The collective philosophy behind General Store is a constant source of inspiration to us and it seems only fitting that Hannah Henderson, who runs the Venice branch of this West Coast design shop, be our very first Guest Curator.
Originally founded by Serena Mitnik-Miller and Mason St. Peter in San Francisco, General Store features a communal offering of locally sourced art, fashion, design objects and more. Henderson opened the second SoCal shop with longtime partner John Moore and has continued in General Store’s tradition of curating designs focused on quality, artistry and sustainability.
We spoke with her about the importance of community and the emotional rewards of living amongst well-crafted creations.
Q: Why do you feel it’s important to support this new economy of makers/creators?
A: We live with such a massive level of consumerism in our culture, so much money is spent on items that are made in poor conditions, they are cheap and therefore disposable, so the cycle continues. This movement toward handmade, local, beautiful, quality goods, is our step away from that. It’s a group of people turning their backs on wasteful consumption, and choosing to support local craftspeople making lovely, lasting things. It is a very important step in the right direction toward a more thoughtful way of living.
Q: Why do you think this maker movement has evolved so much in recent years?
A: Once you become aware of the difference in handmade, well-crafted goods, you can never go back. Something that is made with love and skill just feels different, it has a bit of a soul. Having these things in your home helps to create a haven, a little sanctuary away from the craziness that lies right outside our doors. It’s a lifestyle that feels great, and so it grows…
Q: What attracts you personally to the objects that you choose to bring into your own home/life?
A: I am a sucker for beautiful textiles and ceramics, and vintage, I love it so much. I am drawn to things that feel like they should already belong in my home, like a magnet. Sometimes I immediately know that I will love something for many years. If I am on the fence about something, it’s usually a sign that I don’t need it. I am also lucky to personally know a lot of makers so there is an added bonus to supporting their craft, it feels great living amongst friends’ creations.
1. Kathleen Whitaker 9mm Sequin stud – I love how Kathleen’s subtle evolution of her classic pieces make you want more. A simple gold circle – what could be better?
2. Ramsey Conder Brass Cactus – I grew up in the desert and it will always have my heart. The brass cactus is my little love note to Arizona, I think about back home every time I see it.
3. Rachel Craven Circle Print Table Cloth – Rachel’s textiles are so lovely and multi-functional. It’s a tablecloth but you can also throw it over your bed, or wear it as a shawl – it’s minimal and modern, but soft and organic at the same time.
4. Tenate Wall Basket – leave it to Beatrice! We all have to have everything that she brings to the table. I just want to hang this up in a sunny kitchen and fill it with a bounty of produce.
5. Le Feu de L’eau Large Candle – these beautiful candles are sculpted with water in LA, and have the most perfect fragrance. Each one is completely unique and they last for ages.
6. Chay Rose Tea – Great packaging plus organic rose petals and chamomile flowers – just sounds like the perfect gift. I want to start a ritual of drinking it in bed at the end of every day.
7. Earth tu Face Skin Stick – I use this day in and day out. It is my favorite product. Feels great on the lips, smells fantastic and is perfect on dry skin as well. You can always trust that Earth Tu Face uses the absolute best, food-grade, 100% natural ingredients.
8. Rachel Craven Indigo Linen Caftan – at last, Rachel’s work is now in wearable form. This is the perfect linen dress, so comfortable, great cocoon shape – a staple year-round in LA.
9. Kkibo Fringe Baby Sweater – I need someone in my life to have a baby girl right away. This sweater is something I would keep forever and pass down for generations. I can’t imagine anything better for a little one to wear.