It’s a collaboration designed to bring art aficionados together; a national home furniture store teams up with an online community of emerging artists to allow them to showcase (and sell) some of the most unique, creative, and eclectic homemade goods around.
Now in its second year, West Elm will host an “Etsy Pop-Up” shop today inside their Center City store located at 1330 Chestnut Street from 1 – 6 p.m. The online art community features the works of hundreds artists from around the country, but only offerings from 12 hand-selected Philadelphia-area artists will be featured. The goal is to take customers from a virtual space to a physical one.
“This time their customer can actually come in, see the product, feel, and touch it,” West Elm’s Visual Merchandiser Tiara Murphy told NBC10.com. “This really gives them the opportunity to engage the buyer. We are going to have their work lined up from the front of the store all the way to the back.”
And there is a lot to choose from. Everything from bowties to housewares, pillow covers, jewelry, leather goods, totes, belts, wallets, children’s toys, dog beds, vintage photography, and metal wires that hang things.
Jamie Derringer, executive editor of Design Milk - a website dedicated to modern design - was asked by organizers this year to hand-select each of the local artists from Etsy.com.
“Local Philly artists are a unique bred of creatives. I was really looking for something different, a personal connection. I chose sellers I connected with immediately,” said Derringer.
More than 350 people have already signed up for the event but organizers say 500 are expected to attend, according to Murphy. New this year, organizers are adding a disc jockey and photo booth - and if that isn’t enough to draw you into the store - Federal Donuts is serving up free donuts and refreshments.
“It is really a great to be able to celebrate local artists in this way,” said Kendall Coleman of West Elm based in California. “We believe in handmade art and people who attend will get to feel the aesthetic of Philadelphia.”
Etsy Pop-Up stores are hosted annually at West Elm stores in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and California. The store hopes to expand the event to their Vancouver stores soon. Vendors will accept both cash and credit cards.
Here is a list of vendors that will be in attendance:
Mama May I Colored Cups and Balls
HoneyHushCollective custom printed jars