Amy's "Back to Her Roots" Workspace: The Studio of Stitch & Hammer

Workspace Tour

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Name: Amy Tremper of Stitch & Hammer
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Size: 350 square feet
Years lived in: 8 months; Rented

Everyone meet Amy, owner and founder of Stitch & Hammer, a leather goods shop based out of Boulder, Colorado. What started as a desire to reconnect with her family heritage led to a serious side project and quickly (and perhaps somewhat unexpectedly) evolved into an established and fast growing business. Taking a peek inside her studio, I was not at all surprised to find it just as inspiring as her story.

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Back in 2011, while working as a graphic designer, Amy felt a strong desire to get back to her roots and begin pursuing something closer to her heart. She believes this change of heart can be attributed to the many childhood summers she spent in her grandmother's upholstery shop in Oklahoma, surrounded by fabric and learning to sew on her Aunt's old singer. Amy founded Stitch & Hammer in Oakland, California, and over ran her spare bedroom with the workings of the business.

Thankfully for us, Amy and her husband Ben decided it was time for a move, and made the decision to head back to a place that spoke to both of their hearts, the rocky mountains of Colorado. Upon their arrival, Amy quickly began hunting for the perfect studio space to house her growing business. Not wanting to rent a shared space downtown, Amy found the perfect spot in what was originally a garage in an industrial art park in Boulder. Ben and Amy worked countless hours, repainting each surface, rebuilding walls, and constructing custom furnishings from reclaimed wood. Together they successfully turned an industrial garage into their perfect workspace. Inevitably, these two have grown quite attached to these four walls, and continue to inspire all who walk through their door.

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: A mix of contemporary and rustic. I grew up in the high desert town of Santa Fe, and my style is mainly informed by the western visual culture of the Southwest. I love denim and cowboy boots.

Inspiration: Mountains! Anyone who knows me well can attest to my love for the Rocky Mountain West. I spent most of my youth in the Sangre de Christo Mountains in New Mexico and the San Juans in Colorado. I am very much inspired by my landscape. I am equally inspired by my family's history. I come from a long line of crafters, quilters and sewers. I am a 5th generation seamstress on my Father's side, and learned how to sew in my grandmother's interior design and upholstery shop.

Favorite Element: In my studio, I would have to say my press. It's my workhorse. I was hand hammering most of the hardware and stamps at first, but I quickly realized this was not feasible, and now use the press for just about everything. As for the space, I love the garage door that we keep open in the summer, letting in wonderful light and crisp Rocky Mountain air.

Biggest Challenge: Our studio was a total mess when we moved in. The walls were painted a dirty beige, with copper conduit running everywhere and one wall made of pegboard that was starting to collapse. The previous tenant was a ceramicist, so there was a fine dust of clay on everything. We spent a good three weeks cleaning, patching, plastering, painting, and rebuilding the wall that was falling down. We're happy the remodel is finished and everything is in its place. There are some smaller projects we'd like to do, but the main things are taken care of.

Biggest Embarrassment: Not sure I want to share that with everyone!

Proudest DIY: We built a wall and desk in my studio out of reclaimed wood. It may not be the best craftsmanship, but we're proud of it.

Biggest Indulgence: I recently bought a pair of Raleigh Denim jeans. They're not cheap. This is my first pair of raw denim, and I love the weight of the jeans and the fit... definitely worth every penny.

Best Advice: Work hard and when you think you can't work any harder, keep going.

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Resources of Note:

PAINT & COLORS

  • Gallery White

WORKSPACE

  • Poster by Serena Mitnik-Miller
  • Cow Skull from Jack Rabbit Hill Farms
  • Vintage Metal Parts Bin from ebay
  • Ceramic Tool Crocks and Pitchers from an antique shop in Oklahoma
  • Standing Desk built by my Husband Ben and myself using reclaimed wood
  • Antique Tin Frame from Uncommon Objects
  • Ristra from Rachel's Corner in Santa Fe
  • Silver Tool Tray from the Alameda Flea Market
  • Woven Basket from Jackalope
  • Lavender hand-picked from my yard when we lived in Oakland
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Thanks, Amy & Ben!

(Images: Kathryn Bacalis)

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