Meet the Experience Creators: Siena and Leslie Randall
From doughnuts to storytelling, these sisters-in-law do it all together
Experience creators Siena and Leslie Randall give us a peek into their friendship, business partnership and their favorite things around town.
They’ve known each other since they were teens, traveled Europe together, bought a home and lived together (settling in for Thursday night Survivor watch parties) and since 2015, Siena (above, left) and Leslie (right) Randall have worked together on a marketing venture known as R&R Enterprise. So it’s no wonder Siena (who is married to Leslie’s younger brother) and her partner have the kind of relationship where they can finish each other’s sentences and elaborate on each other’s stories.
Leslie had a long career in the beauty industry and started her own company, while Siena was learning about plants and landscaping concepts doing marketing in the horticulture world. After Leslie sold her business and Siena went freelance, they combined their talents, primarily focusing on Del Mar’s Flower Hill Promenade, where they seasonally transform the revived shopping center’s environment and programming community events. They’re the creative minds behind the heart made out of colorful paintcans, the rainbow of swim noodles suspended from the shopping center’s second floor, and the tree dripping with wishes (to name just a few of the duo’s inventive installations)—all part of this past summer-long “Growing Kindness in Sunshine” campaign that literally took over the outdoor plaza. And now they’ve been tapped to help with the redevelopment of Seaport Village.
Leslie is keeping her marketing muscles flexed, reading Nicholas J. Webb’s What Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint; Siena is more of a magazine person, embracing her horticultural roots with her favorite periodical, Garden Design Magazine (might we suggest San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles, as well?).
What do you splurge on?
“Jewelry,” Leslie says. “I like everything about it—I just love the stones, I love new pieces, I love old pieces.” In fact, she says, she thought about becoming a gemologist at one point.
For Siena, it’s travel, particularly Hawaii and Baja, where she likes to recreate the family camping and surfing road trips she took as a child. “We’ve done trips all the way down to Loreto in Baja, and Scorpion Bay is one of my favorite surf spots down there.”
What challenges are there working with family?
“It’s actually very comforting,” Leslie says. “It’s never about covering your ass or watching your back or any of the politics that can happen. It’s just a common goal with the drive toward bettering our family.”
There is one drawback, Siena adds—for others: “It’s hard for them to keep in sync with us; we can read each other’s minds.”
Favorite coffee shop?
Leslie is a fan of Pannikin Coffee & Tea in Encinitas, located in the cheerful yellow building that was once a railway station, built in 1888. Siena gets her joe and breakfast sandwiches from stylish San Diego mini-chain Better Buzz Coffee.
Where do you go for inspiration?
Leslie loves a good theme, and she starts with an idea—the crazier the better—to get her going. “I start researching and pulling bits and pieces together until we fall in love with something, and that’s when the real fun begins,” she says. “My family teases that I am a Google search master and that if an item exists, I can find it—or figure out a way to make it.” But she admits that she’s also inspired by visitors’ interactions with an installation. “It always keeps me excited about what we are doing and inspired to do the next,” Leslie adds.
Siena also finds inspiration through community engagement. “Anytime we have the opportunity to bring people together, I become inspired to make it a memorable experience for them to enjoy,” she says. “I believe it all starts with the environment you provide for the experience to happen in.” She also pulls ideas from her travels. “Anytime I go to a new place or even somewhere I’ve already been, I look for things that make me feel welcome, comfortable or excited,” she adds. “I often find myself gleaning things from places I remember having a fun experience in, and I love to try to recreate that in places we work for other people to enjoy.” Of course, she (and Leslie) put a new spin on it.
What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
Having the extended family spend the night on Christmas Eve so everyone can wake up and celebrate Christmas Day together is a longstanding Randall tradition, Leslie says. “I still think that is one of my favorite things and our kids get so excited, sleeping on the floor, they beg to do it every year.”
“I think the holidays is one of the reasons I married into this family,” says Siena, who also mentions a tree-decorating tradition. “We have a couple generations of ornaments that come out every year and so it’s always fun to tell the stories or retell the stories about where those ornaments came from and why we got them. And we try to add new ones to the mix each year so there’s always a new story. I always like the storytelling.”
The pair’s top spots are beach-chic Solace & the Moonlight Lounge in Encinitas and Pacific Coast Grill, with its unbeatable beachfront location in Cardiff. Siena also likes to bring home some locally brewed JuneShine hard kombucha, which operates what’s billed as the world’s first hard kombucha bar in North Park.
Where do you go to recharge?
For Siena, it’s the water. “I like to surf anytime I can get out in the ocean. I have to really try hard not to stop at the beach on my way into the office in the morning; it’s just calling to me. It’s a great stress reliever and it’s something I’ve been doing since I was a kid.”
Since it doesn’t happen too often, Leslie likes to just relax at home and chill with her kids. “That’s really the time I treasure, where we have no plans, at home in our PJs. That’s where I’m able to really relax and let my mind wander.”
What’s your most treasured possession?
No surprise for these two, it has to do with family. Leslie is the proud keeper of the family’s heirloom jewelry, which she and her mother annotated on index cards, preserving all the attendant stories for each piece. Siena loves the midcentury-modern teak dining table she inherited from her grandmother. “It just has so many good memories attached to it,” she says.