I first met Sue Glasscock in 2010 when we opened our first store on Abbot Kinney in Venice, California. It was the very same year she and husband Alex Glasscock opened The Ranch, their now iconic, ultra-sought-after wellness retreat in the winding foothills of Malibu. Over the years she became both a customer and compadre. To say that she is vivacious, warm, brilliant, and insatiably driven would be an understatement. Her Midwestern kindness and positivity are infectious, and surely lie at the heart of The Ranch's success. With a staff of 100 and only twenty lucky guests per week, The Ranch is an oasis for regenerative healing and self-care. Sue is the embodiment of its results-driven practices, and a testament to its results. We caught up on a sunny afternoon in August.
EDITOR Sofia Florimbi
Hanging out by the pool, Sue wears the Hemisphere II Hoops, the Rock I Pendant, the Disco Snake Chain Bracelet and the Thick Rounded Bangle.
Tell us a little about yourself—where are you from and how did you get started?
I grew up and went to college in Michigan before moving to Los Angeles in my early 20s. Prior to The Ranch, I had my own landscape design business specializing in organic, sustainable vegetable gardens. Learning about this type of farming was one of my first experiences in wellness and I became interested in the connection between a soulful environment and the nutrient makeup and flavor of the food being grown.
As I gained experience in interior design as well, I fell in love with creating spaces that seamlessly blended the design of indoor and outdoor living spaces, a hallmark of California style. This has also influenced The Ranch’s refined, yet understated interiors. The infusion of nature throughout the property and our certified organic garden that provides the food for our program directly reflect my career and passions prior to starting The Ranch.
Sue wears the Paz Wrist Wrap in Beige Napa Leather, the Imaan II Hoops, the Koutoubia Ring and the new Tapered Cuff.
The garden area outside Sue's home at The Ranch.
Soaking up the sun in the Rock V Pendant and Nabila Hoops.
How did you come up with the concept for The Ranch?
My husband, Alex, and I founded The Ranch in 2010 by combining our shared passion for health, wellness, nature and design as a unique way of changing people’s lives.
"We wanted to offer a destination where people could get healthy, reset their minds and bodies and return to nature in an “off the grid” setting."
I have always loved the outdoors and physical activity, which is what brought me to Los Angeles. As a frequent marathon runner, I began consulting and mentoring others on health and wellness practices and The Ranch is an extension of this.
A beautiful view of Sandstone Peak and the Boney Ridge Mountains.
Enjoying The Ranch's charged water in their community courtyard wearing the Paper Clip Chain Necklace, Fatima Hoops, Gyro Cuff Thin and the new Rounded Link Bracelet.
The new Rounded Link Necklace, Square Ring III and Rounded Ring II.
How would you describe an average day at The Ranch?
In creating the daily schedule, physical movement, lots of time in nature and rest periods like daily massage and nap time were all considered equally important. Alex and I practice a similar schedule when we travel and we wanted to replicate this balance at The Ranch. Together, guests start the day with stretching and breakfast before heading out for a morning hike. Guests return for lunch and nap-time before an afternoon fitness and yoga class, their daily massage, and end the evening with an early dinner. Because guests participate in the activities as a group, there is a unique bond that forms throughout the week and this connection is part of what makes the overall experience so special.
What’s the story behind all the incredible wooden furniture you designed at The Ranch?
It’s made out of scaffolding! Alex and I owned a Frank Gehry house where we put the scaffolding in as floors. We loved their color and the fact that they had small amounts of plaster and paint leftover on them. Frank designed the house for his good friend, the artist Ron Davis. The scaffolding floors added warmth and stayed in genre. We loved them so much we used them to make a table for a party where it was a hit. More furniture followed.
How can we translate lessons from The Ranch into everyday life and bring a piece of The Ranch home?
"The beauty of The Ranch program is that it shows our guests how much they can impact their health by making small, incremental changes to their habits to create big shifts over time. It’s also a testament to the power of getting outside and in nature! There are so many easy adjustments one can make to get started."
