WOMEN OF NOTE:
Breanna Yvonne Warner Michaud | CA VINE CO.
There is something innately authentic about Breanna Yvonne Warner Michaud. She radiates the kind of warmth nurtured by an upbringing on the land, her depth of character and charming sense of self owed to humble small-town beginnings. For the past ten years, Breanna has occupied the fashion space in branding and marketing for household names like Revolve and & Other Stories, and consulted for the likes of Aritzia, L’Oréal, Ookioh, Song of Style and more. Now the Head of Marketing for Henry Rose, a 100% ingredient transparent fine fragrance line founded by Michelle Pfeiffer, her work and values have crossed over to align. An east side lady at heart, here Breanna takes us into her abode in Echo Park, California that she shares with her musician husband Miles Michaud (Allah-Las) and potbellied pig, Georgie.
Location: Echo Park, CA
Date: Sunday July 25th 2021
Where are you from and where are you now?
I’m from Angels Camp, California. A small, rural town in the Sierra Nevada foothills where I grew up on my family’s 100-year-old cattle ranch. I now live in Echo Park with my husband Miles and our pet pig Georgie.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
I take Georgie (our potbellied pig) outside and make an iced espresso immediately after. I love to then listen to NYT’s The Daily on a hike before I start my day and hop on emails.
The one thing I never skip though is breakfast.
Can you describe where you live and the view from your bedroom?
I have lived in the Elysian Heights area of Echo Park for the past 3 years of my decade-long stint in Los Angeles. I’ve always been an east side lady. We have a little craftsman that was built in the 1920s with a lot of character and a bedroom view that looks out onto our front yard with our big sapote tree. We were married in our backyard during quarantine after two postponed weddings so this place will always be very special.
Are you a morning or evening person?
100% a morning person. Ready to take on the world and then I fade out towards the evening. Any creative work I need to do I like the quiet morning hours to conquer it. I’m the opposite of my husband who is a musician and loves the night hours for his creative space. Yin and yang.
Did you always know you wanted to work in the fashion industry and how did you get your start?
I am grateful that I tested the waters in so many areas before diving in so I could learn what I wanted to do. It’s so difficult to know right out of school where you need to begin, there’s a lot of pressure to figure it all out at 21. My first internship was at Surfing Magazine and I thought I would stay in publishing, but moved into public relations and then felt the pull to be on the brand side of things. I wanted to be more involved in the brand story from ideation to fruition.
I love being a brand builder. Creating the voice and vision, being immersed in the details, the gatekeeper of the brand. It’s been a journey for me across many companies, big and small, consulting to full-time and back. I love what I do, that’s the most important part.
What initially drew you to working with Henry Rose?
The brand ethos drew me in. As I grew in my career, it became more and more important to me to align brands’ ethos with my own, that is something you learn over time. Sustainability, clean ingredients, distrusting an industry, transparency – these things all mattered to me on a personal level and I wanted to be a part of something that I believed in. Not to say I didn’t believe in the other brands I worked with but as you get older, things become cleaner, priorities shift and you want to represent something important.
Fragrance is so deeply personal. How would you describe one of your most treasured memories as a scent?
There is not one specific memory but growing up on a cattle ranch, I am very much drawn to earthy notes where the elements simply work together untouched and unaltered. Fresh hay, wet dirt after it rains, a horse’s salty and sweaty coat, pine trees and the first of spring. To this day, I still seek out those scents and the memories associated with them.
And what is your favourite fragrance from the Henry Rose line?
Fog. It’s all of those earthy elements described above wrapped up together and underlined with a light musk that reminds me of my Mom.
Your latest venture has manifested in the way of wine, CA VINE CO. Can you tell us a little bit about how this came about?
Wine is a big part of where I’m from. The Sierra Nevadas have an incredible terrain for growing and harvesting grapes. Having grown up with a love for the land, it was a natural progression. My husband and I wanted to produce a wine that is the result of the harvest's best varietals, taking into account the weather, water, changes in soil, smoke factors and shifting it each year to bring the best of the earth forward in a bottle.
We love cooking for our friends and family and bringing people together over a good meal and good wine. Our first varietal under CA VINE CO named Primary Color began out of the desire to share those moments and memories over an easy-drinking California red.
How would you describe the wine you make?
Everyday California red – bright, light and approachable.
If you had to recommend a meal to pair with your wine, what would it be? And can you share a recipe with us here?
I believe that it can and should be drank with any meal but for a special dinner that is often cooked in our household, I would pair it with a ribeye steak, butter leaf salad with homemade miso mustard dressing, grilled artichokes with lemon dill aioli and a peach galette.
Miso Mustard Dressing
2-3 parts olive oil
During your down time at home, what do you like to do in your spare time? Do you have a favourite spot to hang out?
I’m a Cancer and a big homebody so home is my sanctuary but having spent so much time in it this past year or so, I appreciate getting outside every day. Hiking, cooking in our backyard, hanging with Georgie in the garden, anything to get a little fresh air. And of course, wine at El Prado and martinis at Taix.
What are you currently watching, reading and listening to?
I have a new obsession with Greek and Roman history and mythology so I’m digging deep into it. I just finished Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller and started SPQR by Mary Beard. Listening to Smartless and watching Pose.
How do you stay grounded?
If I get too busy or overbooked, I become overwhelmed, so I am working on prioritizing my time. Understanding when to say no or stay in, when to have a quiet moment for myself.
I also need to stay active; it clears my mind and helps me sleep better. Lots of yoga, pilates and hiking. And last but not least – good food, good wine, good company. ‘Tis a balance.
Before you go to bed, how do you unwind?
I’m not the best sleeper so I try and stick to a bedtime routine to help me wind down – half of a Plus Unwind gummy, a book and an eye mask. Bonne nuit.
What do you dream of while you sleep?
Because I’m a light sleeper and go in and out of sleep, I remember my dreams often. Sometimes they are so intense and vivid, I see people from decades ago or feel like there’s a subliminal message awaiting me when I wake up. The brain is wild and complex! I need to write them down more, thanks for the reminder.
Interviewed by Chloe Borich for Deiji Studio’s Field Notes