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 spartan-shop.com.

Janette:
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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