I think it's safe to say that pretty much everyone knows the shop West Elm, right? I have to be honest, I wasn't overly familiar with what West Elm was all about. I've always been a champion of the indie anything, and independent shops, and always will be. I had the opportunity, along with a dozen others in the biz, to be given a tour of the new Vancouver store by Creative Director, Vanessa Holden. I've been a huge fan of Vanessa's, since she co-founded Donna Hay magazine then onto editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Living. After that tour, I have a new appreciation of what they're all about, and it's all good.
Here are some of the things that stood out to me....
They have an Etsy section featuring local talent. This collection included Dahlhaus Ceramics and Walter Helena Photography, to name two.
I was told that each store is decorated to suit the city it's in. They gave the Vancouver store a woodsy, crafty theme. Loved the string pieces hanging behind the front counter.
They have several products labeled "Discovered". One of a kind pieces. A great selection of throws, cushions and rugs. I bought the Kantha Throw in the bottom right corner. It's made of vintage saris hand-stitched by craftswomen in North India. It's beautiful and reversible too!
Vanessa Holden, top left. I think I need the side table, top right...x2.
Part of the proceeds, from the opening night party, benefited Arts Umbrella. A fantastic place for kids to learn a variety of art forms: dance, photography, paint, etc. Definitely a new appreciation of West Elm.
Are you a fan of West Elm? What do you like best about them? I'd love hear your thoughts!
Have a great weekend! Back next week.