Good morning peeps and a big TGIF to ya! It’s nearly the weekend so let’s enjoy a few inspiring posts before I sign off, sound like a plan? First up… Are you ready for a little retail therapy? Kirsten Grove wrote in today to share her brand new business adventure with her pal Elise at Brass Razoo. Try not to drool.
Kirsten just joined forces with an existing boutique in Nampa, Idaho (near Boise) called Brass Razoo and launched a vintage and repurposed furniture and home decor line. Her partner-in-crime is an established fashion and jewelry designer,Elise Vaughn, who is from Australia but now calls Idaho her home. She specializes in vintage clothing and accessories at her shop Brass Razoo — both designer clothing and repurposed. Then a new shop concept came back in January over a simple cup of coffee between friends Kirsten and Elise. They were hanging out discussing shop ideas — what could be, what they wanted to offer, bringing in a more green approach to home decor and furniture locally for a good price without sacrificing style, adding home decor and furniture to Elise’s existing clothing and jewelry lines — stuff like that. And that coffee talk grew, in a just a few months, to all this gorgeousness below.
Kirsten (left) and Elise (right).
The original Brass Razoo whop was a tad too small for Kirsten’s work so when they heard about a nearby boutique that wanted to downsize to a smaller building they swapped and took the larger space for themselves. They opened their doors last Saturday and above is just a glimpse of it – but a nice glimpse it is! What an inspirational story – women collaborating and sharing a business rock, don’t they? I am so inspired by women who collaborate in order to bring forth their dreams. You don’t have to do everything by yourself — in fact, often it’s best to partner up on certain business ventures because of finances but also it makes something like shop ownership more enjoyable as you have someone else to mind it while you are off doing the books or at a trade show and vice versa. I’m all for collaborating and hope to someday own my own shop and work with a partner or two myself. Gooooo team! Rah!
A warm congrats Kirsten and Elise and I wish you all the luck in the world.
(photos: amber fischer)
Ah, Moomah. The dream shop/cafe in my mind that actually exists and where else but in New York. Have you visited? Please say yes and please tell me more! From what I read on their site, Moomah is a creative arts cafe where parents and children can eat, create (with do-it-yourself tables) and shop. They even have classes for kids and for adults too. I had heard about this creative and cozy space awhile back as it traveled around blogland but was reminded of it again as I was reading Anita Kaushal’s blog because she likes Moomah, too. Here are some views of their retail space. When I’m in New York this summer I’m definitely hitting this place even if for a few moments just to see my dream in the flesh.
What an amazing retail space, it’s creative and packed with visual eye candy in addition to the good things there to eat and drink. Talk about sensory overload… Heaven.
(images: moomah and kim cornelison)
Today I’d like to share a lovely shop called Beuteltiere that’s so cute and is owned by business partners Barbara Mueller and Katrin Hufer who have knack for curating handbags and accessories – their boutique is like a gallery or gorgeous bags! Beuteltiere is located in Berlin’s trendy Prenzlauer Berg district at Raumerstrasse 19 and just so happens to be where many of my friends shop which is why I decided to write about them today — they are definitely the “it” bag shop in Berlin — especially for girls and guys who love good design.
Shop girls Katrin (left) and Barbara (right)
I had the pleasure of meeting Barbara a few years ago and we’ve kept in touch since — she’s a great lady and terrific business woman. In fact, the blogging event where I spoke at in 2008 is what helped motivate these ladies to get started with a blog, shop and web shop (you can watch their video in German about it here. It’s great!). This really pleases me — it’s nice to know that so many ladies are being inspired and started a business — and living their dreams. I’m heading to Berlin soon to visit them, the high speed train gets me there in an hour and 25 minutes (not bad!) and I really need to buy a bag for myself for Spring/Summer… and they have some great ones as you can see in these photos!
I want to mention that recently Nicole from Nicoletter visited Beuteltiere and picked up this gorgeous 100% recycled Matt & Nat bag… it’s a great one, isn’t it? I’ve become obsessed lately with leather bags, sunglasses and umbrellas so you’ll have to excuse me!
