We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrew & Ivette Montejo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrew & Ivette, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The reason we started our business really started out of a need to express our creativity. As a newlywed couple we learned and created our wedding invitations, and wedding decor because we couldn’t find what we wanted anywhere, we didn’t feel seen. After learning a skill, Andrew continued to take more art courses which triggered more creativity. During this time, which was around 2016, we were actively attending local art festivals and craft fairs and felt inspired by the creativity around us, but also wanted to share something special and unique to us, something that we hadn’t seen before. We felt that it would resonate with people that had lived similar experiences like us. Raised by immigrant parents and navigating our heritage with pride while at the same time loving pop culture upbringing. We felt our pieces connected those two things together. So we just went for it and had our first official pop up on June 25, 2017. Amor Por Vida was born however in 2013 when Andrew asked Ivette to marry him.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
We are most proud of our ongoing perseverance to keep creating. When we started both Andrew and Ivette were working full time and made time to create after their career duties were over. Both come from a social work background, which carried alot of stress and creating art allowed them to decompress and feel connected to each other. Creating time to make art was work, it wasn’t always easy because as a newlywed couple wanting to spend time outside the home and continuously getting to know each other was priority but time was always made to create art in some way.
One of the lessons we’ve learned has been to communicate our ideas and vision about Amor Por Vida to each other. We also know where each of our strengths lie and we build on that. Ivette is great at organizing and planning, while Andrew is amazing at creating and designing. Supporting each other and building each other up has always been key to both our marriage and business.
We would love the world to know that through Amor Por Vida, you will feel seen and get to honor the dualities of your Latino identity and all other aspects of what makes you you.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We are going divide in different tours;
The FOOD TOUR!
-The first stop would definitely have to be grabbing a bite to eat at Avenue 26 tacos. It’s a little like the wild west meets, rock and roll meets street tacos. You won’t find better street tacos anywhere around. The vibe is electric and exciting.
-Hot Wings in Pasadena: their wings are amazing and their potatoe chips have the perfect crispiness.
-Tacos Villa Corona in Atwater Village- a literal hole and we love everything about it. Their breakfast burritos are THE best.
-Lemon Zest in Glendale Or Sierra Madre- You will not regret, they have hands down the best mediterrean food in town.
-Self Help Graphics in LA to take an impromptu class or visit a gallery opening
-Leanna Lin’s Wonderland in Eagle Rock for all the cutest and most creative items. Leanna Lin curates the best of some of the most fun and creative artists around.
-Mi Vida shop in Highland Park-This power couple support the community artists, creates their own clothing line and brings the community together.
-Vromans in Pasadena- they have a great selection of books and gifts perfect to take back home after your weeklong trip.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We would first love to give our biggest shoutout to our parents for always instilling creative and encouraging being brave enough to show others.
We would love to thank Noelle Reyes at Shop Mi Vida in Highland Park, for giving us the amazing opportunity to have our very first art show. Artists supporting each others growth is priceless and Noelle completely exemplies that.
Shoutout to the vendor community for organizing events so that there are spaces with people that look like us.
Last but never least, to every single person that stopped by our pop-ups and felt seen and inspired by our work. Thank you for your continued support and ongoing inspiration.