We first visited County, Ltd. when we moved to the East Side of Los Angeles late last year. On the quest for special pieces to bring into our new home, we wandered into this lovely little world of quality clothing, specialty home goods, art, and vintage and custom furniture. Everything unique, everything made to last.
Beyond the quality and elegance of the pieces, we were taken with the kindness and friendliness of the people behind the shop: four guys who have clearly developed keen eyes for the artwork and pieces they showcase. It's a combination of the beauty and charm that keeps us coming back; the gestalt that these four have managed to create.
We were intrigued to learn more about their story and backgrounds, and were delighted when they accepted our offer to come over for coffee. Hope you enjoy:
County, Ltd. and Counter-Space have this great symbiotic relationship. Four people, two separate but closely-related brands. Who are the players, and how did you all come together?
County Ltd is Taylor Caruso, Phil Proyce, Kirill Bergart and Joe Lorens, a product of two in-house brands (Lady White Co. and Counter-Space). Phil designs Lady White Co., Taylor slangs it; while Joe and Kirill run Counter-Space.
Counter-Space and Lady White Co started around the same time. Kirill and Phil worked together at Unionmade and through friendship and shared aesthetics we decided to start showing our brands together under the name County Ltd. Which in turn lead us to our playful “T-Shirts and Chairs” slogan.
What are your guys’ morning rituals, if you have any?
Taylor: Normally I'll wake up and get the day going with a pour over chemex. Although, I don't always get time to sit at home and enjoy, so I tend to embrace the morning brew while in Los Angeles traffic, ha.
Joe: If I’m able to, I prefer to wake up naturally. I then usually take 10-15 minutes to meditate and begin the waking up process. After that I hop into the shower which is a necessity for a non-morning person like me to get my blood flowing. I then like to brew a cup of pour over coffee and read over the news.
Phil - I start the day off with some breakfast at home with my wife, Sarah. We always have some sort of avocado toast, oatmeal or egg variation and coffee of course.
We’re so impressed with your collective eyes for aesthetic and design. How did you each develop your capacity for this? Do you think it’s something you’re born with or something you develop over time?
I think it's a mixture of both. There are qualities of individual taste, before you dive into the related subject or field, and then with passion and direction you can grow that respect—whether it be T-shirts or Chairs.
Kirill and Joe were collecting for close to 10 years and gaining a wealth of knowledge in the furniture and design realm. Meanwhile, Phil was creating Lady White Co., and Taylor helping with sales and production. Through friendship and shared interests, we are able to grow and showcase our respect for design.
How do you stay inspired? Are there any specific channels or rituals you have around staying inspired and innovative?
I would say the main inspiration comes from traveling and reading. The constant urge to supply our customers with products that we want to use and wear ourselves, is the best motivation we have for growing.
What’s a perfect day look like to you?
Taylor: A nice day spent with my girlfriend and our two dogs, Frankie and Beau
Phil: A day off when everything happens naturally without any plans.
Joe: First off, waking up without using a alarm clock. Then head out deep into nature for a hike or walk. Grab some amazing food on the way back and take it easy with friends for a while. Then settle into bed and watch a documentary.
Who would you love to have a coffee with (can be anyone, dead or alive)?
Joe: Nikola Tesla
Phil: Donald Judd
Kirill: Charlotte Perriand
Taylor: my uncle, Brendan
Photos taken by Casey Wojtalewicz.