We are agents of change born from the culture we now shape. A collection of strategic thinkers and creative makers who seek to discover authenticity wherever it lives, and share it with the world. An agency defined by its willingness to adapt, transforming brands and businesses alongside our partners and collaborators.

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A living archive of (WestwoodWestwood) editorial platform


A note from our founder Jesse Lee

When we initially launched WestwoodWestwood in 2016 our mission was simple: celebrate and showcase entrepreneurial creatives who also happened to be our friends - musicians, artists, designers, chefs, photographers, directors and even athletes - all of whom shared the common ethos that pursuing their passion mattered more than anything else.  Over time we expanded our editorial direction and mediums, producing not only videos, photos and written stories around individuals but also illustrations, animations and podcasts on subjects ranging from technology and trends to wellness and mental health.  While our content continued to evolve, our business model has always remained the same - to be objectively subjective, ad free, and supported solely through our agency work via dFm.

As we began planning for the new decade, we realized that it only made sense for us to combine our editorial content with our agency work.  Why not share our thoughts and opinions alongside our ideas and projects?  Ultimately, we want to keep supporting other people and businesses who are just as committed to creativity, ingenuity and growth.  The evolution of WestwoodWestwood as a hybrid creative agency and content studio is us continuing to challenge what is possible for the future.

Btw, dFm isn’t going anywhere.  It is the parent company of WestwoodWestwood and Basic.Space, and publisher of Mirage Magazine.  Expect to hear from us more this summer re: dFm, but in the meantime, please welcome the new WestwoodWestwood.  It’s still a work-in-progress so look out for incremental changes across our site, newsletter and social channels.  As always, feel free to reach out (Jesse@thedfm.com) if you have any questions, comments or just want to say hi :)


Agency News 

We'd like to welcome (Owl's Brew), (Light Phone) and (David Yurman) to the dFm family. Be on the lookout for new product launches and work.


Introducing our new Screenshot series that takes a look at what creatives, entrepreneurs and thought leaders are looking at.

What tabs does the Founder and Creative Director of sustainable denim brand Boyish Jeans have open on his laptop right now?

My company website Boyish is always up on my screen as I’m checking the UX and stock all the time.

This is one of my favorite sustainable fashion publications. They rate and judge brands on their sustainability as well as informing consumers about how to read labels along with many other eco shopping tips.

You gotta go somewhere to find out about what's happening on the business side of fashion: I choose BOF.

I'm a Cali boy at heart. I'm always checking the waves and trying to find time in my busy schedule to catch the swells at the best spots.

Relaxing at home with some of the best and most well-balanced (and almost sugar-free) wine that doesn't destroy the earth is a win-win scenario. This site curates sustainably-grown, natural wines from small family farms from around the world.

This site fuels my passion for going fast and reading about others' love for cars.

Hygiene without the world suffering: that’s the ethos behind by Humankind, a company that makes clean personal care products in refillable containers. I love their design aesthetic and how they educate their consumers.

Travel takes a huge toll on the earth. Regenerative Travel makes it easy to find the most sustainable, ethically operated hotels that are also beautifully designed so you can travel consciously.


The Surfrider Hotel Malibu Is Keeping Our Summer Vacation Dreams Alive Online and IRL.

Emma and Matthew Goodwin, co-founders of The Surfrider Malibu, an iconic 1950s motel that they renovated and reopened in 2017 as a boutique beach house, talk to WestwoodWestwood about reopening their doors in time for Memorial Day Weekend.

The hotel closed early in March before any Stay Home orders were issued. While hotels have been legally allowed to remain open this entire time, one of The Surfrider’s fundamental beliefs is that the people make a place -  both our guests and our team - and we were not prepared to compromise when it came to everyone’s well being.  At the time, we didn’t feel confident in the information we had as the unknowns outweighed the knowns and so we decided to close.

The decisions we made over the next eight weeks were all about utilizing the time effectively to improve and enhance The Surfrider experience, give back to our communities and figure out ways to generate revenue in order to keep our entire team employed. We had people emailing by the hundreds about our custom candles so we jumped on creating a Surf Shop with a selection of Surfrider essentials to bring the California dream into your home.  We also rolled out official Surfrider Sounds playlists on Spotify to keep people connected to the beach.  Meanwhile, we kept our staff employed cooking and delivering  meals to nearly 1,000 nurses, doctors and firefighters as a thank you for everything they were doing - we’ve weathered two closings in two years (the first was due to the Woolsey fires) so first responders are close to our hearts.  From a more practical standpoint, we repainted and deep cleaned every inch of the hotel along with a lot of other maintenance to get the property back to what it felt like the day we opened.

