Molly & Daniel: The Freelance Life in LA

published Mar 16, 2016
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(Image credit: Julia Brenner)

Molly and Daniel are true blue partners in crime. They live together in a 1920’s-era Los Feliz apartment, work together as business partners, and support each other’s freelance work goals. They’re also great storytellers, fun to be around, and, as far as cute couples go, they’re like Olympic ice skating team cute. Here’s life with Molly and Daniel…

The story of Molly and Daniel starts off with a simple twist of fate. Molly met Daniel—or “Worlock” as she calls him, because as she noted, with a fantastic last name like Worlock, how can she not?—because a first date she was waiting for never showed. Molly’s friends told her to join them at a nearby bar to “shake off being stood up”, and lo and behold, Daniel happened to be at the bar that same evening. It turned out to be the best worst first date scenario imaginable. Since that fateful meeting five years ago, the couple has joined forces as life partners and as freelance business partners with their own pop-up shop called Pop Up Greens.

A couple of years ago, Molly also decided to channel her experience in the world of fashion and styling—having interned at Vogue, worked as an assistant for multiple fashion designers and stylists, and most recently supervised events and marketing for Madewell’s Southern California stores—to open a creative events workspace in DTLA called The Moon & Co. Molly rents out the space for everything from photo shoots to private events and also uses it for her own creative pursuits. I loved hearing Molly’s take on opening an events space, as her goal is ultimately to create a welcoming and functional space in LA where creative people can work on projects, collaborate, and feel a sense of community. In an era when we’re so used to hearing how disconnected we are from community, it was refreshing to see firsthand two creative professionals who are focused on building something of their own—but doing so in a way that supports collaboration and connectedness.

PS: I’m so glad the other dude never showed up that night.

Molly Rhymer & Daniel Worlock

(Image credit: Julia Brenner)
  • Jobs: Molly: I run The Moon & Co., a creative event workspace located in downtown Los Angeles. It is a multi-functional, 975-square-foot studio space that can be used for small events, workshops, sample sales, as a photography studio, co-work space, or a conference room on any given day. When it’s not being rented out, I use it as a paint studio for my other business—which Worlock and I run together—Pop Up Greens, a pop-up plant shop specializing in hand-painted pots and potted plants, plant design and décor.

    Daniel: I’m a freelance camera assistant/operator, as well as the green thumb behind Pop Up Greens.
The Moon & Co. event space in downtown LA (Image credit: Jaymee Harney)
  • What brought you to LA? Molly: I’m an LA native. Worlock is always dropping not-so-subtle hints about moving back to Portland, but I am a Southern California girl through and through. I’ll never say never though!

    Daniel: I moved to LA nine years ago for film. I was sick of the constant rain after growing up in Oregon and was craving sunshine, but now with the drought and heat, I can’t wait to go back!
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Incredible vintage charm throughout their flat (Image credit: Julia Brenner)
(Image credit: Julia Brenner)
  • Cool job-related fact: Our pots have been featured on Emily Henderson’s website! And we sell at some of our favorite local shops, Hemingway & Pickett and Dinosaur Coffee. The flipside: our plants are all over the apartment; it’s like a jungle constantly. When we go on plant runs for orders, there can be up to 50+ plants in here. I’ve also been put in a timeout from painting the pots at our apartment since I spilled half a can of white paint on a rug! (*oops*)
Molly prepping for a photoshoot (Image credit: Courtney Perkins)
  • How long have you lived in this apartment? Daniel: I’ve lived in the building for around four years; I lived in the unit below this one when I first met Molly. She moved in with me about a year ago and we moved upstairs when the landlord moved out. The light is so much better up here.

    Molly: I officially moved in a little over a year ago, but I’ve been slowly, sneakily decorating the place for the past two years.
(Image credit: Julia Brenner)
  • How did you find your place? Daniel: I had a friend who lived in the building and he gave me a heads up that there was an opening. I got really lucky because it’s such a great neighborhood. It’s a four-unit building and one of my closest friends lives in the unit next to us and another one below us.
(Image credit: Julia Brenner)
  • What do you like most about your living situation? Molly: I love how much it feels like home and perfectly represents us. I was initially worried about it being hard to be the partner moving in when the other already lives there, as opposed to if you found the place together and moved into a blank canvas. He lived here first and fully furnished the place, but I quickly realized a bachelor pad could always use a lady’s touch. I’m lucky though because he has amazing taste and we have a very similar design aesthetic, so decisions on what to keep or move out (his), and bring in (mine) were pretty easy. The décor was just as important to him as it was to me. Close to every piece in here has sentimental value and meaning behind it. It really feels like the perfect blend of the two us.

