Local Tifany Khakdoust established The Great Love Club to build community and promote kindness through group get-togethers.
By Ashley Ryan
Laguna Beach is unlike anywhere else in Orange County. From its long-standing arts community to the small-town vibe, it’s a little slice of heaven more reminiscent of a Midwest village than an Orange County metropolis. Still, when Tifany Khakdoust moved to town at the start of 2022, she found it was tough to find places to make new friends.
Enter The Great Love Club, a social group she founded in the spring to promote friendship, love and kindness amongst those from Laguna and beyond. What started as a walking group has blossomed into a club with many subgroups, with locals coming together to work, do yoga, attend church, create jewelry, visit the farmers market and so much more.
In crafting these communal events, Khakdoust expertly weaves vendors and creative types into the programming, ensuring that The Great Love Club is benefiting not only those in attendance, but locals who are building their businesses as well. From photographers and jewelers to yoga instructors, herbalists, sound healers and farmers, her events spread wealth in many ways.
Here, we discuss everything the club has to offer and find out where Khakdoust hopes to take the group in the future. Find a full lineup of upcoming events or get in touch on Instagram at @thegreatloveclub.
Laguna Beach Magazine: What inspired you to start The Great Love Club?
Tifany Khakdoust: I’ve been doing real estate for so long—for a decade now—and I just wanted to do something a little more creative. I moved to Laguna Beach in January and … it was hard to meet people. … I’m not around many people [while working]. I just have a couple clients … so I help them and go home and hang out with my boyfriend, and I just really needed community. So, … I started the walks as just a way to meet people and form that.
Can you tell us about the walks you do?
TK: Because of real estate, I know a lot of cute neighborhoods and I’m always scoping out different areas. I plan the walks in advance and I walk or drive the path. I make sure it’s quiet enough and it’s not next to busy roads so no one has to dodge traffic, you can hear each other talking and it’s a semi-easy walk. I don’t want anyone struggling or out of breath or walking up a thousand stairs or super steep hills, so I’m really methodical with it. … [We meet] the first Saturday of the month [at] 9 o’clock [in the morning]. And we walk typically from 9 to 10 and then meet at a cafe afterward, … and we have coffee and hang out.
What events do you host?
TK: It started as the Walking Club and then I added a Work Club, … where we get together every Thursday from 8-11 [a.m.] at a different cafe … and we work together, side by side, and we network. And then I have a Church Club on Sundays where we just get coffee and walk to church together. And then other events … are just collaborative events. The main purpose of the club for me is to form community while supporting our local community.
… We [also] do organic, farm-to-table, intimate dinners and that’s a series called Supper Club. Sometimes I have a professional chef, sometimes I just have someone who is a super good cook and really enthusiastic, and they’re family-style meals but they’re insanely beautiful, really well curated—everything from start to finish is local and organic.
Why do you think the club has been so successful?
TK: The events are so specific to kindhearted, loving people that if you’re not of the same heart, you’re not going to come. Every time you come to an event, … it’s like you walk into a room with old friends. … So I think having that loving environment and being able to just wake up and go on a walk and make a new friend—it’s something so simple, but there’s so much thought behind it that makes it such a good experience.
What plans do you have for the future?
TK: It would be so nice to have a full day with everyone instead of a few hours and to really dig deep in all these practices that we try to cultivate. But besides that, the usual business stuff like merch and more community events—but I just really want to get more people involved and uplift more businesses as I’m growing.
What do you think makes Laguna so special?
BW: I can’t go anywhere without seeing a familiar face. I grew up in Ohio in a really tiny town in the country and I haven’t had that feeling since I moved to California. It seems like everything’s so large, I don’t ever really get to know my neighbors. … It’s just so nice to be able to go to any random event or go to church or … the grocery store and have a friend [there].