east coast edition | Mar 29, 2018 |
West Elm wants to give you a maker experience

Metalworking with a master craftsman, dyeing indigo with a pro, and sketching a city with a talented artist are just a few of the offerings debuting with the new West Elm LOCAL Experiences. The program pairs attendees with one of five of the furniture and hotel brand’s makers in cities including Austin, Brooklyn; Charleston, Savannah and Detroit. The sessions, which start at $130, will run in each of these markets from April through May.

Cutting and Tasting Trays workshop with Andre Sandifer and Abir Ali in Detroit; courtesy West Elm LOCAL
Participants at the Cutting + Tasting Trays workshop by Andre Sandifer and Abir Ali in Detroit; courtesy West Elm LOCAL

“The success of our West Elm LOCAL program, coupled with our customers’ interest in engaging experiences, inspired us to further invest in creative entrepreneurs and local communities,” says Mo Mullen, vice president of business development at West Elm. “We are adding a new depth to the program by offering authentic, curated experiences with our artisan partners that match their talents with our customers’ affinities. These interactive opportunities offer a personal, human connection to a destination city or hometown delivered through the creative lens of a local artist.”

The full list of experiences includes:

1. Art Welding with Jack Sanders at his metal work studio with campfire happy hour and live music in Austin, Texas.

2. Natural Indigo Dyeing with Shira Entis conducting an intimate natural fiber indigo dyeing workshop in the artist’s studion in Brooklyn, New York.

3. Draw Charleston with Raven Roxanne, an artist-led sketch session and hidden-gems walk in historic Charleston, South Carolina.

4. Cutting + Tasting Trays with Andre Sandifer and Abir Ali, hosted at a fire station turned furniture design studio in Detroit.

5. Punch Needle Textiles with Pamela Wiley, a workshop on creating a hand-tufted textile composition in Savannah, Georgia.

The retailer’s LOCAL program, launched five years ago, links more than 1,000 artisans and other craftspeople and designers with retail space in West Elm’s stores. Currently, LOCAL products are available at more than 100 shops, with upwards of 8,000 products available.

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