When it came to reopening, our priority was to ensure we could give our first guests back not only an uncompromised Surfrider experience, but one that was better than ever. First off, we focused on really perfecting our wellbeing and sanitization standards. As a hotel, we were already good at sanitization well before Covid19 but on top of our normal procedures, we implemented enhanced precautionary and sanitization standards developed with the local health authorities and our sanitization partner and expert, Ecolab. New protocols included a new 7-step process, additional housekeeping team members and allotting extra time for housekeeping along with frequent use of UVC lighting. These measures were also extended to all ‘employee only’ and back of house spaces, while our kitchen team implemented new precautionary measures across all aspects of food preparation, set up, and service.

“When it came to reopening, our priority was to ensure we could give our first guests back not only an uncompromised Surfrider experience,  but one that was better than ever.”

As for social distancing, because the Surfrider was designed around the idea of your own personal beach house, space and privacy was already part of our DNA. We are lucky in that we are a very boutique, strictly guest-only hotel with a max capacity of 20 rooms and our common spaces already had more than six feet between all seating. We believe in the power of visual aesthetics and, as masks were going to be part of our look for the foreseeable future, we reached out to our friend the hatmaker Nick Fouquet to design face masks for our team that felt in line with the quality of everything else at The Surfrider and matched our uniforms.  We also collaborated with one of our liquor suppliers, AMASS, to create a custom Surfrider Hand Sanitizer for all the common spaces and guest rooms. To promote wellbeing, we created an antiviral and immune boosting tea blend with an Ayurvedic tea specialist that focused on the respiratory system made from lemon myrtle, Malibu sage, coastal mint and eucalyptus; and our beekeeper Eli created a Surfrider honey from local hives which also has strong antiviral properties.

Next up we worked on developing new offerings for our guests that would provide a great hotel experience despite our current limitations. We identified that people might want to get out and about and away from others so we designed two picnic kits: one for an active adventure day (think sandwiches, chips and housemade salsa, and fresh organic fruit) and one for a romantic sunset picnic (artisanal cheeses, charcuteries, hummus, olives, figs, Marcona almonds, organic fruit, dark chocolate, wine and Gjusta sourdough bread).  We also developed a Surfrider Cocktail Summer Series of premade mixed cocktails in beautiful hand illustrated bottles to be enjoyed in guest’s rooms, taken on picnics or onto the deck. Our chef Jacob Wetherington also rolled out all new summer menus working with local organic produce and a sustainable, no-waste policy in the kitchen.

“Our goal at The Surfrider is to re-inspire and remind people what it feels like to be truly alive: a throwback to simpler times."

We delayed our reopening a few times which was obviously difficult, however, we stand by that decision. We wanted to shine bright while keeping everyone safe so we looked to the future and approached things with a long-term vision. Our goal at The Surfrider is to re-inspire and remind people what it feels like to be truly alive: a throwback to simpler times. Hopefully that’s what we’ve achieved and we can create some ripples of positivity in the world. For our opening period we only released 14 of our 20 rooms, with heavily reduced rates. Pre COVID we had a waitlist of up to a year so we’ve been excited to be able to welcome local visitors for last minute stays, something we were not able to do before (although summer is already booking up fast). In fact, during our first week we saw almost half of our guests extend their stays because they just needed a break after being stuck at home for so long. We will obviously continue to monitor the situation and the minute we don’t feel comfortable and confident in what we are doing, we will close. Our decisions are 100% focused on well being and health above anything else.

“Knowing how much The Surfrider has impacted the lives of our guests has given us the energy to come back better, bright and stronger when our community needs it most.”

We strongly believe that all circumstances and situations are what you make of them and this insanely challenging period has been a true test of that. As business owners, we had to make tough decisions with the little information we had and no precedent, which was daunting. This experience has shown us the power of positivity, humanity, community and working together. We have had guests from all over the world emailing us to share stories of good times at The Surfrider, reaching out to check in on our team and even support us financially (one of our regulars bought a gift card the equivalent of a week long stay and asked us to donate it to someone deserving). Knowing how much The Surfrider has impacted the lives of our guests has given us the energy to come back better, bright and stronger when our community needs it most. The Surfrider is in for the long haul. It opened in 1953 and we plan to stay open for many more years.