Thursday, March 24th, 2011...8:00 am

Austin shopping: A browse around Spartan

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Top to bottom: 1. Miscellaneous gold-toothed skulls, jewelry and wood vases + Recycled glassware and Fog Linen pieces. 2. Wood vases on a handpainted shelf — such amazing merchandising + Japanese ceramics and super-affordable Fog Linen trays. 3. Lockets by Tres Petits Points + Root bowls and burl wood serving boards. 4. Dishware illustrated by Alyson Fox + Collars and leashes by Found. 5. Small clutches by reid.damnit + One of my take-aways — a beautiful Linen Button Scarf by R&L Goods. (I couldn’t find this one on Spartan’s site, so here’s a direct link to purchase.) Click any image to enlarge. Most items available for sale at the lovely

What inspires the selection at Spartan? What types of products do you prefer to carry, and why?

Currie Person, Spartan owner:
The criteria for most things in the shop are: beauty, functionality and longevity. Longevity in the sense that is this something that you can own for a long time and be happy with over the years. The thing that frightens me the most as a retailer is that the things I sell would end up in a landfill shortly after purchase.

In addition, I try to stock as many environmentally friendly, recycled or repurposed, fair trade and locally made things that I can.

It has been such a pleasure discovering the people that make the things that I carry. Such an amazing group of creative, energetic, funny, enjoyable folks! Although there are a few large import companies that I use, I am really trying to shift to small artists, artisans, designers and craftspeople.

Lastly, I try to be as gender neutral as possible. I really want the men to feel like they have a place shopping at Spartan, and I am always on the look out for great thing specifically for men.

Those are a heap of words for a small question. But as a shop owner, that is the question that you should be asking yourself constantly. Your customers count on your for your unique perspective and it is should be considered and re-considered over time as you evolve and the shop evolves.

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