We had the good fortune of connecting with Samantha Romero and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Samantha, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I would describe the evolution of Fig & Oak as an organic process that emerged from my love for interiors and design. After visiting case study homes like the legendary Eames House or Pierre Koenig’s Stahl House, I made it a life goal to visit as many of these majestic homes as possible. I often found myself sitting for hours at the Los Angeles Public Library simply flipping through pages of mid-century modern design books and thinking how amazing it would be to design one for myself.
Soon after the pandemic settled in I found myself focused on the interiors of my living space because like many others I quickly realized we’d be spending the majority of the time indoors so why not make it beautiful. I was constantly inspired by vintage Instagram accounts like Claude Home, Abigail Bell Vintage, and Den Los Angeles.
Initially, it began with a couple of furniture pieces that I had purchased for myself and decided to list for sale online because I opted for a different design route for my room. I quickly realized that there was an affinity for the pieces I had chosen and began sourcing similar items.
My dad would accompany me on these mini sourcing trips whether it was an online estate sale, meeting someone through a selling app, etc. Soon enough the trips became full-blown out-of-state road trips. We would load up the van with as much furniture as possible before returning to Los Angeles.
The garage quickly became my personal storage unit where I would store the items and photograph them on a paper backdrop in my driveway. This has always been my favorite part of the process because despite the age of these pieces, their beauty transcends time and that’s what I hope to capture in my imagery..
What should our readers know about your business?
Fig & Oak offers timeless objects that you want to collect, gather and keep. I’m constantly inspired by mid-century design and drawn to natural materials.
To say the least, leaning into furniture and opening a showroom has been one of the greatest challenges of all but also one of the most satisfying.
After working in the marketing industry for the past seven years whether it was for an agency or a brand, I naturally found comfort in the familiarity of working for an agency. But I realized I wanted to work for myself and grow a brand that aligned with what I was passionate about: interiors and design.
I’m constantly reminded to trust my instinct especially when it comes to sourcing furniture for Fig &Oak. When I come across an item I try to imagine as if I’m collecting for myself because I know that if I appreciate the pieces that others will also see the beauty in them.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
For a laid-back itinerary that indulges both your sight and tastebuds, I would start the day off with a Cream Top and Butter Croissant from Maru Coffee in Arts District. I’d then visit the MAK Center at the Schindler House to view the gorgeous works currently on display for the Autonomous Design Exhibit. Afterward, treat yourself to Gra, the best spot in town for organic sourdough pizza and an ambiance that will have you returning for more. Finally, I would pick up a natural vino from Lolo Wine Bar & a plate of their creamy Peach Burrata to-go and catch the sunset at the Lake Hollywood Park.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Coming from a background of first-generation immigrant parents I’m grateful for them having passed on their entrepreneurial spirit and teaching me that even when the odds aren’t in your favor you have to be persistent and work hard.
If you believe in what you do and truly are passionate about it you simply have to evolve, pivot, and make it work. Never in my dreams did I believe I would step out of my comfort zone of working for a marketing agency and launch a showroom during a pandemic, but alas here we are.
Profile Image by Stefanie Marie