Flamingo Property, an L.A. Life-style Firm That Does It All

Photo of author

By Stacy Connor


LOS ANGELES — Flamingo Property, a life-style firm set in a Forties Spanish-style home within the hills on the border between the Eagle Rock and Highland Park neighborhoods, sells candles that scent like tomatoes and rosemary. Oprah Winfrey named them certainly one of her favourite issues.

Pink is a theme for each the model and the home. Its facade is pink stucco. Its Pink Moon rosé was made to match the colour on the underside of a flamingo’s wing. The corporate makes botanical merchandise, not all of that are apparent hits. Final Christmas, its notorious nine-pound sack of manure (utilizing a synonym for excrement) that price $75, went viral. It’s at present out of inventory.

For $80 earlier than delivery, one should buy a 6.5-ounce jar of dried strawberries dusted with guajillo chile and a squeeze of lime. They’re snacks, sure, but additionally they’re statements: In case you can afford them, cash is just not one thing that issues you. Every part is shipped in packing containers printed with the motto: “We’re a house for radical pleasure.”

Although Flamingo Property was named after the house of its founder, Richard Christiansen, the identify implies one thing far larger than the seven-acre lot he shares with Aaron Harvey, his accomplice (and the inventive director of the corporate), and their canines, Daylesford and Freeway.

“A possible investor simply came to visit and was like, ‘Wait, the whole lot is from right here?’” Mr. Christiansen stated. “She was anticipating a whole lot of acres in the course of Los Angeles.” He needed to clarify that although Flamingo Estates, the model, was impressed by his home he now makes use of elements from 110 native farms.

Mr. Christiansen purchased his dwelling eight years in the past. It was as soon as a porn studio, and he reworked it into an Instagram playland.

“It’s excessive,” stated Martha Stewart, who has identified Mr. Christiansen for years and wrote the foreword to the Flamingo Property cookbook ($78). “He buys a home on the highest of the hill overlooking Los Angeles, and he transforms this ex-porn king’s mansion right into a veritable paradise of gardens and deep, darkish baths and furnishings that’s loopy and good. He seems to be like a younger boy with pink cheeks, and he’s beneficiant and considerate and busy, but you by no means assume he’s that busy.”

The vibe skews colourful and vaguely tropical. In the lounge, there’s a limited-edition David Hockney “Caribbean Tea Time” display screen and a big floral printed couch from the Belgian designer JP Demeyer, blended with chairs and aspect tables purchased at Parisian flea markets. Within the kitchen, a terrazzo ground in shades of mint, white, black and rose is dominated by an unlimited vintage range. Simply off the kitchen is a small bar with classic Baccarat crystal decanters and bamboo stools.

Mr. Christiansen’s house is the place practically the whole lot the model sells is staged and photographed, and it drives gross sales. It has additionally served as a background for Quentin Tarantino and Margot Robbie to be photographed for journal spreads, for Billie Eilish to be interviewed by the BBC, and for Emily Weiss, the Glossier founder, to host her child bathe.

It could be simple to mistake Flamingo Property for a lodge or membership. “I believed it was a public area that folks may possibly buy a ticket to, like a backyard,” Chrissy Teigen stated in a voice memo. She requested Mr. Christiansen over Instagram if she may carry her household. “We pulled up and I knocked on the gate and Richard popped out, and I used to be like, ‘Oh my God, wait, this isn’t a public entity of any form.’”

Mr. Christiansen gave them a tour, and her youngsters performed with the chickens. “I absolutely consider Richard is an angel or an alien from one other planet,” Ms. Teigen stated. “On the threat of sounding very L.A., he has this vitality about him and this aura about him that’s actually particular.”

READ MORE  Toto Cutugno, Singer Whose ‘L’Italiano’ Struck a Chord, Dies at 80

They ended up making three jams collectively — as within the form of jams one spreads on scones, not the musical selection.

Architects from the French agency Studio KO did the renovation of Mr. Christiansen’s dwelling, basing a few of the landscaping on scorching climate gardens in Morocco. Surveying the grounds after an exceptionally chilly and moist California winter, Mr. Christiansen sounded poetic: “The sage has exploded, the wisteria has purple blooms. The orchard is so joyful, it’s prefer it’s singing.”

There are climbing jasmine vines and a cast-concrete bathhouse with a fire and tiles that match the Balearic Sea. Mr. Christiansen is fascinated about sometime making a Flamingo Property “temple to bathing” — impressed by the one at Flamingo Property.

However he’s a person with many concepts. Final yr the corporate launched $250 jars of honey culled from beehives positioned within the gardens of celebrities, together with Ai Weiwei and Julianne Moore.

“How wild is it that LeBron’s honey on the Westside tastes utterly completely different from Tiffany Haddish’s in South Central,” Mr. Christiansen stated. He’s nonetheless negotiating who will take part subsequent.

Ms. Moore stated the method was simple. “There’s a beekeeper in Montauk he contacted, and he or she tended the bees and picked up the honey,” she stated. “We proceed to have the bees.”

Mr. Christiansen stood together with his canines contained in the goat keeper’s shed, an area the dimensions of a small workplace, filled with jars with labels that learn “fermented indigo” and embellished with customized hand-painted wallpaper from the British firm de Gournay depicting native wildlife: cactuses, owls and cliff roses.

