Between working, parenting and, oh yeah, navigating the pandemic, Meredith Schlosser and Randi Wishnow are beyond busy
Story by Andy Vasoyan | PHOTO BY ZSUZSI STEINER
As rivalry pairings go, New York vs. LA is one of the classics. For transcontinental power couple Meredith Schlosser and Randi Wishnow, Playa Vista has become the perfect place to find the best of both worlds.
The pair met in New York, where Schlosser had a successful career in the high stakes, high speed world of real estate. Wishnow was based in Los Angeles, but the clothing company she founded had offices in New York as well.
“I met her through a friend,” Wishnow says. “I was just tired of the dating scene in LA, and I met Meredith and dragged her out to California.”
“She was miserable at first,” Wishnow adds.
“I didn’t have my real estate license, I didn’t have my driver’s license. I hadn’t driven a car since I was in college,” Schlosser admits. “I came out here, I went on the 405, and I was hysterically crying. I didn’t know what to do.”
As Schlosser eventually got settled into the rhythm of the city, she and Wishnow settled in Playa Vista “because of the proximity to the freeways, to the beach, to Beverly Hills, to my office, to Randi’s office in downtown. It’s the luxury of having all of that around us,” Schlosser says.
“When Meredith decided to move out here, she said the only way I’ll move to LA is if I’m by the water,” Wishnow adds.
Of course, all those luxuries meant a lot more before the coronavirus. The couple are now quarantining in their Playa Vista residence with their two children, aged two and four. Their elder son was on track to go to Playa Vista Elementary this upcoming school year, but that move is up in the air. For a while, so was their fiscal future, as Wishnow’s clothing business was in deep trouble.
“We design and manufacture for a majority of the retailers across the country… Fast fashion, junior dresses and tops, like Forever 21 type stuff,” Wishnow says. “When this whole thing hit, I was like, I’m going to go bankrupt, this is insane. All my orders were cancelled.”
Wishnow had to downsize the workforce at her downtown LA factory, and the business seemed to be floundering, until she took a bold step and chased an opportunity.
“I decided to pivot and start making masks,” she says. “I’ve turned the whole thing around, I’ve been able to re-hire a lot of the employees I laid off, and it’s been pretty insane actually.”
Wishnow even has a plan for when people finally stock up on masks, though – like the post-coronavirus world – things won’t be the same as they were before.
“Because of the fact that I’ve built this huge following through the masks, I’ve decided to curate a collection online as opposed to going to the retailers,” she says. “In the past I had to make over 200 new styles in a month. Now, it’s going to be very small, and more of a luxury line.”
For Schlosser, no such pivot was necessary, but that doesn’t mean the coronavirus hasn’t affected the real estate business.
“We are beyond slammed. In my entire eight years being in LA, I don’t think I’ve ever been this busy,” Schlosser says. “We’re just getting more people who have to do things now. There’s more urgency.”
One of the emerging trends she’s seeing is, of course, quarantine related. “We’re just home all day long, right? So: where is that home office?,” Schlosser says. “That home office search is number one on everybody’s list, in addition to outside space, in addition to where are my kids gonna play and how can I go on a conference call without being interrupted?”
That last anecdote also comes from a bit of personal experience. As Schlosser and Wishnow have continued to keep their children inside, “running our businesses, running our households, and making sure our kids are still healthy and entertained and loved is a trifecta of multitasking,” Schlosser says. “Try being a working mom running your own business, it’s not an easy task at all. [The pandemic] is the icing on the cake.”
Wishnow concurs: “I’m trying to close one business while opening another business and trying to manage my children. I don’t really have any advice,” she says, and then adds with a laugh, “Just… good luck.”