Just Add Gratitude

Puck Collection by Tom Dixon

What to do when life serves up lemons?
Make a gin and tonic, of course.

For every qualifier about this year in the negative, we opted to find solace and strength in all those turns of events and turns of human grace and compassion that provided hope.

Gratitude can lead to happiness, according to science (including the Happiness Lab). So with this in mind, the A+R family has sought out a bit of cheer by way of considering all we are grateful. Yes, even during this freakish year.

So pour yourself a tall one, give that wedge a firm twist and, as you read through our list, consider what you are grateful for right now, too.

Conor Ford, Senior Design Advisor
With the world turning upside down this year, I am most grateful for how the current situation has made even small acts, acts of intention. Living in Brooklyn (aka The Epicenter) at the beginning of the pandemic, there was a real sense of fear and zero chance of casually running into someone you knew. Connecting with friends and family over Zoom and FaceTime became an intentional act where those involved agreed to make time to connect, because you matter to each other. This year stripped away a lot of the unnecessary, only leaving room for the things that we actively choose.

Ilana Davis-Lawrence, Ecommerce + Digital Marketing Manager
As a Black and Korean woman, what impacted me most, was the growth of BLM in our cultural consciousness. While there is so much more work to be done, hard conversations started on the obvious problems with our justice systems and perceptions of what is right. I was deeply inspired by the young people fighting so hard. It's made me hopeful for future generations. I'm also grateful that my grandmother's amazing story was shared and seemed to resonate with so many people. 

Autumn Foster, Materials Librarian + Design Associate
While day-to-day activities took on a new look, I found myself reaching for the comfort of a familiar task. With lingering uncertainty being a constant guarantee, I took solace in and am thankful for simplicities, like brewing morning coffee or heading out for leisurely (and masked!) strolls. No doubt, most of my thank you’s are owed to those in my life who have provided a stream of support and shelter from a torrential year. My gratitude belongs to them.

Felipe Navarro, Client Services
Thankful that all those close to me have been able to stay afloat during these times, and thankful to for the friendships and bonds I’ve created here in LA.

Louise Lund, Senior Design Advisor
I feel the corona times have taught me to slow down! It’s okay to not have plans at all times, and to not always have busy days 24/7. Blessed, too, that FaceTime and Zoom were invented. To be able to virtually see my parents and friends in Denmark. But also my friends In LA, and my colleagues at A+R. It makes me feel still close to people.

Rose Apodaca, Creative Director
Out of darkness can come the light, and I’m heartened by the forces underway that could make this a more just world for our daughter. While I miss nights tripping the light fantastic on a crowded dance floor, listening to live music and entertaining two dozen friends or clients over a meal at home or in our showroom, staying put this year provided a reset, too. The hours spent on the road were put to meaningful use, from keeping a regular (Zoom) yoga schedule to more time with my kiddo and catching up with old friends. The body has healed in some ways and the mind quieted. Ready to take on 2021 with re-newed focus and intention. And will maintain the Friday FaceTime sunset happy hour with loved ones, locally and afar.

Andy Griffith, Cofounder + Sales Director
This year has remained busy for A+R. For our team and family, I am grateful. We are all healthy, and we have not had to make any of the difficult choices so many other businesses have had to make this year. The team has not only stayed intact, but grown. This harrowing year has also nudged us into the direction of addressing aspects of our business long on the to-do list, from marketing initiatives to further development of our site. Look out 2021