People We Love
Laura Love, Nathalie Love, and Samantha Ressler Are Supporting Each Other (and Countless Other Women) All the Way to the Top
By: Lili Goksenin
When we asked sisters Laura and Nathalie Love and their friend Samantha Ressler to join us in New York City to try out our latest One Eleven collection of cozy knits and tees, we knew we were about to be in the presence of epic L.A.-born coolness. But we were blown away by this gorgeous bi-coastal trio of risk-taking and dynamic women. It’s not every day you meet a former professional ballerina turned model (Laura) and two actors who are rethinking what it means to be a female actor in the current social landscape thanks to their arts collective, We The Women (Nathalie and Sam). So, we sat down with them (in some of our coziest One Eleven tees, sweats, and leggings) to talk about how they got to where they are right now, and how they support one another through it all.
Nathalie and Laura are five and a half years apart but so close you’d think they were twins. “We’re very close and very similar,” says Laura, adding, “We have all the same friends.” And despite spending their teenage years on different coasts, they both ended up in creative fields. “We kind grew up around a very artistic community, in a house of creativity,” says Nathalie. “Everyone in our family really understands being an artist,” echoes Laura. “For us it’s a way of expressing and communicating.”
While Laura went to intense performing arts schools and rigorous ballet academies in LA, Nathalie was also working away, taking acting classes and attending college on the East Coast. Eventually injuries forced Laura to stop dancing professionally so she moved to New York to pursue modeling, but by that time Nathalie had moved back to LA to be an actor.
“We spend a lot of time together for people who live across the country from one another,” says Laura. “We’re really supportive of one another.”
And there’s a lot to be supportive of. In 2016, Nathalie and Sam started the We the Women Collectivebecause they weren’t seeing the acting roles for women they wanted to see. Sam had returned to LA around the same time as Nathalie after graduating from Brown University, and although she was cast in some TV and film roles, she felt something was missing from the LA arts scene—something she and Nathalie were in agreement upon. “We weren’t feeling creatively stimulated or like we were getting opportunities that we should be,” says Nathalie. “We were both kind of at the end of our rope.”
They decided to do something about it, and create a space in the industry for female artists of all stripes, not just actors. “Our model is to use as many women in creative fields as possible and bring them all together,” says Sam. Their first show was both a play and art exhibition featuring donated work from 30 female artists. They raised $35,000 in one night, 100% of which was donated to Planned Parenthood. “We wanted to bring theater to a younger audience and make it exciting, accessible, and cool,” says Sam.
After the most recent political election, Sam and Nathalie evolved the mission of their collective from a way to showcase female talent to a way for them to give to causes that affect women and girls. “I think what we’ve discovered is that there is a huge need for what we’re doing,” says Nathalie. “Bringing live performance to a city like Los Angeles is amazing.”
Why is that, exactly? “We were bringing all of our female friends together,” she explains. “It just felt like a very important moment. Afterwards, we were like That was really that was crazy. We didn’t know what the hell we were doing and we just threw it all together.” Since then, they’ve hosted three more events for charity. Now, We the Women is officially a 501c3 nonprofit organization, and although the founders’ plans for the future don’t follow a strict timeline (they’re still working actors, after all) both Sam and Nathalie consider it their passion project, and one that they want to continue for as long as possible. “I would love to do five shows a year,” says Sam. “We’d like to create a sustainable performing arts model.”
The longtime friends are bringing all their skills to the table. Sam has a deep, academic knowledge and connection to the theater world, while Nathalie both draws upon her experience as an actor and as the child of stylish creatives (her father was an actor and her mother, Lisa Love, famously worked at Voguemagazine for decades). “What’s exciting about this is that it’s elevated,” she says. “We want people to actually go out and have an experience.”
Laura, meanwhile, is playing the part of supportive sister and cheerleader. “Every time We The Women has a project, I fly out to LA,” she says. “I love to see what they’re working on and I talk with my sister throughout the process. I’d obviously like to get more involved as a New York counterpart, but,” she says knowingly. “It’s just the beginning.”