HTX Renewable You
West Elm Goes Local

New West Elm store goes Local with Texas-made products and fair trade collections

West Elm store goes Local with Texas-made products & fair trade items

Hemlock and Heather Texas Reclaimed Wood at West Elm
Austin-based Hemlock and Heathers is part of the “Best of Local” assortment, featuring Texas-shaped wall hangings made from 100 percent reclaimed materials. Photo courtesy of West Elm
Workhorse Printmakers Bayous of Houston Local series at West Elm
West Elm highlights locally made products, including a Workhorse Printmakers' map of the Bayous of Houston.  Photo courtesy of West Elm
West Elm Local program
The new West Elm store in CityCentre has a section devoted to Texas-made products. Photo by Clifford Pugh
Tiny Fawn Omar Owl print at West Elm
Tiny Fawn offer whimsical animal prints from Dallas artist Darrah Gooden. Photo courtesy of West Elm
Son of a Sailor jewelry at West Elm
Son of a Sailor handmade geometric jewelry created by the Austin-based husband and wife team of William Knopp and Jessica Tata. Photo courtesy of West Elm
West Elm Local products at CityCentre store
The new West Elm store in CityCentre has a section devoted to Texas-made products. Photo by Clifford Pugh
West Elm CityCentre store
The new West Elm store in CityCentre offers a wide array of home furnishings and accessories. Photo by Clifford Pugh
Leah Duncan prints at West Elm
Austin illustrator Leah Duncan's  abstract prints inspired by Texas flora are also available on the West Elm website. Photo courtesy of West Elm
Lilco paper products at West Elm
Intricate notecards designed by Dallas-based artists at Lilco are available at West Elm. Photo courtesy of West Elm
Hemlock and Heather Texas Reclaimed Wood at West Elm
Workhorse Printmakers Bayous of Houston Local series at West Elm
West Elm Local program
Tiny Fawn Omar Owl print at West Elm
Son of a Sailor jewelry at West Elm
West Elm Local products at CityCentre store
West Elm CityCentre store
Leah Duncan prints at West Elm
Lilco paper products at West Elm

West Elm has recently opened a big new 11,000-square-foot store in CityCentre and to celebrate the Brooklyn-based home furnishings retailer is featuring crafted goods from Texas-based artists and makers as part of its Local initiative. "The idea is to give small businesses the opportunity to have retail space in our stores," said West Elm public relations manager Dru Ortega. "And it gives our customers the opportunity to discover new products."

Items made by eight artisans from the Lone Star state are featured in a specially-designated area of the store. Among the Texas-made products featured are maps of Houston's bayou system by Workhorse Printmakers, the Houston-based letterpress and printmaking studio.

Texas-shaped wall hangings from 100 percent reclaimed materials from Austin-based Hemlock & Heather have been such a hit that the products are featured as part of the “Best of Local” assortment on westelm.com.

Other Austin-based products offered at the West Elm stores in CityCentre and Highland Village are from illustrator Leah Duncan, who created abstract prints inspired by Texas flora (her work is also available on the West Elm website), and Son of a Sailor, handmade geometric jewelry and accessories from the husband and wife team of William Knopp and Jessica Tata.

From El Paso comes Desert Beauty Soaps & Lotions, a maker of all natural hot and cold processed soaps, and Creative Kids, a non-profit, community-based art agency that works with disadvantaged youth to create art pieces that are then turned into pillows and prints.

Dallas is represented by Lilco, a  design and letterpress studio with Texas-inspired notecards and tea towels, and Tiny Fawn, with whimsical animal prints from artist Darrah Gooden.

Marfa Brands creates all-natural soap bars from the west Texas town of Marfa.

In addition to partnering with local artisans to produce handcrafted collections, West Elm also offers a large number of rugs produced in fair trade-certified factories in India, Nepal and Vietnam and sofas made in the USA. Working with Fair Trade USA, the chain, with 82 stores, plans to certify 20 percent of its product assortment are made by fair trade standards by 2017, and 40 percent by 2019.

"Everything we do is designed to make an impact," Ortega said. "It's really a global effort."