Last month John & I were lucky enough to take a trip to California to attend the LA Art Book Fair, visit friends along the coast, & visit shops that we’d been inspired by from afar. In just a few short days we learned so much about ourselves, our peers, and what we needed to make happen when we got back to Michigan.
At the beginning of our trip we both felt an overwhelming feeling of wanting to leave Michigan. The warmth, people, and opportunities in LA were a harsh reminder of some of the things we lack here in the Midwest. But as we continued to explore different neighborhoods & shops it became apparent that we weren’t that far off. That in Grand Rapids we have just as good of handmade makers, if not better. And that the formulas used in LA can be applied to our shop in Michigan.
We went to A LOT of shops. Each shop had a very distinct atmosphere and vibe, and I learned a lot about how I want someone entering my shop to feel. Some shops had cold rigid vibes, and that didn’t feel good to walk into. Many shops had a neutral vibe, and then there were the few shops that were so welcoming I never wanted to leave.
Summer Camp (Ojai CA) & Orn Hansen (Long Beach, CA) were by far the best places we stopped by on our trip. Rachel at Summer Camp was so inviting and alive. She showed us all around the shop and we were able to talk about the pros & cons of being business women. We even got to trade necklaces that we had made. Rodellee greeted us so kindly when we got to Orn Hansen in Long Beach. She also is the owner of Adored Vintage, an incredible vintage clothing shop & showroom.
The LA Art Book Fair was cool, but I will admit it was also a bit overwhelming. I think as I continue to know what I like and what space I feel best in I lean more towards a small and nicely curated shop. The bustling fair made it hard for me to concentrate and figure out exactly what I liked. I did get to meet Kelly from Little Paper Planes, which is a shop I draw a lot of inspiration from. Kelly brings the magic through her shop, publications, & residency in San Francisco.
Now that we’re home Have Company continues to grow! We’re adding new makers & publications every week and just recently launched our residency program. Feels great to be home and making the magic happen here.
photos : summer camp, rodellee at orn hansen, & la art book fair. all photos taken by john hanson