Combining her love of business with her gift of gab, actress Jesse Draper started the Valley Girl Show in 2009. In the beginning, the Silicon Valley native filmed her talk show during six-month breaks from The Naked Brothers Band on Nickelodeon, but she now dedicates herself full-time to interviewing guests on theValley Girl Show and corresponding regularly on the Katie Couric Show.
Throughout the years, Draper has interviewed big names in fashion, technology, politics and food, including Rebecca Minkoff, former LA Mayor Dick Riordan and Mattel CEO Bob Eckert. But while industry giants are on her radar, Draper’s real passion is in start-ups and female entrepreneurs.
We caught up with Draper between show tapings to chat about her favorite gadgets, start-ups and places to eat in LA.
Full name: Jesse Draper
City: Santa Monica
Occupation: Talk show host and technology expert
What do you love most about Santa Monica?
The weather. I don’t think you can beat the weather. I like Santa Monica because you can walk everywhere and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Where did the inspiration for the Valley Girl Show come from?
What I really love are start-ups and technology. My inspiration came from seeing these great entrepreneurs getting grilled about their money in the media instead of talking about their amazing accomplishments. I wanted to show the other side of the story because they are the most inspiring people out there.
What has been your best interview so far for the show?
They’re all so interesting because you never know what people are going to say. Jessica Alba was one of my favorites because I didn’t realize how involved she was with the Honest Company; she really is running the whole thing.
What local start-ups are you most excited about at the moment?
I think Tradesy is really going to blow up. With Fleapop, you can open your own flea market shop online. Milk and Honey lets you design your own shoes and Bouqs in Venice offers sustainable flowers grown on an active volcano.
Name a gadget that everyone in LA should have in their possession:
My favorite device right now is Epiphany Eyewear which let you take HD videos while you’re exploring LA. You need a good pair of sunglasses and they take hands-free videos you can share.
Where is a cool place to take an out-of-towner?
Where is your favorite place to grab a drink?
My girlfriends and I love margaritas so I like to go anywhere I can get a margarita. Mercado in Santa Monica has great margaritas.
What’s your favorite food truck and what do you like to order from it?
First Fridays in Venice are really fun because you can try a bunch of food trucks in one place. I can’t stop thinking about the lobster corn dog with chipotle aioli (from the Slummin’ Gourmet truck).
Describe your perfect Saturday:
Start the day off at Kreation Kafe. They have juices and amazing breakfast. I would take a hike and try to be outdoors as much as possible. If this is my perfect Saturday, I’d head to the beach, relax and grab a drink and eat oysters with friends at Sonoma Wine Garden.
Name an essential LA experience everyone should have at least once:
For a non-touristy dinner out, everyone should try Giorgio Baldi. You might see a celebrity, but it’s a really low-key spot with delicious homemade pasta. For an adventurous experience, everyone should take the Hollywood Hike. It’s really fun because you have to follow all these signs that say, “No trespassing.”
Finish this sentence: Los Angeles is… the most creative city in the world.
Originally published on LosAngeles.com.