Los Angeles, CA
($$) Mid-Range - ($$$) High-End
Kristan Cunningham & Scott Jarrell
Located in DTLA's Art District, Hammer + Spear is a refined curation of vintage and handmade goods. The owners, husband and wife Scott Jarell and Kristan Cunningham, have been deeply rooted in design for some time now. Their showroom houses amazing furniture, artwork, and some imported smalls. Recently teaming up with Jonathan Ventura’s Anon_Y_Mouse, they have formed Arts District Printing Company, a nod to Los Angeles and all of downtown's city streets. Hammer + Spear has just celebrated its one year anniversary and is a welcome fixture in the heart of downtown.
Name/Title: Kristan Cunningham — Principal Designer and Co-Owner with the hubs, Scott Jarrell
Launch date: March 14th, 2013 (Oy vey! this just exposed the fact that we held our One Year Anniversary party a month and a half late!)
Inspiration for opening: Our neighborhood's amazing rebirth. We wanted to be a part of it in any way we could! So many of the amazing small businesses in the Arts District are owned by its residents — ourselves included, as we live a stone's throw from our shop. This gives us all a unique perspective, and allows us the insight to cater directly to the needs of our neighbors. We hope people will come from far and wide to shop and hire our design services, but the support and patronage of the locals is paramount to us. Plus, owning a brick and mortar retail space completely sustains our collecting obsession. We were just really fancy hoarders until now.
Merchandise source: We're 90% vintage, and Scott and I do all of the picking, hauling and cleaning up of the goods ourselves. Scott's parents are in West Virginia (where we met!) and my parents are in Georgia. We fly home to one or the other, use their garages as home bases and packing centers, and then drive around in a van everywhere in between to ferret out the goods, fueled almost entirely by Waffle Houses. The new goods and lines are found via my falling down late night internet rabbit holes and my obsession with trolling Instagram in bed the moment I wake up.
Best selling item: All of our wood goods out of West Virginia by Allegheny Treenware. We've been investing in these beautiful products, designed and crafted by a couple who met and fell in love working in the coal mines, for our entire 17 years together as a couple, and they're some of our most loved home goods. When we decided to open the shop, it was a no brainer that we'd carry Sue and Stan Jenning's pieces. We've been blown away by the response and love for these affordable and beautifully handcrafted goods, and we're so honored to be able to offer amazing goods from our home state of West Virginia.
Also, D.S. & Durga — a Brooklyn based, husband and wife team who create small batch perfumes and colognes. She's an alum of SciArc... which happens to be Hammer and Spear's closest neighbor!
Your favorite item: Scott: Triumph & Disaster, Rock & Roll Suicide Scrub and Game Face Lotion. (Note: I just said "really honey?! of aaaall the things we carry in the shop, vintage and new, these two products arereeeeeeally your favorites. He said "yup. Use 'em everyday and can't live without 'em". Dropped the mic and left the room. We agreed at the beginning that we'd only carry lines that we love and believe in, and there you have it.)
Kristan: Vintage inventory changes quickly, but right now it''s the gold cubist Jaru figures. Jaru Art Products was founded in the 50's by (Ja)ck and (Ru)th Hirsch...Do you see a trend here? Husband/ wife partnerships produce incredible things!
Favorite store (other than your own): Garde on Beverly, owned by our dear friend and the most amazing curator we know, Scotti Sitz. I'm sure that when asked this question, most other shop owners jump at the chance to give their friends a plug, but I tried really hard to think of any other retail environment that inspires me more and just couldn't do it. She's simply the best in the game…
(Image credits: Bethany Nauert; Arts District Printing Co)