Posts Tagged ‘Kalika Yap’

Our CEO Kalika Yap will be speaking on this event!

As a Partner Organization for the first Money Morning, which occurred just prior to the 26th Annual NAWBO-LA Leadership & Legacy Awards Luncheon in March, I wanted to reach out and invite you to participate once again as a Partner Organization for the second installment of this event. These new quarterly financial forums will explore money-related topics with a specific emphasis on financial strengths and acuity for small business growth. The next session, scheduled for October 15, 2012 will take place at

 the historic Culver Hotel in downtown Culver City and will explore the most INNOVATIVE ways to utilize the INTERNET to drive sales, and the most LUCRATIVE ways to capitalize on growth.In order to receive the benefits of participating, all we ask is that you help promote the event to your members and business contacts via website, eblasts, event calendars, and social media. We would love to see this information distributed in your regular bulletin/newsletters, and stand-alone emails would be much appreciated as well.
For participating you will receive the following:· A custom discount code for your members and business contacts with special ticket pricing of $59 (regular rate is $69 for non-members)

· One complimentary registration to the event

· A spot for your organizations information to be distributed at the event


Money Morning
Monday , October 15, 2012
8:30am – 11:00am

Culver Hotel
9400 Culver Boulevard
Culver City, California, 90232

If you are interested in being a Partner Organization for this event, please RSVP by Tuesday, October 2 to and you will be sent your personalized discount code.



Citrus Studios has been certified as a business owned and controlled by a woman by the National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC), the first national certifier of Women Business Enterprise.  Over 700 public and private sector individuals participated in establishing the Standards and Procedures of this rigid certification review.  The goal of the certification program in to streamline the certification process and increase the ability of women business owners to compete for contacts at a national level.

Certification provides a marketing opportunity for women business enterprises to participate in outreach programs,” says Kalika Yap, CEO of Citrus Studios. “in addition, this program will enable us to develop relationships with larger companies and create opportunities for future partnerships with them and public and private companies.”

NWBOC seeks to increase the ability of women business owners to compete for corporate and government contracts,” says Janet Harris-Lange, President of NWBOC. “At the same time, NWBOC also hopes to decrease the number of front operations participating in corporate and government outreach programs.”

NWBOC, a national 501(c) 3 not-for-profit corporation, was created in response to needs identified by the Procurement Special interest Group of the National Association of Women Business Owners.  The study revealed that the public and private sector had not received nor recognized the benefits of contracting with women suppliers.  This has prevented purchasers from obtaining the best value in their procurement and it has limited women business owners from penetrating these markets, which has stymied their growth. NWBOC seeks to provide more corporations with suppliers the opportunity to complete.


Lubov Azria, the owner & designer behind the billion dollar empire of BCBG, received this year’s Leadership Award from NAWBO, the National Association of Women Business Owners.

She hosted a wonderful, exclusive brunch for NAWBO Board and Executive level members at her gorgeous Estate in Holmby Hills.

She also previewed her Spring and Fall runway collections (including Herve Leger), gave a private, behind the scenes tour of her home (which featured a movie screening room, and one of those cool secret doors behind a bookcase).

Her home used to be owned by Academy Award winning author – Sidney Sheldon.

Lubov Azria with Kalika


The White House Urban Economic Forum took place in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 22nd on the campus of Loyola Marymount University. The day long event focused on Urban Entrepreneurs, Small Businesses, Emerging Businesses and High Growth Businesses.  Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa opened the forum and Earvin Magic Johnson lead one of the early panel discussions on Urban Entrepreneurs. The event profiled Urban Entrepreneurs, explored investing in Urban Entrepreneurs, discussed how to start and fund businesses and the use of Social Media to grow your business.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America

Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, Earvin "Magic" Johnson
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America

Kalika participated in the Technology and Social Media Action Workshop along with:

Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer, White House
Russel Buetow, Microsoft
Charles Lee, CEO, Ideation     
Albert Cheng, Google  


Happy Birthday to our CEO Kalika Yap!!! May this birthday offer you as much joy and happiness as you give to all who know you.

Dermalogica is the world’s leading professional skin care brand. Dedicated to supporting and promoting Skin Health, through the expertise of a Professional Skin Therapist.

Here’s the full blog post and interview with our CEO Kalika Yap!

entrepreneur with a twist

Dynamic and vivacious Kalika Yap founded her Santa Monica-based, award-winning branding and interactive design agency, Citrus Studios, in 1999. Her prestigious client-list includes Sephora, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, Norton Simon Museum, Getty Research Institute, St. John’s Health Center, John Wayne Cancer Institute, Armstrong Gardens, Norman Lear Center, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge UK, USC, UCLA, and literally hundreds of other corporations, museums, cultural and educational organizations, beauty, spa and fashion brands, and nonprofits.

Ms. Yap is an active member and supporter of, NAWBO/LA, Entrepreneur’s Organization, EO | Los Angeles. She serves on the Board for and works with other national and community efforts that advocate for women in business. Among her many awards, NAWBO/LA named her a “Rising Star,” and Farmers Insurance named her an “Extraordinary Entrepreneur”. Citrus Studios was recently voted “Tech Firm of the Year” by the Asian Business Association, among many other accolades.

