Flamingo Estate, the Los Angeles home and company flagship of Richard Christiansen.
Photo: Adrian Gaut

Creative Mind: Richard Christiansen

The Flamingo Estate founder built a decadent lifestyle empire utilizing the purest ingredients cultivated with old-world craftsmanship

Richard Christiansen. Photo: CHRISTIAN HÖGSTEDT

From his villa high in the Los Angeles hills, Flamingo Estate founder Richard Christiansen has literally grown an empire of “radical pleasure,” which to him means natural, made-by-hand pantry staples and wellness goods. His Spanish Colonial–style home, with its seven acres of gardens, serves as the epicenter of his company, launched during the pandemic as an outlet for farmers to sell their goods.

“When most people start a business, they think, What do I need? What do I need to make it?” reflects Christiansen. “We really came at it from the complete opposite because we had all these ingredients, and then we’d say, ‘Okay, what can we make with them?’ ”

Flamingo Estate. Photo: Matthieu Salvaing

Today, Flamingo Estate sells everything from soaps to honey—some of it from hives installed at the homes of Kelly Wearstler and LeBron James with Jane Goodall and Ed Ruscha on the horizon. There are the pop-ups, like last summer’s Inconvenience Store with Mytheresa in East Hampton, that showcase the breadth of the collection in fashion-forward, bodega-like settings. His limited edition offerings with Gaetano Pesce, which debuted with ice buckets, will expand later this year to olive oil bottles designed by the artist in such unprecedented style it took the firm six months to find a glassblower to make them.

Flamingo Estate products. Photo: Stephanie Stamatis

Creative process: “For people who want to work with us I say during the interview, please don’t work here if you want innovation. There should be nothing innovative about what we’re doing. We’re just doing things the old fashioned way, the slow way, the way people forgot to do so. It’s almost like it’s lack of newness was the new thing, doing the opposite was the radical thing.”

Private Harvest Honey. Photo: Courtesy of Flamingo Estate

Private Harvest Honey. Photo: Courtesy of Flamingo Estate

Extending the reach: Flamingo Estate recently collaborated with de Gournay and Beni Rugs—two brands that share its passion for old-world craftsmanship. “We would never work with someone unless it’s a product we actually want to use at the house,” says Christiansen, who will next debut a collection with Kohler. “We’re not a celebrity brand, but in the era of celebrity brands, in a funny way, the house has become the celebrity and so I can really see how design brands want to capture just a little bit of that spark.”

Flamingo Estate x Beni Rugs Collaboration. Photo: Courtesy of Flamingo Estate

A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2024 Spring Issue under the headline “Creative Minds.” Subscribe to the magazine.

Cover: Flamingo Estate, the Los Angeles home and company flagship of Richard Christiansen.
Photo: Adrian Gaut


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