Rose, wearing Tory’s Carolina dress, and Andy at A+R East, photographed by Alden Wallace

He’s a documentary editor and former sound engineer; she, a fashion and pop culture editor and, previously, the West Coast Bureau Chief of WWD. Together the L.A-based couple are the brains behind
the cool design store — design destination, really — A+R.

When starting a company, remember to…
Be true. Compromising your reason for being in the name of chasing the dollar will inevitably backfire — including taking all the fun out of why you got into business in the first place.

Most exciting part about owning your own business…
We love being able to share our enthusiasm for new finds with other people. That’s why we both loved being editors in our past lives and we’ve brought that approach to A+R.

And most challenging part…
Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but it can also mean competitors who undercut on pricing or are quick to ape our mix. We strive to stay ahead by keeping true to our point of view and offering a distinct experience that includes emphasizing customer service. Customers can go anywhere these days, but we appreciate they come to A+R because of what we can offer both in terms of product and experience.

First job we ever had…
Rose: Outside of babysitting and working my mother’s arts and craft store at nine, at age 13 selling pretzels wearing lederhosen during Oktoberfest at a place called Old World in the Orange County surf city of Huntington Beach.
Andy: Dishwasher at a restaurant in St. David’s, Wales when I was 12.

And one lesson we learned from it…
Rose: What I honed then is what I already learned from my parents’ store: 80 percent of any sale is in the interaction (a.k.a. experience).
Andy: Organization is key: if you organize things properly, you can do twice as much as anyone else.

Best career advice we’ve received…
Fred Hayman, the godfather of Rodeo Drive, co-founder of Giorgio Beverly Hills, a veteran of the Waldorf Astoria and The Beverly Hilton, and a dear friend, always advised us that retail is essentially a hospitality business. Take care of clients like guests in your home, and always strive for the extraordinary difference.

Our guide to L.A. would include…
A hike to the observatory or the trains in Griffith Park; Skylight Books in Los Feliz; Paul Young’s temple to contemporary moving image artworks, Young Projects in WeHo; the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City and the many art galleries within a stone’s throw; A+D Museum in mid-town (near LACMA); the Hollywood Bowl (with baskets of grub from Joan’s on Third and bottles from Silver Lake Wine), and Littlefork in Hollywood (for the Clams Casino!).

Followed by…
After-hours disco madness at Giorgio’s and rising early the next day and eating and shopping our way through the Hollywood Farmers Market.

New L.A. talent we’re keeping an eye on…
Ryan Upton and Airi Isoda of Wrk-Shp for their spare, modern lighting and home accessories, and for Airi’s women’s clothing; likewise, the work of another couple, the conceptual sculpture of Mattia Biagi and equally conceptual clothes and jewelry of Valerj Pobega, and we continue to be blown away by the homegrown talents we’ve long supported such as Tanya Aguiñiga, Bettina Hubby and Karen Kimmel (whose Crafting Community series have continued to blow us away, whether we’re partners or participants).

And for great design in here…
L.A. has finally come around in recognizing its great design heritage through exhibitions and preservation efforts, and that has also meant a surge of shops. Among our favorites: OK, Heath, Garde, Modernica, Fifth Floor Gallery, Tortoise, Commune and Poketo.

Favorite interview we’ve ever done…
Rose: Yikes. Too many: Donatella Versace and Phyllis Diller, separate interviews but I link the experiences… and they are such self-inventions; Dennis Hopper because we just talked photography and why we loved L.A.; production designer Dante Ferretti, because he was generous with his stories, laughter and time, and Donna Karan and her late love Stephen Weiss, because I was only 24, it was my first “big” designer interview (for the Los Angeles Times), and they couldn’t have been more lovely to this young novice in platforms and shorts.
Andy: Celebrated chefs Suzanne Goin and David Lentz, because they have managed to transform L.A. into a culinary capital while being married and even starting a family.

Favorite interview question to ask…
Why? That three-letter word is the best follow-up question. Of course, now we’re on the receiving end of too many “why’s” from our toddler, Nina!

And advice to first-time visitors to L.A…
Rose: Leave your East Coast prejudices about L.A. home. This city can keep you going and inspired 24/7 if you know where to look and are willing to go there.
Andy: And bring your driver’s license.

For more features from our L.A. Issue, click here.

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