Inside Power Publicist’s Career Switch: Launching a Lifestyle and Home Goods Company with Cali Flair

When it came time to name their new company, Alison Rou and Sarah Tallman looked to the citrus family.

It became an obvious choice considering their respective histories. Rou, a power publicist who specialized in representing showrunners and producers, hails from a line of citrus growers and has a home surrounded by orange groves in Ojai, California. Tallman, a veteran of the beauty space with tenures at Estee Lauder and Saie, went to school in Florida and once ran a store in New York City called Grove.

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Cara Cara LA was born in November 2023, launched with a focus on gift sets and sustainable dried flowers. With Rou’s industry experience, Hollywood came calling and they were off and running with talent gifting and local pop-ups. Now the rest of the world can get in on the action as the pair expanded their business in late June with a new launch called Casa Cara, a direct-to-consumer lifestyle and home goods business with a similar bent towards ethically-made, artisan items and products sourced from across the globe and curated with a California eye.

There are Malaika salt and pepper sets in the shape of baby goats from Cairo, Egypt ($55), Alice Ciel/Autumne napkins from Jaipur, India ($36), a handcrafted bowl featuring a black-striped ray pattern from Portugal ($75), hand-poured candles from L.A. ($45), a tie-dyed kimono robe designed in Paris and handmade in Africa ($195), Frazada beach blankets from Ecuador ($75), and much more including gift sets and, of course, more dried floral arrangements.

Atmosphere at Casa Cara launch event

Rou and Tallman displayed their wares on Thursday night on the patio at Cookbook Market & Café on Larchmont Avenue, site of an invite-only launch party that hosted a slew of entertainment industry insiders and onetime Rou clients. During the breezy summer bash, the pair shared their vision with The Hollywood Reporter like only a pair of close-knit business partners can do: by completing each other’s sentences.

“It was about doing something that felt joyful,” said Rou. “Something that brings us joy but also brings joy to other people.” It’s an exercise, Tallman continued, that comes from “a shared passion for gifting, which is a really funny passion to have but it’s true.” Added Rou: “It makes us happy and sparks that light inside. There’s something so wonderful when you deliver a gift to somebody and it means something to them and makes them happy.”

Another source of happiness: A portion of Casa Cara’s proceeds are being donated to Environmental Charter Schools, an organization reimagining education for underserved communities in Los Angeles.

Atmosphere at Casa Cara launch event

Rou leaned on the word joy to describe this surprise second chapter in her career. Rou was well known in Hollywood circles for having represented a stable of high-profile creatives and consulting with Hulu on showrunner press strategy. Her client list included Bruce Miller (The Handmaid’s Tale), Tony McNamara (The Great), Tanya Saracho (Vida), Krista Vernoff (Grey’s Anatomy), Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries), Aline Brosh McKenna (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights), Kerry Ehrin (The Morning Show) and Scott Neustadter (Daisy Jones and the Six), among others.

While she found new rep homes for her list, Rou held on to one beloved client ­— her wife, Liz Tigelaar (Little Fires Everywhere, Tiny Beautiful Things). Fun fact: Tallman is also married to a high-profile woman named Liz as in Liz Parker, who is managing partner at Verve Talent & Literary Agency.

Liz Parker, Sarah Tallman, Alison Rou and Liz Tigelaar
Casa Cara founders with Liz times two: Verve’s Liz Parker, Tallman, Rou and Liz Tigelaar.

“I spent my career really promoting other people’s endeavors, happily, but it’s nice to be able to create something, especially with someone who really knows what they’re doing. Sarah’s got such a creative eye,” Rou noted. “I love that we get to tap into her product development expertise because she’s got great contacts and knows how to source from around the world. When things are falling apart, she also keeps a very cool head, she doesn’t freak out, and she can go in and sort it all out.”

Tallman returned the compliment by describing how their style complement one another. “We split the work by doing what comes naturally to both of us,” she said. “She knows how to run things through a PR filter and her superpower is how she interacts with people. Anytime there’s a sensitive email to send or communication that needs to get out — whether that be a phone call or text — she knows how to make that connection with people. She knows human relations in a way that’s very specific and very rare. Not a lot of people have it.”

As far as what Casa Cara will have in the future, Rou and Tallman are bullish on expansion plans. “We love the idea of continuing in the gifting space while also continuing to grow in a little more of the self-care and wellness space with items for the bath and body,” continued Rou, who seems energized with an exciting new challenge that taps into a different part of her skill set. “I don’t miss the crises,” she says with a smile. “But I miss the people. I loved working with them though now I just get to be their friends. We are busy in our own way now, with a different kind of work. I really am loving this, it’s a lot of fun.”

Scott Neustadter, Alison Rou, Liz Tigelaar and Lauren Neustadter smile at a launch event
Alison Rou and Liz Tigelaar are flanked by Scott and Lauren Neustadter.
Sarah Tallman, Shannon Ryan and Alison Rou pose at a launch event
Disney TV marketing president Shannon Ryan, center, is flanked by Tallman and Rou.
Atmosphere at Casa Cara launch event
Atmosphere inside the launch event.
Robin Tunney Alison Rou Liz Tigelaar Shiri Appleby
Robin Tunney, Rou, Tigelaar and Shiri Appleby.

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