There's no shortage of local lore born from the many hillside hideaways of Los Angeles, and Eagle Rock's Flamingo Estate is no exception. The 1940s-built Spanish Colonial abode has housed an adult film studio (see: its mirrored-ceiling Leopard Room), a pirate radio station, and a publishing company, to name a few — and today, it's the home of Chandelier Creative founder and Owl Bureau bookstore owner Richard Christiansen, who renovated the seven-acre property into a magical Morrocan-influenced mecca for creatives and industry insiders (and yes, even a celebrity or two.)
Whether or not you've stepped into its many jaw-dropping spaces or onto its biodynamic botanical gardens, you can now experience the Flamingo Estate's magic at home with its first lifestyle line. Comprised of candles, an immunity boost tincture, hand sanitizer sprays, hand soap, body wash, and hair care ($20 to $120), the debut collection bottles up the L.A. retreat's essence (in glass amber bottles, no less) by way of organic ingredients like bergamot, Australian wattle, Tuscan rosemary, sage, and blue chamomile (to name a few), all of which are sourced from Flamingo Estate's grounds.
The spa-ready luxuries aren't the only thing that Flamingo Estate launched during the pandemic: Realizing a need to support local farmers and makers, Christiansen and co. teamed with L.A.'s County Line Harvest on weekly community-supported agriculture (CSA) organic farm boxes and tapped floral baker Loria Stern to whip up handmade breads. There are also bouquets from Peads & Barnetts and produce from Golden State Papayas, Morning Star Farm, and other local growers. The edible and floral offerings can be ordered as one-time or recurring deliveries at the brand's website.
And starting Saturday, Oct. 10, you can shop Flamingo Estate's full range at Platform in Culver City, where the brand is popping up through Thursday, Dec. 31. In addition to the recently-launched lifestyle label's aromatic mind, body, and home products, the three-month shop will stock the brand's new extra virgin olive oil and Spring-Harvested Biodynamic Orchard Honey.
Channeling Flamingo Estate's creative spirit, Christensen tapped L.A. designers Alex Reed and Dutra Brown to reimagine the pop-up space into a paradise with rammed-earth walls and handmade ceramic tiles, to name just a few al fresco-inspired touches.
We sat down with Christensen to chat more about how he's keeping busy during the pandemic, how everyone can create their own Flamingo Estate at home, and more. Read on below, shop online here, and keep scrolling for the address and hours for its Platform pop-up boutique.
You had originally put your product line's launch on hold due to the pandemic. What convinced you that now was the time, and how did you shift gears?
We had experienced a bit of a supply shortage with the specialty glass we use, so we had no choice but to shift our focus back to the brand. When COVID hit, many of the local farming communities were struggling as the local restaurants they provided produce to were, of course, closed. We wanted to connect consumers with beautiful produce — this celebration of horticulture is very much at the core of our brand.
Your CSA box with County Line Harvest was an instant hit when it launched. What's the most interesting feedback you've received so far from subscribers? And what are your future plans on that front?
I would say the most surprising element would be what was originally a couple-month-idea has turned into a seasonal extension of our brand. We're constantly evolving and growing to ensure the product selection is not only fresh and exciting, but that it's unique to each season. I can't wait for you all to see what we have in store for the upcoming holidays!
We've been lucky to attend events at Flamingo Estate and are stunned every time. Besides the new home and body products, what are some other things that have brought you comfort during the pandemic, and how can people recreate that in their own homes?
Fresh flowers, any kind, always bring life and company to a space. Moodboard! Get creative! Rip up magazines and collage to manifest your own ideas of bringing pleasure into your life. Of course, if you have a safe quarantine crew, cooking for friends and family is always what brings the most joy into my home.
Lastly, what does your self-care ritual look like these days?
I take CrossFit at Pharos gym every morning at 7 a.m., which includes an hour-long bike ride back and forth — it's a wonderful time for a listen of podcasts and interviews. This is something I never would have had time for pre-COVID. I also take a bath every evening, a somewhat meditation to chill from the day at the office — it's the ultimate reset.
Update Oct. 3: Per the brand, the pop-up's opening has been pushed back one week; this story originally noted an opening date of Oct. 3.