BROOKLYN, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Deepening its community commitment, home furnishings retailer West Elm announced today that West Elm LOCAL collections, initiated in 2014 as a way of supporting neighboring makers, are now available in all 74 locations throughout the United States and Canada.
“West Elm LOCAL empowers our store leaders, who we call ‘shopkeepers,’ to introduce their customers to the people who are creating, designing, and driving innovation in their regions,” said Jim Brett, president of West Elm. “We have also enlisted our shopkeepers in our overall mission to revive retail stores as the center of community, a space where local makers and local customers can connect.”
“Knowing an authentic artist is behind a piece, and often having the opportunity to meet the artist, changes the shopping experience and creates a human connection,” said Mo Mullen, director of West Elm LOCAL. “The strong response to our West Elm LOCAL offering reflects our customers’ desire for original works that make that personal connection. The connection inspires everyone involved — the customer, the maker, our shopkeeper, and our entire West Elm team.”
“Our commitment to makers is long-term. For some, it is their first time working with a retailer, and we’re collaborating at all stages of growth, helping the makers scale, and building their business together,” said Mullen. “By establishing these relationships at the store level, we can offer West Elm customers great design, with a sense of place, that represents a personal story.”
A few of the featured West Elm LOCAL makers from around the country include:
- Eric Trine: An object-based designer and commercial artist, Eric is known for his steel, geometric side tables in powder-coated finishes. Eric started as a featured maker in West Elm’s California stores, where he is based, and is now part of the “Best of LOCAL” assortment on westelm.com.
- Goods that Matter: This New Orleans-based accessories maker offers products ranging from soaps and dishtowels, to notebooks and totes. A portion of Goods that Matter sales go towards pressing social and environmental needs, including oil spill cleanup and wetland restoration.
- Little Seed Farm: NYC transplants Eileen and James Ray dropped everything to open Little Seed Farm outside of Nashville, TN in 2011. Now, they create personal care products using milk from the farm’s herd of goats and herbs grown in their garden. They were the winners of the “West Elm Small Business Grant” in 2014.
- Louise Gray: Alexandra Gray Bennett and Jocelin Johnson of contemporary quilt designer Louise Gray reinterpret the art of quilting from Minneapolis, Minnesota with beautiful, handmade quilts of 100% cotton that can be used for warmth or as decorative wall hangings.
- Convivial Cloth: Living in a close-knit seaside community sparked Adam Bice and Noah Beller to create striped beach towel sand blankets that button together and pack easily, which makes connecting with friends a breeze.
About West Elm
West Elm helps customers express their personal style at home. Headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, the brand opened its first store in 2003 in DUMBO, the neighborhood it still proudly calls home. Everything West Elm does is designed to make an impact, from its commitment to Fair Trade Certified, local and handcrafted products to its community-driven in-store events and collaborations. Mixing clean lines, natural materials and handcrafted collections from the US and around the world, West Elm creates unique, affordable designs for modern living. The brand operates 86 retail stores in the United States, Australia, Canada and the UK, ships internationally to customers around the world and operates stores in Mexico, the Middle East and Philippines through unaffiliated franchisees. West Elm is part of an active community on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube, and is a member of the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. portfolio of brands.