Doll, you’re just in time to meet my lovely friend, Angella Nazarian. Angella is a best-selling author, a noted international speaker, a philanthropist, the co-founder of Women A.R.E., a leadership organization that hosts salons with visionary women, and the creator of My Personal Coach, a new app that empowers women to create their own growth plan. Whether she’s hosting an al fresco dinner party to honor one of the world’s most extraordinary women or a fundraiser for charity, Angella is the consummate host. She was just telling me about a fascinating party conversation she once had with Queen Rania of Jordan. Grab your gimlet and listen in.
Your party style?
Festive al fresco! I love to entertain and, living in Southern California, we are spoiled with great weather year round.
Last party you hosted?
A dinner party for acclaimed contemporary artist, Shirin Neshat. In 2009, she won the Silver Lion for best director at the 66th Venice Film Festival for her film debut, Women Without Men. She was also the winner of the International Award of the XLVIII Venice Biennale for her work Turbulent and Rapture.
Shirin Neshat at Angella Nazarian’s dinner party in her honor. Photo by Angella Nazarian.
Last party you attended?
A party hosted by Eugenio Lopez who recently launched his family museum, the Jumex Museum, to great fanfare in Mexico City. His house is impeccable and he has one of the finest contemporary art collections. And, of course, so many artists and arts advocates were there.
Cultured Magazine Event at the L.A. Home of Eugenio Lopez
Who would you most like to host at a dinner party?
I have a list – there are so many great people doing so many great things! I have already had the special honor of hosting a few of my favorite people including Somaly Mam, the CNN Hero and Founder of Somaly Mam Foundation, and Jacqueline Novogratz, the founder of Acumen, who graced the cover of Forbes in 2013. Next, I’d like to host Nobel Laureate, Leymah Gbowee of Liberia. I have heard her speak before – she is full of life and spirit.
Most fascinating conversation you’ve had at a party?
I think everyone has something fascinating to share, but one conversation that I really enjoyed was with Queen Rania of Jordan. She is gracious and full of insight. I was so drawn to her passion for helping others, especially the women in her country. She is a strong advocate for entrepreneurship and has a background in finance as well. She is the whole package – beauty and brains!
Photo of Queen Rania of Jordan by Angella Nazarian
Best way to get a conversation started?
I like to ask one of two questions: “If you could have an alternate career, what would it be?” and “What was your most embarrassing moment?” The answers always spark a lively conversation.
How do you stay party ready?
I always have a stockpile of dried and fresh fruits, fresh veggies, prepared salads, cheeses, nuts, chocolates, cookies, coffee and teas.
Approximately how much have your parties raised for charity?
My friends and I organize an annual luncheon that raises more than $2.5 million dollars for local hospitals that serve the needs of children with disabilities. I also host events for museums and educational institutions to support their various initiatives.
Mary Hart, Beth Friedman, Brian Grazer, Chelsea Handler and Angella Nazarian
Three party must-haves?
The right combination of people because it sets the tone for conversations, delicious food and a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere created by the host.
Your entertaining motto?
Make it fabulous! Parties are an expression of your personality. For my 40th birthday party, I had all my fashionista friends dress in clothes that cost less than $40. During the evening, everybody was talking about their special finds and, I must say, everyone looked fabulous!
Angella with her husband, David Nazarian
How has your work studying amazing women influenced the way you socialize?
Studies show that we are the combined average of the five people that we spend the most time with. With this in mind, I’m very conscious of the relationships that I nurture. I like to spend time with people I truly admire and feel comfortable with. In many of my women’s seminars, I challenge people to think about their relationships and how they impact their lives.
Why did you create My Personal Coach?
I am passionate about helping people live the fullest expression of who they are. Most of us spend so much time on our phones, so I thought the easiest way to stay plugged into inspirational thoughts and challenges was to create a workbook that would function as an app. My Personal Coach app works as a partner in motivating you on a daily basis by focusing on your priorities, relationships, environment and strengths.
My Personal Coach App is available on iTunes
What wish will you make when you blow out your birthday candles this year?
This year, I’m focusing on simplifying my life and making sure that I’m giving my time to a few high priority projects and leaving time for playfulness and creativity. It is quite amazing how busy we all can become.