The I Love You Shop at Hammerpress debuts at tonight's First Friday in the Crossroads. Inside the old-timey card shop, I Love You is a modern take on a general store attached to the two-chair hair studio that is being run by Amber Hodgson. It features small-batch products that aren't likely to be stocked anywhere else in Kansas City.
Fat City caught up with Brady Vest of Hammerpress to talk about the new shop and how a letterpress and design studio got into the business of selling dry goods.
When you first started thinking about the spot, did you envision selling foodstuffs?
Not at all. When we first moved Hammerpress to this spot two years ago, we had no plans of carrying food items. We did, however, try selling fresh cut flowers for a total of two weeks -- that was
kind of difficult due to the extremely short shelf life of flowers. We
just liked the idea of having some other kind of unexpected product in
list of products will evolve but currently
products and one-pound bags of coffee from Oddly Correct Coffee Roasters
based here in Kansas City. These are particularly cool because it's great
coffee and the owner, Gregory, hand prints all of the bags.
Our main criteria is quality but we tried to select products that are
aesthetically pleasing and designed well and not available in many
other Kansas City shops, if any.
You'll have coffee from Oddly Correct in stock. Do you have plans to try and feature more local producers?
It would really just depend on the product. I
think there is a lot of support for local products in Kansas City
and that is always increasing. Our goal with the selection up to this
point has always been to enhance what Hammerpress offers as well as
things that are not available in other shops in the city. The goal is
the same with I Love You at Hammerpress -- to offer things that we enjoy and appreciate that may not be available elsewhere.
you're attempting to create with customers, such as nostalgia or curiosity?
always shied away from overly nostalgic approaches to things even
though we use presses from the early 20th century and we have two
vintage barber chairs in the space. Our interest lies more in authentic
products, food and otherwise, that may spark curiosity in people, even
if it is just a bag of coffee. It's more about the mix of things.
like the absurdity of selling authentic horse shoes that can be hung
above your door for good luck -- which it seems everyone could use these
days -- next to a high-end chocolate bar from Maison Bouche or perfumes
from D.S. and Durga. These things make perfect sense to us because they
are beautiful and strike some imaginative or romantic interest. We
think of it as a strange and lovely twist on the General Store -- imagine a feed and seed shop that would offer everyday utilitarian items as well as bulk food items and candy but with a twist.
What hours will the shop be open on this First Friday?
Our hours on First Friday are always "until people stop coming in." We usually don't close until around 9:30 or 10 p.m.
*One additional product -- Bee Raw Artisanal Honey -- is expected to be in stock on Monday.