Ms. Yap calls Citrus Studios “design with a twist,” the twist being her set of Core Values, guiding principles which define Ms. Yap’s ethos and the philosophy of her agency. A few of these include:

• Be Humble
• Communicate Kindly
• Cultivate Wisdom
• Have a Positive Attitude and Fun Family Spirit
• Do More with Less
• Go Barefoot
• Keep Your Word and Have Integrity
• Sleep Under the Stars
• If Not Now, When?

Jane Wurwand, CEO of Dermalogica with Kalika Yap, CEO of Citrus Studios

She describes the studio’s core values as “my compass, because sometimes there is no map — we go places no one has gone before!”

Kalika Yap is a native of Honolulu, dances Hula, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children, ages 2 and 4 years old.

Q: Aloha! Lets’ begin with time-management. In addition to all of the above, you also are a mom?

KALIKA YAP: Aloha, mahalo, yes, we have two little ones, and they keep me on my toes. I have always been organized, but now I really take care to create anchors and routines.


KALIKA YAP: Just as one small example, I take Spirulina blue-green algae, and Vitamin D, for energy and to keep my immune-system strong under pressure. My mom actually got me started with that. And I don’t work on weekends, although I easily could. I used to be a marathon runner, but now I enjoy walking with my kids and husband on Saturday and Sunday.
I’ve read that the brain can only work continuously for about 90 minutes, and then you need a break to continue at your highest function. I believe in taking breaks. This allows me to do small, personal things, not only for my family, but also for my business. For instance, I send out personal birthday cards to all my clients.

Q: Entrepreneurs are famous for being risk-takers. What about you?

KALIKA YAP: I am an intelligent risk-taker. I think this notion of risk-taking can be misinterpreted by entrepreneurs, especially in the beginning — they confuse it with being reckless. For example, as an entrepreneur, you have to pay yourself. It’s a common mistake to not pay yourself, so you think you’re saving money, because your P&L looks great on paper. This is false security.

Q: What other advice do you have for entrepreneurs who are starting out — or for job-seekers?

KALIKA YAP: The hardest work to get is new work. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t look on and all the rest. Of course you have to. But my own experience is that there often is gold under our feet and we don’t realize it.
My advice begins with this: Work your current contacts. Cultivate your current network or client base. Get inside of the heads of people you already work with. Think like they think. Get in touch with their needs. This will allow you to figure out what they need from you next.
It takes work. It’s more than visualization, although visualization is the first step. But, books like “The Secret,” with due respect, may have instilled a belief in magical thinking in people. Also a sense of entitlement. Simply wanting and wishing does not make anything happen.
Oh, also one bit of practical advice: “Purse on the floor, money out the door.” Don’t put your handbag on the floor. First of all, it’s not good for your bag! Second, it sends money out the door. That’s why I invented LUXE LINK®, which is this handy hanger for your bag. It hooks on your desk or table.

Q: Nice bag, by the way.

KALIKA YAP: Thanks, it’s a JAMAH bag, designed by Nancy Gale, another amazing entrepreneur!

Q: What has changed about your business during the past 12 years?

KALIKA YAP: You know, I’ve really simplified the way I work, and I don’t take things personally the way I used to. I think part of it was my Hawaiian cultural upbringing. I was so trusting and easy-going. As a result, I spent a lot of money on lawyers’ fees in those early years, because people took advantage of that. Now, I am still easy-going and trusting, but I always have a contract in place before we work together!

Q: What quality do you admire most in people?

KALIKA YAP: I admire people who never seem to have a bad day. I also admire forgiveness. And gratitude. These are qualities I cultivate in myself and my team.

Q: And what quality is the biggest problem for entrepreneurs?

KALIKA YAP: Not just for entrepreneurs, but for anyone, especially someone in an authority position: you have to be willing to accept responsibility for your actions. You have to hold yourself accountable and step up.
When you’re the boss, this also applies when someone who works for you makes a mistake. It happens. You cannot dodge the blame. If you’re the boss, in the largest sense, it’s your fault, and you have to embrace it, own it, and take responsibility.

Q: On the subject of employees, how do you decide who to hire?

KALIKA YAP: OK, this is my most favorite topic. I am a student of body language, and what are called “micro-expressions.” These are little flashes of truth that our faces and bodies send out. They last less than a second. But if you know how to recognize them, they tell you a LOT about people, especially when their micro-expressions contradict the words coming out of their mouths.
When someone starts stroking their own arms, or legs, or hair, they are self-pacifying, or trying to soothe themselves, which suggests discomfort or stress. It doesn’t always mean that they are lying, but you have to ask yourself, what in the conversation is making this person so stressed?
In meetings, we generally only see people from the waist up. This can be very deceiving. I try to get some sense of what’s going on under the table, below the belt! If they are tapping their feet, jiggling their knees, crossing and uncrossing their legs, again, we have an indicator of discomfort. If their hips and feet are angled toward the exit, then maybe they aren’t really committed to the conversation — they are preparing to flee the scene.
Hiding the lips — as in, squeezing the lips together so they disappear — is often a sign of disagreement, or of self-censoring, like the person is suppressing what they want to say. And showing off the thumbs is a sign of power and dominance.
So, my advice to entrepreneurs, and anyone involved in any kind of negotiation, is to be aware of your physical messages. Make sure your body is saying what you want to say. I recommend one of my favorite books, “What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People” by Joe Navarro.

