Charles Christopher Renn, Jr. II has always had his head in the clouds. After leaving his native Salinas, California to study astronomy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Renn returned West to explore the possibility of opening his own small business. In late 2009 that dream became a reality, when he and his sister, Lissa Renn, opened The Hive Los Angeles, a hair shop and art gallery at Micheltorena and Sunset. The shop reflects Charles’ eclectic taste in art and culture, hosting regular art shows and cultural events. With a smile crowning his signature goatee, he expounds: “Art has always been important to me, so it was natural for me to include it in my vision of the ideal hair shop.” In addition to The Hive’s regular gallery shows, they may well be the only hair shop in the world to have their own poet laureate, Silver Lake local David Shook, whose poetry about the shop has appeared in important publications like The Oxford Poets Anthology.
Charles is chair of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Art & Culture Committee, but his commitment to Silver Lake arts and culture doesn’t end there�not long after meeting fellow entrepreneur Jack Martinez, Charles signed on as Community Director of the Los Angeles Arts & Athletics Alliance, the nonprofit that hosts the Jubilee, Silver Lake’s premiere music festival, now in its third year. This year’s event takes place over Memorial Day Weekend, on Santa Monica Boulevard, and features dozens of touring and local bands, Comedy Central-level comedians, literature sponsored by PEN USA, local food trucks, craft vendors, local business showcases, and a free community block party. There’s more to it, too. Charles has spearheaded the organization’s community outreach, which has collaborated with several local nonprofits for the betterment of the community. “One of my favorite programs,” Charles says,”was the PEN in the Classroom workshop that we sponsored at John Marshall High.” That program culminated in the publication and public performance of the high school juniors’ creative writing, which will also be showcased at the Jubilee on the PEN USA Literary Stage.
Charles is also an avid disc golfer. “I try to hit Elysian Park at least twice a week,” he explained. “It keeps me in shape, and I love to feel a little wind blowing through my goatee.” In addition to the abundance of local nature, Charles appreciates the neighborhood’s close-knit community and many food options. “I like to eat $.99 pupusas on Monday and Fridays, $1 fish tacos on Tuesdays, and sip a couple margaritas on Wednesdays. Thursday’s my day off!” he says. “There’s no better way to meet new friends�except maybe at the Jubilee!”