Diet: It’s not about changing everything all at once but rather focusing on adding more whole foods into your diet, eating organically and eating seasonally to connect your body to the natural cycles of the planet. For someone just getting started that could also look like drinking a glass of water before every meal, turning off the screens (yes phones too!) while eating and really chewing each bite of food to give your mind time to enjoy what you are eating and process when you are actually full. All of these practices will aid in digestion and prevent being uncomfortably full.
Body: Make movement a priority. Get a device that monitors your steps and try to increase the number you are taking each day – even if it’s only by 100 steps that’s still progress! The best workout for you is one that you will do consistently! Don’t be afraid to try different types of training until you find the one that keeps you coming back.
Mind: Develop a regular meditation practice. There are so many great apps to help you get started – I love Calm in particular! Even just a few minutes a day can help give your mind a much-needed rest. Write down 3 things you are grateful for each day. At The Ranch, we start and end each week expressing gratitude. It helps to keep our awareness in the present moment and trains the mind to seek the positive in life, rather than focusing on the negative. Upon waking I will also lay with my eyes closed and say a prayer of gratitude for my life. Journaling can also help get the clutter of thoughts in the mind out onto a piece of paper and help us gain perspective on our lives, manage stress and help us process our emotions.
Who are your inspirations?
My friends, our Ranch staff and guests.
How would you describe your personal style?
Clean lines, simple and easy.
In the common area Sue wears her favorite Square Ring III, the Rounded Link Bracelet and the Disco Snake Bracelet.
Some of Sue's favorite pieces: the Gyro Cuff Thin, the Esfera Charm Bracelet, the Grande III Ring, the Square Ring III, and the Thick Rounded Ring II.
What was your first KC purchase?
Which KC piece do you reach for the most often?
What KC piece do you currently have your eye on?
With the organic bounty from the abundant vegetable gardens, Sue wears the new Grandita Heart Earrings and Mixed Gyro Ring.
What are your top tips for staying healthy year round? Any regular procedures or treatments you advise? What do you think are the most important things we can do for our health?
1. Exercise in nature!!! Just spending a little time in nature each day will boost the health of your brain and your body. I walk, hike, garden and pay extra attention to its beauty.
2. Infrared sauna and cold plunge
3. Dry brush every morning!
4. Water, water, water! It’s a motto at The Ranch but really something you should live by 365 days a year, especially while traveling.
5. I believe in practicing small acts of kindness each day. Simple things like allowing people to go in front of me in traffic, buying someone a coffee, taking time to call someone and dropping off some delicious fruit from our garden to a neighbor.
Sue gives the goats an evening treat wearing the Gael Wrist Wrap in White Bruciato Leather and the Koutoubia Hoops.
We’re so excited to hear The Ranch has expanded to new locations in Italy and New York. What is your vision for The Ranch’s future? How often do you travel to these locations and what is your involvement like?
As we identify new opportunities for The Ranch in the coming years, our goal is always to grow our outreach in a thoughtful way so that more people can experience the life-changing benefits of our program.
Either Alex or I will visit the Italy program at least a few times a year and we have other senior team members travel to Italy to ensure the guest experience mirrors what is offered in Malibu. We also receive daily updates from the team so even when we are not there physically, we are still able to have an understanding of the what’s going on and offer guidance as needed. Watching the Italy team mature and grow over the last year has been so rewarding!
Hudson Valley has been an incredible opportunity to restore an historic estate in such a beautiful region of the country. The overall feel of this property is quite different from Malibu and it’s been really fun to create an aesthetic there that is authentic to the property and its location, while still feeling fresh and modern. We cannot wait to open next year and given the scope of this project we are out quite regularly to oversee the progress.
Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers, some takeaway?
"Take a break, unplug and connect with the world around you! Humans were not built to be constantly “on,” it raises our cortisol levels and negatively affects our adrenals. Technology has made us accessible 24/7 and many of us have lost the skill of relaxing and being engaged in life. Our minds and bodies need time to “shut off” and relax and fortunately the easiest and most accessible remedy to aid in that is nature!"
Sue strolls through the pepper tree alley wearing the Esfera Charm Bracelet and the new Rounded Linked Necklace.