Brooklyn–based interior design firm Chango & Co. has opened its first-ever retail store in Williamsburg. The space also houses offices for the team of seven—creative director Susana Simonpietri, managing director (and Simonpietri’s husband) Josh Kay, and five interior designers and interior architects. Simonpietri recently spoke with EAL to share the details of the new shop and what it’s like to work side by side with her husband.
Why is Brooklyn the right location for Chango & Co.?
I have a long-standing loyalty toward Brooklyn. I moved to NYC to do my master’s in design at Pratt…and never left the borough. When looking for a place to relocate our office and open a store, it only made sense to stay in the neighborhood that supported us for all these years. We feel really fortunate to have found such a great space in the heart of Williamsburg—in one of the only cast-iron buildings in BK.
What was the catalyst for opening a storefront?
We’ve spent the last few years as a firm receiving so many inquiries over email for specific pieces we placed in projects after people saw a photo online that it finally dawned on us… We should have a smarter way of addressing this. And thus the idea of a storefront was born. Now, in addition to all of the inventory that we are able to carry in-store, we also offer the general public the ability to purchase anything that may have caught their eye from one of our design projects.
What will the new shop offer?
At the moment, we are focusing on smaller homeware goods like pillows, unique sculptural items and limited-edition artwork, and tableware, as well as lots of easy home gifts and hostess gifts. We also carry some furnishings, rugs, mirrors and lighting in the store. We currently carry—and plan to carry—items from Cisco, Cody Foster, Canvas Home, Four Hands, Sugar Feather, House of Cindy and more.
What is it like working as a husband-wife team?
Pretty awesome, actually. Josh and I have been working together for over five years now, and I honestly could not imagine my days without him. I like to think we make a great team and bring out the best in each other. We keep each other inspired and challenge one another to keep growing, evolving and working harder each year.
Do you have any advice for other couples working together?
The best encouragement I can give a couple working together is to know that it gets easier over time. Our key to a successful working relationship has been a deep mutual respect and love for each other. There will always be arguments, but try to live in the happy places as often as you can. We also make a point to listen to each other and know which battles are worth fighting. At the end of the day, a couple working together has a clear common goal in mind, and although often the proposed avenues to achieve the common goal can vary, both roads lead to the same place, so either is worth traveling.
What projects do you have on the horizon?
We are so very fortunate to have so much work coming our way monthly. At the moment, we are keeping busy with four houses in the Hamptons, a large farmhouse in upstate New York, a few apartments in the city, some homes in Connecticut and a brownstone in Cobble Hill.