made it to The Riveter: West L.A., a co-working space with the apt motto: “Built by women. For everyone.”

I realized when I walked through the canopied entryway to sign into the event that its navigational prelude was probably something of a metaphor for the entire day. Yes, as bold entrepreneurs we can dominate board rooms with the confidence of a corseted Lizzo, or move product with the poise of Beyoncé, but in the end, after the deadlines are met and Instagram stories played, we’re just better together. Read More