Author spotlight: Megan Waldrep

Megan Waldrep is a writer for regional and national publications who lives with her fiancé in a 22’ airstream. She writes a weekly blog about being the partner of a commercial fisherman and authors a relationship column under the pen name Elizabeth Rose. Learn more at

People of Montecito: Erin Wagner
By Megan Waldrep   |   September 24, 2020

What’s Your Montecito Migration Story? I’ve worked here five years. Richie’s Barber Shop actually found me while I was living in Oregon. I wasn’t going to pass up this barber shop because they have a great reputation. One of my friends who owns a winery in Solvang was pouring wine for their Christmas party and […]

How Addicts and Families Seek Help During Quarantine
By Megan Waldrep   |   September 24, 2020

For many people, addiction is a scary word. So scary, just reading it will have some skip over this piece entirely. Maybe it’s a challenge you or a loved one faces today? But don’t feel ashamed – you are not alone. I’ve been there and I still struggle. Alcohol was my first bag and marijuana […]

People of Montecito: Larry Nobles
By Megan Waldrep   |   September 10, 2020

What Montecito Night Will You Not Forget? I would say, when Katy Perry was here (earlier this year). We had about 40 Japanese girls, all 12 years old. They come here every year to learn English and manners, and do four or five dinners with us. Well, it was a night when all the A-listers […]

The People Person
By Megan Waldrep   |   September 10, 2020

Where in the World is Richard Mineards? Our favorite society columnist, Richard Mineards, is missing. Well, his column “Montecito Miscellany” has been missing from our pages, which in itself feels like a big loss. After several months of wondering, Where’s Richard?, I connected with Mr. Mineards via telephone to see what’s shakin’. Right off the […]

People of Montecito: Ellie Patterson
By Megan Waldrep   |   September 3, 2020

What Do You Love Most About Montecito? “I think, especially after the last three years with the disasters, it’s the amazing sense of community. It’s always been here, but the true spirit really came out then. More looking after one another, being available to other people, the sense of family. So many people I’ve talked […]

People of Montecito: Barbara Doran
By Megan Waldrep   |   August 27, 2020

Tell Us About Your Time at Bellosguardo I am one of the last people alive to have known Anna E. Clark and her youngest daughter, Huguette (of the Clark estate, Bellosguardo). My father worked for the Clarks and we lived on the property in a home they built for our family. The Clarks were from […]

People of Montecito: Nick Svensson
By Megan Waldrep   |   August 20, 2020

What’s a Montecito Memory Many People Don’t Know About? “I grew up in Santa Barbara and my dad was in Montecito. I’ve been surfing Hammonds and Biltmore since I was a little kid. In high school, I actually used to manage the Liquor & Wine Grotto during my senior year. Then, I was a bartender […]

People of Montecito: Alex Ortiz
By Megan Waldrep   |   July 30, 2020

“I’m not really from here. I come from a city called Vallejo. It’s about thirty minutes north of San Francisco. It’s not a nice area; we don’t even have a community college there. Coming down here, it gives me the motivation to work hard. I see people living in this nice area and I want […]

People of Montecito: Sally Hanseth
By Megan Waldrep   |   July 2, 2020

What is Your Fondest Memory of Living Here? I normally interview each person for this column, but this letter was so good we had to print as is! Hi MJ, I’ve been loving your articles on favorite memories, and wanted to share a few of my own. I was raised here and have great memories […]

NEAT Method
By Megan Waldrep   |   June 25, 2020

So. The stay-at-home order gave you time to organize and clean out your home? Good for you! Oh, what’s that? You stopped mid-way because all that stuff gave you more anxiety than the virus itself? Or, maybe you just thought about cleaning up but never got around to it? It’s ok, my friend. You are […]

Raoul Textiles
By Megan Waldrep   |   June 25, 2020

Though Raoul Textiles can be found across the nation and across the pond, this company is as Santa Barbaran as you can get. “Our family is from here, we all live and work here, and the store is our most personal reflection of our aesthetic and how we live in Santa Barbara,” designer and founder […]

People of Montecito: Elisabeth Fowler
By Megan Waldrep   |   June 18, 2020

What Brought You to Montecito? My husband grew up in Carpinteria and always loved the area. We looked here in Montecito, then Hope Ranch and downtown before deciding that Montecito had all the things we were looking for. Such as, hills for hiking, beaches for surfing, ease of walking and riding bikes for our children […]

I Believe I Can Fly
By Megan Waldrep   |   June 18, 2020

What Flying During a Pandemic is Like from Santa Barbara Airport As you might expect, I had mixed feelings about flying during a pandemic. Thankfully, the Santa Barbara Airport eased pre-flight nerves before I entered the building. For example, there are separated entries for Alaska and American Airlines on the North end, United and Delta […]