If you are a decor8 reader (which you are if you’re reading this, right?!?) you can tell these shop girls when you visit and they’ll give you a 10% discount off of your purchase to celebrate their one year anniversary. If you buy a bag online you can use your discount until the end of April by entering code “BGdecor8″ at checkout.
Thank you ladies for sharing your shop with us today! I feel like I went on vacation without leaving the house. :)
(photography: tim adler)
Today we’re all going to visit Hamburg, Germany to visit a lovely little shop that also functions online for those not living nearby. You may or may not have heard of this city before but if not it’s located an hour north of where I live and is close to the Danish border, near to the sea. It is commonly known for it’s fish market, gorgeous old town hall, and for being a popular media city along with it’s growing design scene. Lütt & Fien is a shop located in the Eppendorf district on Erikastrasse that owners, Ulrike Petri und Patrick Seegers, describe as a, “Typical, old and charming Hamburgian street, filled with special shops.”
Lütt & Fien, which opened in November 2008, carries toys, accessories and furniture for children and adults who are young at heart. Their offerings reflect a combination of things that they love — classic design from their own childhood and new designs from established and emerging independent artists and designers both near and far with an attention to quality, practical design and fair production methods.
I asked Ulrike and Patrick a few questions about their shop, so I’ll share those answers with you now. First of all, the name. What does it mean?
L & F: Lütt und Fien means small and fine in Plattdeutsch, a dialect of northern Germany. It is a play on words. It can mean our specific products are small and fine, or that we have fine things for small people.
And next I wondered what personally inspires them about living in Hamburg?
L & F: We are fascinated with the calm and sensitive soul of the original inhabitants of Hamburg. They possess the character of the harbor of Hamburg; the bridges, cutters and container ships; the old sailor stories from around the world; the odor of distant lands and the stiff breeze that always blows.
I also asked why they opened a shop, of course.
L & F: While taking our design courses we were preoccupied with this question: Do durable products have to be boring? Every classic design gives us the answer: NO, of course not! We, as trained designers, are always searching for functional, skillfully crafted solutions made with great material. What we are interested in is not a particular style. We find it more exciting to assemble things from different times and production backgrounds. We also look for rarities and special items, and focus on unconventional arrangements, like children do, and we don’t look for brand names or status symbols. The cultural quality of growing up with not much, but having long-lasting and aesthetically remarkable toys, is what we want to support with Lütt und Fien.
And when shopping I always want to know which lines are the most popular in a shop. Here’s what they had to say.
L & F: We offer many items from small traditional workshops, like Sirch, Lotte Sievers Hahn, Kösen and Feiler, just to name a few. We also provide products made by young designers, and our own developed brand, Lütt und Fien, which you can only buy from us.
I finally inquired as to how they want their customers to feel upon entering their shop as I think every shop owner should consider this.
L & F: We want to pass on to our customers the impression of clearness and openness, but simultaneously give them grounds for discovery and a closer look. That is the reason why we always decorate our shop windows with little stories or worlds. We have created a place where children and their parents (especially the grandparents) stand and are fascinated.
I love all of the wooden toys, which is quite common in Germany — you can find wooden toys in major department stores and small shops which I think is really nice because back in Boston most of the wooden toys I found were very expensive because they were mostly imports from Europe. Some of my favorite things include: The little kissing dolls available in red/white or blue/white, the Yoshitomo Nara dog on wheels (I want this and I don’t even have children), and all of the mini kitchen gadgets. When I visit Hamburg again I am going to visit this store and check out their district to see if I can spot some other fresh design stores to blog about. :)
A big thanks to the Lütt & Fien for visiting us here today — and if you are interested in something that you see on their website (it’s in German, sorry for that), you can always email them in English and see if they’ll ship it to where you live. (post AT luettundfien.de)
(images: Lütt und Fien)