How One Woman Merged Her Love of Food With Her Eye for Design

It's been 10 years, but Gjelina, a vegetable-centric restaurant that encapsulates the epitome of modern California cuisine, is just as crowded as ever. Between the wood-fire grilled pizza and the inviting outdoor patio, it's not hard to see why people are still lining up around the block to snag a seat at this Venice hot spot.

Recently, we met up with one of the women responsible for the restaurant's resounding success: Shelley Kleyn Armistead, Gjelina Group's chief operating officer. Dedicated to managing every detail from the structural design of the restaurant to the ceramic plates the food is served on, Armistead is the architect behind the ambiance of the eatery.

"It is a lovely feeling to watch customers enjoy themselves and know that you had a hand in shaping the experience," she told MyDomaine. Given the success of the group's flagship restaurant, Gjelina, and casual cafe, Gjusta, the decision to launch a homewares shop, Gjusta Goods, was not only a logical one but also one that Armistead is deeply passionate about. "The happiest moments for me include finding really great makers around the world that I can work with to create ceramics, cookware, and textiles," she explained. You can browse the full line at Gjusta Goods' permanent location in Venice, or if you're on the eastside of Los Angeles, head to the brand's pop-up shop in Silverlake to shop the homeware goods through the end of May.

In this installment of Second Life, a series that shines a spotlight on successful women who've made major career changes, we ask Shelley Kleyn Armistead all about her 25-year long career in the hospitality industry, including working her way up from waitress to chief operating officer, finding a time management system that actually works, and learning to trust her gut.