Community & Co. was founded by Jennifer Ridel and Joshua Smith just a few months ago this past Summer. Sourcing vintage pieces and custom designs by various vendors, they offer quite an eclectic but lovely collection of furniture. Conceptualizing the idea of lovely home decor and a full artist gallery, this is more than an average showroom.
Jennifer reminisces: "I grew up surrounded by stacks of Architectural Digest and Fine Woodworking magazines and my father's saw-dusty workshop — I think that may have planted the seed." While studying in the UCLA design program, she started off in the interior design business as an intern, working in both residential and hospitality/commercial design for a couple of firms based here in Los Angeles. "Eventually — long story short — I set off and started my own boutique interior design firm, working on both residential and commercial projects — two totally different worlds."
"The last couple of years, I went in a different career direction and worked as a Creative Director for a textile showroom, also here in Los Angeles. I travelled the world as a buyer, meeting with incredible textile mills and suppliers. I also created a furniture line for them, curated a home accessories line, re-branded the company and remodeled their showroom, giving them a model that they are replicating in other markets." Though she admits from a design standpoint it may not of been her personal style, it did inspire her to create a brand and business of her own.
Jennifer describes her business partner Joshua Smith as a true design enthusiast. Trained professionally in technology, he is also a gifted musician and photographer. "This project has been a much needed creative relief for him! Hopefully he will share his music at one of our many events at the gallery or showroom."
Community & Co. was designed to bring art, locals and great design all into one open space. "Our events merge everything from film,music,whiskey and wine tastings to an event with Tesla Motors. They are actually driving the cars into my showroom. That will be in February! Anything that is good design, be it food, art or even a car, fits at Community & Co." One of the most exciting ventures for Jennifer and Joshua is to work alongside some of the artists they have lined up for the gallery. "We also just kicked off our First Fridays happy hour series — the first Friday of each month, we host a happy hour with live music, cocktails and a sale! There is quite a bit of activity going on over here."
Lastly, Jennifer states that what she loves most about Community & Co. is that there is this constant evolution of creativity and ideas happening. "Incredibly talented artists and craftsmen working on projects with us for next year and beyond so the movement and energy is pretty great!"
Visit them online: Community & Co.
Images: Bethany Nauert