    Daniel: It’s nice that we have our own space to spend time in, yet our friends are so close. We have lots of friends in the area and Molly’s brother and his girlfriend live just minutes away. It feels like there’s always a friend just popping in, so we like to say we have an open door policy.
(Image credit: Julia Brenner)
  • What do you wish you could change about it? Molly: I wish we had another bedroom, I’d even settle for a little extra nook or mudroom! We’re quickly growing out of the space we have, but this spot is too good to find something bigger. There’s actually quite a bit of storage space, the closets are pretty big but we are desperate for more. Between my craft and paint supplies, his camera equipment, and all of our plant supplies and packaging, the closets are packed to the brim!

    Daniel: I would love an outdoor space to hang out with friends. We have some room in the back but it’s next to the trashcans and partially in the driveway, so we don’t frequent it too much. There’s a little patio out front where all my fruit trees, herbs, and potted plants live, but it’s visible from the street. Something a little more private would be perfect.
(Image credit: Julia Brenner)
(Image credit: Julia Brenner)
  • What’s a typical night at home? Molly: A typical night in usually consists of us cooking dinner and settling in with a glass of wine and a movie or catching up on our favorite shows. We’re big binge watchers when we have the time. At some point, I’ll probably nag for a shoulder massage and he’ll fall asleep on the couch. We work together and often spend a lot of the day together for Pop Up Greens projects and we find what works best for us is to treat each other like colleagues instead of significant others when we’re working. So even if we work all day together it doesn’t always feel like quality time. In the evenings, it’s our time to just veg out and enjoy each other’s company.
(Image credit: Julia Brenner)
(Image credit: Julia Brenner)
  • Favorite meal to cook at home: Molly: Worlock is the chef in this relationship and he’s so good at it. I’m totally spoiled, I’ll admit it. So, any of my favorite dishes are the ones he cooks, but he’s very encouraging and always trying to teach me how to cook. I’ve been into making crockpot dishes lately, like chicken tortilla soup, since they are so easy.

    Daniel: We like to make this gluten-free pasta dish with sausage, asparagus, peas, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, and lots of Parmesan cheese. And Molly just made sweet potato fries the other night—they were delicious!
  • What’s the current music on rotation at Casa Molly-Worlock? Molly: Lately, Worlock has been really into listening to Nina Simone while we cook. I really like the Bahamas and we’ve been in a Stevie Wonder phase for a bit as well.
(Image credit: Julia Brenner)
  • Favorite Belongings: Molly: A framed note from my dad (I keep it on bedside table)…
(Image credit: Julia Brenner)
  • …And a 2012 Moon Calendar by Margins (hanging in our bedroom). My dad passed away in 2012 and that night there was a full moon, so the moon is an important symbol for me. I reached out to Margins last year to inquire if they had any more moon calendars from 2012 because I wanted to order them for my family for Christmas, but I didn’t ask them for a specific number. They replied that there were 4 left, the exact number of members of our family. I’m a big believer in “signs” and that was a pretty cool one.
(Image credit: Julia Brenner)
  • Favorite Belongings: Daniel: My first is our gallery wall, which came together pretty organically and is a cool mashup of important pieces to us individually that complement each other. My grandma was a good friend of Joseph Mugnaini, the illustrator for Ray Bradbury, so she owned tons of his artwork and I was lucky enough to inherit one of them from her. We have an illustrated print of Yuca’s (which is a favorite little taco spot up the street) and a watercolor print of Jupiter from our friend Claggie. The “Focus on the Good” print was a custom gift to Molly from a friend, which is a phrase that is special to her and her family…
(Image credit: Julia Brenner)
  • …Another favorite is the Modernica Rocking Chair, which I recently won in an Instagram caption contest. Molly made fun of me for taking so much time to think of a caption but obviously it was worth it! (Winning caption: “# Ifthischairsarockindontcomeaknockin”)
(Image credit: Courtney Perkins)
(Image credit: Julia Brenner)
  • Please leave any questions for Molly and Daniel and the comments!

Thank you, Molly & Daniel!