On Wednesday night, I had the pleasure of an intimate tour over at West Elm, in honour of their spring collection. Neil Gazmen, the Toronto Store manager, guided us (little ol'me and some other lovely bloggers) throughout the store with some real warmth and enthusiasm. It was great to preview all of the fresh ideas bouncing around the place for the new season.
It was also seriously great to hear about how West Elm is looking to highlight their support of one-of-a-kind design and trying to bring craft and design to a whole other level of accessibility and visibility. In addition to their artist collaborations, the company also has several partnerships set up to support local economies around the world - whether it's hand-picked Kantha throws, hand-made by women in India or paper-mache wall art that supports communities in Haiti. West Elm proves that you can be a successful corporate company, be passionate about craft and design and still do some good - you just have to want to!
Some favourite moments of the night:
1. Fantastic installations - they really take their visual merchandising beyond retail and straight into whimsy.
2. & 3. Designer collaborations. Check them out here and here.
4. & 5. My favourite colour combination of the night - coral and stone. It feels modern and inviting, with just the right level of punch.
6. Detail shot of the Kantha quilts. Each is completely unique and hand-selected.
7. & 8. Paper-machier art from Haiti and hand-blocked pillows from India. Both items are produced in partnership with Aid to Artisans.