Food: Chloe Dahl & Nikki Booth, Knuckle & Claw

This article is part of our Create & Cultivate 100 List created in collaboration with KEDS, you can view the full Food List Here.

Made restaurant dreams a reality. 

Chloe and Nikki are wearing Keds' Champion Originals.

Growing up on Martha’s Vineyard, Chloe Dahl, entrepreneur and co-owner of Knuckle & Claw in Los Angeles, says lobster was her favorite food. “I'd have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I could,” she shares. 

Nikki Booth, Chloe’s partner in business and life, had always wanted to be in the restaurant industry. They had only been dating a year when they put their heads together and created Knuckle & Claw. “It didn't hurt that we're foodies through and through,” the granddaughter of writer Ronald Dahl says. “I’ve always been a foodie,” echoes Nikki, who moved from her hometown of Las Vegas to Honolulu for college. It was there a whole new world of food opened up for her. “Blew my mind,” she says.

When it comes to what’s next, Chloe says she “has a few dreams up my sleeve,” but no one knows what the future will hold. Though we're guessing lobster will be on the menu. Both have big aspirations. For Chloe writing a “great book” is on her bucket list and says if she had more time for something it would be writing. Nikki has hopes of starting “a charity focusing on humanitarian efforts around the globe.” 

Three years and two restaurants later, the world is their oyster. 

Grab more inspiration from the restauranteurs below. 

What is the most important step you’ve taken in your career?

Nikki: Pushing myself forward even if I was scared. A wise woman once told me that its okay to be afraid as long as you don't let it stop you and I think that's the most critical step for a lot of people. 

What are some of the challenges you've encountered along the way?

Chloe: Everyday is a challenge in the restaurant industry. You are on call 12 hours a day, 365 days of the year. You have people to pay and mouths to feed and chances are you're the recipient of neither. 

Nikki: Before we started our business I didn't realize how difficult managing staff would be. You develop a relationship with them and you really depend on each other. 

What keeps you going?

Chloe: Believing in my self-worth and remembering my potential. 

Nikki: Chloe, she’s the tits. 

Who are the people you consider your mentors or influences and why?

Chloe: My grandmother, Patricia Neal. She never gave up.

Nikki: My mom and dad. They worked their asses off for everything they have and it's been inspirational watching that kind of work ethic.

Chloe and Nikki are wearing Keds' Champion Originals.

What’s the best piece of “real talk” advice you’ve received?

Chloe: Forgive yourself. Sounds cheesy, I know. 

Nikki: There is always a solution. Seriously. Think outside the box, look at it from a different angle, whatever you gotta do, the answer is there.

What is a time in your life when you thought, 'I can't do this anymore?'

Nikki: Ah fuck man, I hate those moments, but they happen a few times a year and I think hitting a low like that helps you push yourself past the darkness and into action. 

What’s your favorite life advice:

Chloe: It’s OK to be scared as long as you don’t let it stop you. 

Nikki: There is always a solution. Seriously. Think outside the box, look at it from a different angle, whatever you gotta do, the answer is there.

How has your relationship to your career changed in the last five years?

Chloe: It hasn’t really. My goals are more refined, but I’m as driven as ever. 

How has your relationship to yourself changed in the last five years?

Chloe: I am able to separate my leadership from my emotions. It has lead to clarity and more realistic expectations of myself and other.

Nikki: I am prone to anxiety and I wasn't managing it well when we first started. In the past few years I've focused on taking better care of my mind and body and its made a huge difference. I think if you want to get ahead in your career focus on your mental and physical health and you'll get there. 

International Women’s Day is coming up. It's a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. If you could steer the conversation around International Women’s Day, what would that dialogue be about?

Nikki: I’d love to focus the conversation on pursuing more access to education for women. So many young women still don't have access to education and educating girls around the world will change the world.

What do you do to support other women either personally or professionally?

Chloe: We prioritize collaborations with female owned/run business. We gotta support each other. 

Nikki: Chloe and I support local and international woman through different organizations that are geared toward education and micro-finance loans.

Styling provided by Reservoir LA. Hair and makeup provided by Glamsquad. Photography courtesy of Light Lab and Woodnote Photography.