We all know the feeling: you spot someone walking towards you and you get a little rush, an extra spring in your step that comes from an impending interaction with a person who surely will brighten your day through words, deeds or an all-knowing look that brings that joyful jolt of adrenaline you needed. Here are a few folks who exude joy:
Anabella Erickson, Mill Valley Flowers
“For the past six years, I’ve watched Anabella work. In business with her beloved husband Lars for nearly 30 years,
Anabella is passionate about working with her brides and hotels, restaurants and venues all over Marin. She loves shopping at the famous SF Flower Market. Anabella and her personal touch is joy at its essence.”

–Blair Phillips, Manager, MV Flowers
Misak Pirinjian, Tony’s Shoe Repair
“Kindness, generosity and presence are admirable qualities that Misak has. These virtues bring people into his shop and  account for his work’s high quality. People from all walks of life visit to have him repair shoes and be in his presence. Most consider him a special friend. Why? Because he gives us single-minded attention, about shoes or our lives.”
–David Marks, Director, “In the Cobbler’s Shoes.”
Lewis Usher, Dave Fromer Soccer
“MAGIC.” With 25+ years of coaching, Lewis Usher peppers every moment on the soccer field with references to the game’s magical qualities. “It’s amazing to see him treat kids with love,” says his fellow longtime coach, Marco Campos. “He knows they are seeds. He inspires them. And he brings that musical vibe – we all need that sip of joy.”
Enrique “Rico” Ruiz, Joe’s Taco Lounge​
“I’ll help you out there.” That’s what Joe’s Taco Lounge manager Enrique “Rico” Ruiz told a fourth grader attempting to cross Miller Ave. from Montford Ave. on his bike on his way to Edna Maguire Elementary School earlier this year. Tara Ordonez, a longtime local resident, teacher at Edna and the boy’s mom, lauded Ruiz for stepping up as she watched “countless cars going in all directions ignoring my son standing in the crosswalk waiting carefully to cross. I am so immensely grateful to this kind soul.”
Tony Coyle, Ubiquitous Volunteer
“Tony is one of the most likeable, kind, knowledgeable and funny men I’ve ever met. I can’t imagine ever being annoyed with him, but he’d quickly make you forget whatever incurred the annoyance with that Irish smile and a wink! Once an outstanding rugby player, Tony built a successful career as a contractor. He’s now a seemingly ubiquitous volunteer, delivering groceries for a woman in her 90’s and regularly checking in on people living alone. Life is fuller for his friendship.”
–Phil Garratt, fellow omnipresent volunteer
Chelsea Hutchison, BOL
“Chelsea is committed to bringing wellness, creativity and joy to the community and this shines through in every artful, superfood bowl she serves. You can see it in her lively Instagram feed, one showing her daughter gleefully (and
messily) enjoying a BOL on a sunny day in Mill Valley. Chelsea sees the community as her extended family and delights in serving up these moments of joy.”

–Jan Mathews, co-owner, Mill Valley Lumber Yard
J’Amy Tarr, Fashion Designer
“J’Amy is a creative force in our community. Her work goes beyond fashion and embodies the deeper layer of creativity
and connection. She sees her clients as they are and uses her fashion and kindness to make them feel beautiful inside and out. I’m honored to be J’Amy’s friend and creative colleague, and so grateful that she shares her talents with our town.”

–Grace Kraaijvanger, founder/CEO, The Hivery
Gabe Burczyk, WrapManager/Assembly
“I first met Gabe a few years ago when he had a full bushy beard like mine. That seemed sufficient to spark a lasting friendship. His joyful demeanor and generosity of spirit were confirmed when I learned later of his purchase and renovation of 319 Miller. The purpose? Relocation of his WrapManager wealth management business, as well as Assembly, a gorgeous gathering place for
community events. Well played, Gabe!”

–Ken Brooks
Johanna Becker, Moonstruck Fine Jewelry
Technically, Johanna Becker’s Moonstruck Fine Jewelry in downtown is just more than two years old. But a deeper dive reveals a profound lineage in the jewelry industry that spans California and Europe, as well as a long stint at the shop of the late Kathleen Dughi in the same space. Becker’s deep history in town is surpassed only by her persistently cheerful, warm demeanor. “She exudes jubilance.”
–Susan Lopes
You’ll find these capsules and an array of other inspiring, practical content, from bits of wisdom to recipes and events (some day soon, we hope), in our 2020-21 EMV Guide, which appears within the August 2020 issue of Marin Magazine.