Party like it’s 2020
By Megan Waldrep   |   June 11, 2020

Though you can’t hug your friends and extended family, doesn’t mean you can’t dance with them. Just ask sisters-in-law Vicky Harbison and Jill Dyruff who co-celebrated birthdays on May 16. (Vicky’s is the 16th while Jill’s is the 17th.) Thanks to Vicky’s daughter Sarah, a socially-distanced tailgate dinner was arranged in her grandmother’s driveway on […]

People of Montecito: Chris Dabney
By Megan Waldrep   |   June 4, 2020

What’s your favorite memory of growing up here? “One of my favorite memories of growing up in Montecito is walking with friends to the Upper Village from Montecito Union School and getting a sandwich from the Village Cheese & Wine Shop. It was just the most incredible sandwich you ever had. Just cheese and meat […]

The Montecito Pivot
By Megan Waldrep   |   June 4, 2020

Malia Mills “We are so damn lucky to have a store in the little bit of paradise that is Santa Barbara and Montecito,” designer Malia Mills said. She compares her store’s intimate, welcoming feel to the vibe of SB and Montecito. “Plus, we’ve got one of a kind pieces that are hard to find anywhere […]

People of Montecito: Lynn, Montecito Flowers
By Megan Waldrep   |   May 28, 2020

When Did You Start Your Business in Montecito? “I’ve been here for twenty-six years. I used to work at the café at the Montecito Inn. I can’t remember the name now, it was so long ago. But I came to Montecito and was working there for a while and there was a little flower stand […]

People of Montecito: Trish Davis
By Megan Waldrep   |   May 17, 2020

Where Have You Lived in Montecito? “My husband and I were fortunate to live at El Mirador, the old Armour estate, on Coast Village Road. The owners had been there since 1916. In fact the grand dame, Lolita Armour, just passed away a couple years ago. You would go in on a Friday after work, close […]

By Megan Waldrep   |   May 14, 2020

Shopping on Bree’osh Artisan Bakery’s online store is comparable to gazing through the glass case at the café. Baked delicacies such as a ham and cheese, pain au chocolat, almond, and plain croissants are ready both for online orders and pick-ups. And while you’re at it, add the Kouign Amann to your virtual cart. It’s […]

Imagine Artful Things, Inc.
By Megan Waldrep   |   May 14, 2020

“Before we got our website up and running, customers were calling and asking if they could do a virtual shopping tour. It was amazing,” Billie Vrtiak, owner of the Imagine Artful Things boutique in the Upper Village said. “We’ve also received emails from numerous customers saying they’re thinking about us and how much they miss […]

People of Montecito: Morhaf Trad
By Megan Waldrep   |   May 14, 2020

How Did You Operate Business In Past Emergencies? I’ve owned the Bottle Shop since April 20, 1992. People depend on us. We were open through the earthquake, I stayed open through the fires and the mudslides when I had a chance to open. I opened to supply all I could to the community. During the […]

Child Care For Essential Workers
By Megan Waldrep   |   April 30, 2020

Responders Eligible for Affordable Child Care Families of first responders are the heroes behind the scenes, those supporting loved ones as they leave to do essential work. Thankfully, the Emergency Child Care Initiative (ECCI) is offering free and affordable child care to first, second, and third responders. Scholarships and opportunities for tuition reduction are available […]

People of Montecito: Justine Hamilton
By Megan Waldrep   |   April 23, 2020

Q. How are You Holding up Through Quarantine? As a girl from Iowa, I am channeling my inner Laura Ingalls Wilder (though with an Instacart app), by keeping it simple with a homestead vibe. I also look for ways to keep it light during this heavy time. I do that by creating with what I […]

People of Montecito: Elizabeth Colling
By Megan Waldrep   |   April 16, 2020

How are you making it work through this difficult time? I am struggling. Mostly with my decision to temporarily close Merci. It was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make but at the end of the day, the health and safety of my family (my husband, Stephane, and our two girls, Celeste, […]

Girls Take the Lead
By Megan Waldrep   |   March 12, 2020

Gwyn Lurie sits in the back office of the Montecito Journal. Mock-ups of issues are fanned to one side as she types on her laptop at her long wooden desk. A large-scale photograph by Alan Kozlowski is propped on the wall behind her screen, waiting to be hung. The image titled “The Lake of Turquoise […]

James Perse Makes Home at Rosewood Miramar Beach
By Megan Waldrep   |   December 12, 2019

The main goal of the James Perse concept store is for customers to feel comfortable enough to hang out with a complimentary coffee or water and just chill. This laid-back attitude is what created the cult following of James Perse anyway. The classy California surfer vibe of clean lines and simplistic looks found in the […]

More Than Fashion at Giuliana Montecito
By Megan Waldrep   |   December 3, 2019

An Upper Village dress shop for over half a century, Giuliana Montecito has a new creative director that is focusing on its past as much as the present. Mandana Mir is a millennial with an old soul, carrying herself with mannerisms reminiscent of English high society. Maybe her background has something to do with it […]