Those who see City Creek as a massive pavilion for out-of-state businesses would do well to check out the local culture shock taking presence right on Main Street, as West Elm are incorporating Utah-made goods into the showroom lines of their fall collection to celebrate the grand opening of their SLC location.
West Elm got its start in 2002 as a catalog specifically dealing in housewares and furniture designs, focused on adding a unique feel to your home dĂ©cor. In 2003, the company launched their first upscale retail store in the Dumbo district of Brooklyn, bringing the catalog to the people. Their stores contain an array of products and services from furniture and kitchenwares to furnishing accessories in color-coded forms. Over the past nine years, the company has expanded throughout the States, Canada and Puerto Rico. The new location in City Creek adds to the mall's growing roster, which now holds over 100 retailers and dining establishments.
West Elm had the pleasure of taking one of the most high-profile spots available, residing at 51 Main, affording them an immediate presence for soon-to-be holiday shoppers riding along Trax. The high vaulted ceilings have given the new location some breathing room, allowing for unique displays to be hung from the rafters, as well as giving a more open feel to the space for patrons to check out their products. Currently the store is featuring wooden chandeliers specifically designed for the store by Craft Lake City artist Holly Jones of Say Hello Shop.
Much like their other locations, the SLC store staff will be focused on helping consumers customize their own, personal home styles with a variety of products, working on space planning and color coordination as a free service. The display room will feature globally inspired furniture and accessories for the home, as well as seasonal collections and collaborations. The SLC shops will specifically feature dinnerware from Kamal, cutlery from Schmidt Brothers and an assortment of textiles and ceramics from 16 different artists hailing from South Africa. There is also a brand new feature debuting in SLC: the Mix + Match Dining Tables, which allow customers to create their own dining table from various bases and tops.
In addition to their own lines, the store will be working with Etsy to open up a space featuring a collection of decorative accessories and artwork created by artists and designers from Salt Lake City and surrounding areas. Select Utah artists who deal their goods directly through their Etsy accounts will be given the opportunity to add their merchandise to the showroom in prominent display, exposing their creations to thousands of patrons every month. Through partnerships with Craft Lake City and Etsy, West Elm has included works from CLC artists Stacey Foster (Fletcher & Fox), Lisa Steadman (Diem Design), Holly Jones (Say Hello Shop) and Eva Jorgensen (Sycamore Street Press). This addition to the store is only the second of its kind at any of West Elm's locations in the United States, and, with any luck, where customers will seek a local-niche to add to their home â€" a prosperous move for all involved.
As a warm-up celebration to the opening, West Elm held a small dinner gathering on Oct. 10 at Pallet (237 South 400 West) for members of the home-design media and crafty consultants. The evening was led by West Elmâ€™s Associate PR Manager Kendall Coleman, Marketing Coordinator Andrea Mazandi and VP of Public Relations Abigail Jacobs, who were all welcoming and willing to converse with writers and bloggers from all corners of the scene. The dinner itself included a fine array of Pallet's appetizers, including their delicious Truffle Fries and Hamachi. My main course was the mouth-watering Seared Scallops with a tasty Cookie Jar for dessert. Over dinner, we conversed with some of Utah's most knowledgeable design and dĂ©cor, including Creede Fitch from Grassroots Modern, blogger Capree Kimball, Cody Derrick, Bri Davis and Andrea Beecher from cityhomeCollective, Craft Lake City director and SLUG Editor Angela Brown, Kristen Krason of 6th Street Design School, blogger Natalie Wright of Natalme and myself.
On top of all this, West Elm partnered with Craft Lake City (now a non-profit organization) for the event, and chose them as a charitable partner receiving 10% of the opening nightâ€™s sales, as they believe CLC shares the same proactive approach to promoting and inspiring local artists, as well as raising general awareness about Utahâ€™s creative culture. This opening event is only the first of several projects West Elm will undertake with CLC on over the next few months.
The shop looks excellent, the dinner was exquisite, the vibe was enthusiastic, and the potential for what West Elm could bring to City Creek couldnâ€™t be more exciting.