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West Elm Goes Local

West Elm goes local with help from Dallas-based artisans

West Elm goes local with help from Dallas-based artisans

Hemlock and Heather Texas Reclaimed Wood at West Elm
West Elm's Best of Local collection features companies like Austin-based Hemlock and Heather, which makes Texas-shaped wall hangings from 100 percent reclaimed materials. Photo courtesy of West Elm
Tiny Fawn Omar Owl print at West Elm
Tiny Fawn offers whimsical animal prints from Dallas artist Darrah Gooden. Photo courtesy of West Elm
Lilco paper products at West Elm
Intricate notecards designed by Dallas-based artists at Lilco are available at West Elm. Photo courtesy of West Elm
Son of a Sailor jewelry at West Elm
Son of a Sailor handmade geometric jewelry created by Austin-based husband-and-wife team William Knopp and Jessica Tata. Photo courtesy of West Elm
Leah Duncan prints at West Elm
Austin illustrator Leah Duncan's abstract prints inspired by Texas flora are also available on the West Elm website. Photo courtesy of West Elm
Workhorse Printmakers Bayous of Houston Local series at West Elm
West Elm highlights locally made products, including a Workhorse Printmakers' map of the bayous of Houston.  Photo courtesy of West Elm
Hemlock and Heather Texas Reclaimed Wood at West Elm
Tiny Fawn Omar Owl print at West Elm
Lilco paper products at West Elm
Son of a Sailor jewelry at West Elm
Leah Duncan prints at West Elm
Workhorse Printmakers Bayous of Houston Local series at West Elm

As part of its growing Local initiative, Brooklyn-based West Elm is stocking its shelves with crafted goods from Texas-based artists and makers. "The idea is to give small businesses the opportunity to have retail space in our stores," says West Elm public relations manager Dru Ortega.

"It gives our customers the opportunity to discover new products."

The items represent all corners of Texas. From Dallas are Lilco, a design and letterpress studio with Texas-inspired notecards and tea towels, and Tiny Fawn, whimsical animal prints from artist Darrah Gooden. 

Austin-based artisans include illustrator Leah Duncan, who created abstract prints inspired by Texas flora, and Son of a Sailor, handmade geometric jewelry and accessories. The Texas-shaped wall hangings made of 100 percent reclaimed materials from Austin-based Hemlock & Heather have been such a hit that the products are featured as part of the Best of Local assortment on the West Elm website. 

From El Paso comes Desert Beauty Soaps & Lotions, a maker of all natural hot and cold processed soaps, and Creative Kids, a nonprofit, community-based art agency that works with disadvantaged youth to create art pieces that are turned into pillows and prints. Marfa Brands creates all-natural soap bars from the beloved West Texas town.

In addition to partnering with local artisans to produce handcrafted collections, West Elm also offers a large number of rugs produced in fair trade-certified factories in India, Nepal, and Vietnam and sofas made in the U.S. Working with Fair Trade USA, the chain plans to certify 20 percent of its product assortment is made by fair trade standards by 2017, and 40 percent by 2019.

"Everything we do is designed to make an impact," Ortega says. "It's really a global effort."