As part of Women’s History Month, March 8 is International Women’s Day—a day to give props to the women who have achieved a lot already, and to pave the way for tomorrow’s leaders.

It should come as no surprise that California is home to some incredible, inspiring women—and we’ve chatted with many innovators through our California Questionnaires. Whether they are actors, chefs, athletes, or scientists, they have all played a part in making the Golden State a special place, both to work and to play.

Here are some of their thoughts on how California inspires them, and how they they’ve tapped into one of the Golden State’s greatest natural resources: its make-it-happen energy.

 

Kristen Bell, actor

“I originally came to Los Angeles for work, but I stayed for the lifestyle. Every day, everywhere I look, I see acts of openness, and a plethora of diversity. The people here consistently reaffirm my belief in the human spirit. I’m very proud to call L.A. home.”

 

Vera Mulyani, architect and filmmaker

“[I live in the Santa Monica area] known as ‘Silicon Beach’ because there are lots of innovative start-ups, which have established a new, flourishing tech hub outside of Silicon Valley. It attracts quite a unique and diverse crowd who are very arty and creative. I love being part of that energy. I also love being close to the ocean and enjoying the sun.”

 

Alice Waters, chef and author

“People often think of Northern California as a place where great ideas are born—and that is absolutely true! I think enlightened people who want to change the world and shake things up are attracted to this place because of the open mindset and the public University of California. There are so many great ideas that have started here and traveled around the country and the world.”

 

Kerri Walsh Jennings, Olympic gold medalist and entrepreneur

“We are all big dreamers. People come here to chase their dreams, whether you are an athlete, in the entertainment industry, or in the science and technology field. From Silicon Valley all the way down to Hollywood, this is where people come to make things happen.”

 

Gabrielle Reece, beach volleyball legend

“In essence, whatever you want to do in California, you can—whether it’s big business, luxury travel, nature adventures, raising a family, or yes, having big fun. …Dreams can come true, and at every turn there is all kinds of natural beauty. If you like the mountains or the sea, there truly is something here for everyone.”