PF Director Andrew David Watson has been on the go, traversing the country documenting the local knowledge of craftspeople and designers for West Elm’s Front & Main City Guides.
“Although terms like “local” and “American Made” might have particular cachet in today’s day and age, these concepts have long been a part of West Elm’s DNA, and very much what drives our passions as a business. Two years ago, we launched our LOCAL program, an initiative that taps into our goal to create a positive impact in the communities that West Elm calls home. What began as a small, experimental endeavor with just two stores in 2013 has blossomed into a network that brings together over 200 local makers from around the country, providing a platform and raising awareness for these talented craftspeople and small business owners.”
Working as one-man band, Andrew was behind the camera and performing the interviews, getting a sense of the talented artists and designers favorite local spots in Oklahoma City and Charleston.
Introducing Raven Roxanne a painter in Charleston and designers Jon & Candice McCoy in Oklahoma City. Andrew (and his light weight, travel-ready PF production crew) were able to capture the stories West Elm wanted to tell, exploring each city through the eyes of their collaborative makers.
Fast Company recently highlighted the West Elm approach in an illuminating article … How West Elm Became An Unlikely Incubator of Independent Design … “We’re constantly in this dance of ‘what works for you’ and we can be flexible about that,” Mullen says. “Part of the reason Local has worked is with every vendor we do an intro interview, which isn’t just about pricing and policy, but also who do you want to be when you grow up? What kind of growth ambition do you have? What does success look like?”