Hi I’m Dylan!
Six years ago I launched a small business with a whimsical bowl on feet. I had no idea that bowl would capture the hearts of people around the world and grow into a small company!
I had just stepped down from founding and leading Hollywood Arts, the only educational agency in the nation to use arts, music and performance-based education to help homeless young adults become self-sufficient. Hollywood Arts was a ground breaking idea, but one met with opposition. People believed that the homeless needed food and shelter not theater classes. I persisted, countering that, through the arts, homeless, runaway and unwanted young people could find their own self-worth and learn both the life and vocational skills to change their own lives. Hollywood Arts grew into its own school, reaching hundreds of young people. Some found jobs, some returned home better, all created their own family. After 5 years I stepped down. The agency continues ...
Needing to decompress, I wasn't sure what my next move was, just that I was ready to tackle a new challenge. I had become fascinated with the concept of home after working with young people living on the streets. I began to understand how important home was no matter what "home" looked like. Objects, companionship, family: these ideas made home. Remembering how much joy the ceramic items brought to people that I made decades ago in my own studio, I embarked on building a company around joy and launched with the now famous bowl on feet.
After many years living oversees - from Cyprus to Africa to France - I moved to Los Angeles in my early 20s and began bartending in the well-known Gaslight/Opium Den in Hollywood. After work, and in the darkest hours of the night, I built magical creatures out of clay.
I moved to Oakland, California at 27 to attend the California College of Arts and Crafts for ceramics which was my 7th attempt at college. I rented a warehouse studio in a terrible, blighted neighborhood. Every morning over coffee I would look out my studio windows and was greeted with trash, junk, lifelessness, poverty. I couldn’t take it. I firmly believed that if everyone had access to the arts, either as a maker or a participant, then they would have a changed life. I closed down my ceramics studio, applied to UCLA to study arts education. I finished my BA at 31 and my MA at 33 and was then accepted into CORO, a national public affairs leadership program at 34. Never too late.
I founded my first company, Hollywood Arts, at 35 after being fired within 6 months from my only "official" 9-5 job managing community relations for the Jewish Community Foundation. I learned a lot building Hollywood Arts and, most important, I saw that we can never underestimate the role happiness and home plays in our own sense of well-being. I created a “home” out of a 2,000 square foot store front filled with instruments, computers, their photos and work on the walls, and a lot of laughter.
With this in mind, I launched Dylan Kendall Home. I returned to the footed bowl, a product I made years ago in my ceramics studio. Along the way I became a foster mom to a 14 year old boy named John who once took classes at Hollywood Arts. Through him, I met Karina, his high school girlfriend, and am now a grandmother to their son, an 8-year-old boy named Adrian.
Starting Dylan Kendall and juggling the company with being present for Karina and Adrian has been one of my most joyful challenges! I built this company out of nothing but a few small family and friend loans; three Small Business Association micro loans; and 5 crowdfunding campaigns.
Now that I am more settled I want to turn my attention to something that has always meant a lot to me: the welfare of animals and the planet we call home, our bigger home.
Join me, talk to me, share with me as I forge my own new journey discovering ways to keep our homes design-friendly as well as compassionate and cruelty free because I really do believe that Happy Homes Make Happy People and happy people will change the world.