The canines have a barely adversarial relationship with the goats, who dwell in a pen with the chickens. On a stormy Sunday in February, realizing the goats had been chilly, Mr. Christiansen posted a name for cashmere sweaters on Instagram. “I used to be like, ‘Oh, it’s freezing, the poor goats,’” Mr. Christiansen stated. Now the goats put on cashmere.

Mr. Christiansen stood overlooking proteas and mimosa vegetation that reminded him of his native Australia. His mother and father had been beekeepers who raised him on their sugar cane farm in northern New South Wales. They didn’t entertain. He was a child obsessive about Chanel and Calvin Klein adverts in magazines, who studied legislation after which went into advertising and marketing.

Flamingo Property started as a pandemic venture. After virtually 20 years at Chandelier Inventive, the company he based in 2005, Mr. Christiansen, 46, was depleted emotionally and bodily. The corporate labored with a number of style manufacturers and had places of work in Los Angeles, New York and Paris.

Mr. Christiansen was residing in Los Angeles. Chandelier was at a standstill within the early days of the pandemic. (He’s now not concerned within the company.) That was when he met a lady who was in peril of shedding her farm as a result of she offered meals to eating places that had been closed.

He began promoting her recent produce to associates in $35 packing containers. Phrase unfold amongst different farmers who had been keen to affix. Farmers offered on to Flamingo Property, which paid them weekly in money. “It was $300 that week, $600 the following week,” Mr. Christiansen stated. “And you recognize, it simply stored rising. One farm turned two, turned 5, turned 10 and now 110. We didn’t have any intention that it could grow to be actually a enterprise.”

“Sooner or later we shifted to a mannequin that was extra structured, asking farmers, ‘Why don’t you plant stuff particularly for us?’”

READ MORE  The Nice Bob Thompson, in Two Elements

Locals like Kris Jenner can nonetheless decide up farm packing containers, however that’s only one a part of Flamingo Property’s enterprise. Gross sales have doubled annually, Mr. Christiansen stated, noting that income was $10 million final yr. “We’re about to hit revenue this subsequent quarter,” he stated.

Seventy-five p.c of the purchasers, in accordance with data offered by Mr. Christiansen, are girls between 24 and 40 years outdated. They’re break up evenly between the East and West Coast. “The chance for us is in cities like Chicago, Dallas, Miami,” he stated.

“I actually do assume we’ve bought these two buyer segments,” he continued. “We’ve bought individuals who care lots in regards to the surroundings and about sourcing and about farming. Then I believe we’ve bought this buyer right here who’s a luxurious shopper, who thinks the home is curated and likes the model and particularly the collaborations we do, and typically they cross over. However very hardly ever, truly.”

The advertising and marketing aspect of Mr. Christiansen nonetheless burns very vivid. Every Sunday he pulls the data on the highest 50 clients that week and texts or calls them. “This one buyer was actually our greatest buyer over and over and over,” he stated. “And I used to be, like, I ponder who that is? After which I had a stunning dialog with him. After which, you recognize, one factor led to a different. Now that buyer is an investor through a household workplace.”

Mr. Christiansen, at first, courted particular person buyers for funding quite than enterprise capital companies. “I hate coping with cash,” he stated. “I don’t even examine my A.T.M. steadiness.”

For all that, the Flamingo Property model simply closed a spherical of out of doors funding. It raised $7.5 million, earmarked for working capital.

“Now we have left the youngsters’ desk and gone to the adults’ desk,” Mr. Christiansen stated.

“We spoke to some individuals who had been inexperienced buyers, and quite a few them had been, like, we’ll solely spend money on organic-certified or regenerative-certified, no matter — simply very didactic about it. I stated that for some small growers, getting licensed natural is actually tough. It’s costly.”

Mr. Christiansen can also be open to working with giant agricultural firms. “For me, progress could be that state of affairs the place folks say we’re removed from good,” he stated. “The chance for me is to work with somebody who’s bought room to enhance. In our trade there’s a lot greenwashing. It makes me irate that folks give themselves a pat on the again for one or two elements which are goodish for the world.”

This summer season, Flamingo Property is opening a pop-up in an outdated auto physique store in East Hampton, N.Y., the thought being to carry your physique in for a summer season tuneup. The gasoline station snack part might be referred to as the Inconvenience Retailer. There are books popping out later this yr, together with a workbook on how one can dwell a pleasurable life and one other referred to as “Home of Radical Pleasure,” which might be a tour of the property divided by the senses.

Flamingo Property, the house, is vital to the attract of Flaming Property, the model, even when having one’s dwelling as a form of residing set and rotating feast might be annoying. Mr. Harvey, he stated with amusing, is pissed off with it: “He’s uninterested in making the mattress.”

“Although we’ve grown shortly, it’s nonetheless super-personal,” he stated. “We make stuff that I wish to use within the kitchen. I take advantage of the cleaning soap within the bathe. I do the entire social myself. It’s nonetheless my kitchen, my toilet, my canines and my timber.”



Supply hyperlink

Leave a comment