Q: On the subject of feeling powerful, do you really recommend that people go barefoot?

KALIKA YAP: I do. In Hawaii, we call the energy of body and spirit “Mana.” It may be compared with Chi, or Q’I, or Prana. And this essential energy is felt most easily when we are barefoot. This is why Hula is always danced barefoot. And so, we have mani-pedis in our office every week as a perk for the team. It helps our creativity.

Q: I notice that you quote the great Rabbi Hillel in your Core Values.

KALIKA YAP: Yes, “If not now, When?” I also love the quote, which has recently been paraphrased by Madeline Albright, but really began with President Robert F. Kennedy, who referenced the poet Dante to say, “The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.” Italian scholars now argue that Dante never wrote those lines, but they are still words to live by!
having fun at the LA Business Journal Women Making a Difference Awards 2011

Throughout the year, the Los Angeles Business Journal ( hosts a series of high profile events that bring together decision makers and business owners from all industries. These programs are designed to recognizing businesses and individuals who positively impact the LA business community.

The 19th annual WOMEN MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARDS was held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza to honor L.A.’s most successful women business leaders.

The annual awards luncheon recognized women making a difference in the Los Angeles community. This reader-nominated event and special supplement traditionally garners over 1000 attendees.

Thanks to Matt Toledo, CEO of the LA Business Journal for the great lunch reception & Networking opportunity and to EO the Entrepreneurs Organization for sponsoring a table. A shout out to Gold Sponsor/ NAWBO nominees and attendees!

One of the Beverly Hills Housewives was nominated, too and since Kalika’s table was next to theirs you might see her on an upcoming episode. HA!

Here at Citrus Studios, we have the unique privilege of working for a female CEO.  The difference in the office atmosphere is tangible. It is a key to our success and part of what makes Citrus Studios an award-winning design firm.

By nature, a feminine leadership style is more one of collaboration and listening. People feel that whatever they are doing is purposeful and that they are cared about.

These sentiments were echoed in Switzerland on March 7th during Building Bridges: The Next Hundred Years of Women’s Leadership. This conference brought together more than 50 women excelling in the fields of politics, business, science and media.

So, how will leadership evolve over the next 100 years?

A shift is already underway, according to leadership guru Betsy Myers, a former top advisor to Barack Obama.

One in two workers in America feels undervalued, mainly because of their boss: the old style of leadership – “command and control” – doesn’t work anymore, Myers said.

Her advice for women leaders of the future: take responsibility for your career. “For women it’s having the confidence, voicing what it is you want, where you want to go and then figuring out who the mentors are in the organization that can help me get there. Because everything we accomplish in life is really due to relationships.”

For more information on Building Bridges: The Next Hundred Years of Women’s Leadership conference, click here.

Award-winning web design Santa Monica

Our Founder and CEO, Kalika Yap, passed her Rising Star Award to friend Wina So Tran, CEO of Solstice Medicine Company, on Friday at the 25th Annual NAWBO-LA Leadership and Legacy Awards Luncheon.

Wina tugged at our heartstrings during her acceptance speech, saying she was amazed to be recognized for doing what she truly loves and works so hard for everyday.

It was a fun afternoon filled with fierce and inspiring women.  We enjoyed and laughed at the various tributes paid to Kalika.  It was more than clear however, that Kalika Yap is now part of a great legacy of top achievers in the women’s business community who have established entrepreneurial excellence.

A table was set up at the closing of the event for Kalika’s patented product, Luxe Link.  These entrepreneurial women were hungry for her designer purse hooks as hundreds of Luxe Link purse holders were gone within seconds!  Seconds!

The Seven NAWBO-LA honorees for 2011 were:

Leadership Award: Trina Turk, Founder, Trina Turk;

Legacy Award: Lynne Doll (in memoriam), President, The Rogers Group;

Diversity Champion Award: Cecil House, Senior VP/Chief Procurement Officer, Southern California Edison;

Trailblazer Award: Ramona Cappello, Founder/CEO, Corazonas Foods, Inc.;

Rising Star Award: Wina So Tran, CEO, Solstice Medicine Company;

Innovators of the Year Award: Kim Etheredge & Wendi Levy, Co-Founders, Mixed Chicks LLC;

Advocate of the Year Award: Erlinda Stone, CEO & President, APR Consulting Inc.

Representing more than 509,000 women-owned businesses in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metropolitan area, employing more than 688,000 people, and generating more than $129 billion in annual revenues, women entrepreneurs have become an increasingly active and powerful force shaping the economic and political landscape of Southern California.

Our CEO, Kalika Yap, was featured today on a fun segment on NBC’s Today Show.  Click here to see Kalika and her 4-year-old daughter, Malia, in thier fun Today Show debut!