West Elm Local Experiences engage community with artisans

American home furnishings retailer West Elm has launched a ‘Local Experiences’ program engaging communities with in-store demonstrations and workshops with local artists and designers.

West Elm Local Experiences allows customers to engage with artisans through unique experiences and come away with a new skill or knowledge that reflects local culture and craft.

The program builds upon the success of West Elm Local launched in 2013, which provides more than 1000 makers, designers and artists an opportunity to sell their work at West Elm stores in their community. More than 8000 West Elm Local products are sold at more than 100 participating West Elm stores, with some available on a dedicated section of the company’s online store.

Since last month, customers can purchase a West Elm Local Experience with one of five Local makers in select markets including Austin, Brooklyn, Charleston, Detroit and Savannah on WestElm.com. Costs per session start at $130 and courses are scheduled to run in each market from now through next month.

Local Experiences include:

  • Art Welding with Jack Sanders at his metal work studio with campfire happy hour and live music in Austin.

Art welding

  • Natural Indigo Dyeing with Shira Entis conducting an intimate natural fiber indigo dyeing workshop in the artist’s Brooklyn, New York studio.

Indigo dying

  • Draw Charleston with Raven Roxanne and join an artist-led sketch session and hidden gems walk in historic Charleston.

Draw Charleston

  • Cutting + Tasting Trays with Andre Sandifer + Abir Ali hosted at a fire station turned furniture design studio in Detroit.

Cutting and tasting trays

  • Punch Needle Textiles with Pamela Wiley during a workshop to create a hand-tufted textile composition in Savannah, Georgia. (featured image above)

West Elm says the program expands on the company’s commitment to investing in creative communities and local economies.

“The success of our West Elm Local program, coupled with our customers’ interest in engaging experiences, inspired us to further invest in creative entrepreneurs and local communities,” said Mo Mullen, VP of business development with West Elm.

“We are adding a new depth to the program by offering authentic, curated experiences with our artisan partners that match their talents with our customers’ affinities. These interactive opportunities offer a personal, human connection to a destination city or hometown delivered through the creative lens of a local artist.”

West Elm is a Williams-Sonoma brand.

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