We will be on holiday break from December 24th, 2016 - January 4th, 2017 spending time with friends, family, and each other. If you have any questions or concerns during the holiday please don't hesitate to email us at email@example.com and we will get back quickly. Thank you.
Kinfolk City Guide
Gladly featured on Kinfolk's new website among some other great shops and restaurants around the world on their City Guide. The new site is designed by our friends at Six and it's a stunning new look. Congratulations to both Six and Kinfolk.
Cereal Magazine Feature
Proud to be featured in Cereal Magazine's Los Angeles City Guide:
"Proprietors Brad and Jenna Holdgrafer’s mantra in “buying less but better” shines through in this welcome addition to Los Angeles’ burgeoning downtown shopping scene. The store, as well as every beautifully curated item within, forms the ideal design store experience."
In Conversation with Justin Chung
Brad sat down with our good friend Justin Chung and answered a few questions about Formerly Yes, the challenges of owning a small shop, design, and being in Downtown Los Angeles.
"When I first met Brad Holdgrafer last year, it was as though I’d known him for years. Brad and his wife, Jenna, are the individuals behind one of my favorite homegoods shops in Los Angeles, Formerly Yes. In getting to know him, I am so moved by his passion in design and his discerning eye for art direction. Having recently relocated to the west coast, I am fortunate to have him closer and to feed off his energy. Below are a few questions from a recent conversation." - Justin Chung
We will be closed for a summer trip to Japan from July 2nd - July 18th. If you have any questions about the shop or need to get in contact with us we will be on info[at]formerlyyes.com when wifi is available. Thank you for your patience and see you again soon! (Photo of Tokyo, Japan by Justin Chung)
Summer Product Update
This product update us a while, mainly due to procrastination and sheer busyness. But, we've finally done it! We've added some new favorites to the online store. Thanks for you patience and please poke around and see what's new.
Monocle's Top 25
Such an honor to be listed in Monocle Magazines 2016 Design Audit as the "most engaging mixed-retail concept. We've admired Monocle for quite some time and would be lying if we didn't give they "Guide to Good Business" book a thorough read before launching Formerly Yes. Thanks to the team at Monocle and a special thanks to Chiara for reaching out. We couldn't be more happy ;).
We are constantly looking for ways to use Instagram different. For years we've collected countless images that have inspired us and influenced a mood for Formerly Yes. We've decided to start an Instagram as sort of an evolving mood board of houses, designers, architects, products, etc, after all... it's hard to sell home goods without first studying how people live in their homes.
It's maybe a more fitting project for your traditional tumblr and less "instant", but we've grown to like it and so, we are giving it a shot. If you're interested go ahead and give it a follow.
We're proud to be added to an appetizing list of must stops in Los Angeles by Bon Appetite Magazine!
"This downtown design store stocks its concise selection of goods based on the principle of buying less, but better. In this case, it means objects for the home and table that are streamlined and worthy of display, whether it’s a classic Alvar Aalto glass vase, a mini sweeper and dustpan so good-looking they won a design award from Wallpaper*, or a ceramic salad bowl with a removable cork cutting board so you can prep veggies and push them right onto the greens. They also carry great office supplies—think Dieter Rams–designed Braun calculators—and cool toys for kids."
Photo by Stefan Junir
The Look of L.A.
Tomorrow Jenna Holdgrafer will be speaking as part of the Working Woman's Club on the current and future state of style, design and community in Downtown Los Angeles and the effects that has on the rest of the world. It starts at 6pm and is located at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. We'll see you there!
A Table Set
We spent all last night re-merchandising the store, painting the walls, sanding the tables, etc. It's become a first weekend of the month tradition, with Jenna at the helm and a few glasses of red wine. We spend the month before looking at they way people have interacted with the shop, photographed it, what products are picked up, played with, and thinking about what sits best next to the other. Using the info to try and design a better experience for everyone and even though it's often a dreaded late Saturday night. It's also a cherished few hours where we get to hit reset, be thankful for what we've made, and look forward to what we can make it become.
A city on the move
Downtown (at least from our perspective) is absolutely beautiful and completely in its adolescence. A place where food, art, design, and most importantly people from Asia, South & North America, Europe, etc. blend to try and figure out how to define just what downtown is all about. When Jenna and I wonder about how exactly we can make products from different parts of the world sit together effortlessly in someones home, we look to the people of downtown for inspiration. If you want some recommendations, or going to be around, please stop by... we love to give recommendations. The first tip to making your trip to DTLA a pleasant one... take the underground metro, trust us and yes we do have one. ;)
Product update, update.
Coming into a new month, we've brought in a bunch of new product into the shop. We haven't had the time to get it online and embarrassingly enough haven't done a .com update in quite sometime! We spent Friday after noon with our friends at Wolf Camp Studios getting ready to bring a bunch of thoughtfully designed goods to everyone. In the photo is three Lyngby Vasee. Designed in 1936 in Denmark, but relevant everywhere nearly a century later.
As we plan a big update to formerlyyes.com, we wanted to point out a favorite page of ours that often gets over looked. The Index! You can search any product we carry by year, price, designer, or brand and there's a couple bios on our favorite product designers.
We've been bad. We haven't had a free minute to update the website at all this year. Embarrassing... but, big update to the site coming the beginning of next month and a focus on turning the website into more of a priority. Since opening the physical location it's taken every ounce of Jenna and I's free time to run. But, the website has a different purpose to serve people beyond our small Los Angeles community and to drive a global presence. An online presence is a much more difficult push with global competition and wholesaling. But, a nice curation isn't why we started Formerly Yes and the next step of the store is highly dependent on this little web shop. So expect a bit more from us here. With love, us.
Thoughts on Sori Yanagi
Sori Yanagi is a huge inspiration in the way he approached product design. But, his approach shouldn't stop there. What would a website look like if Mr. Yanagi could approach it today? The truth, I haven't the slightest idea. I like to think he would have cared though. Because, he looked at an object not at how "good" it looks but how it's best used by someone. Can we create a brand, without hiding behind any branding that's defined by how a person feels while shopping either online and/or in our little LA store based on Mr. Yanagi's approach? well, we most definitely will try.
E-Commerce Site of the Year
Very proud to be nominated as e-commerce site of the year by Awwwards! A lot of love, time, and thought went into making this site as simple and unobtrusive as it can be and couldn't be more humbled to be named among these other great websites. Looking forward to hearing the outcome and fingers crossed!
We are very happily headed to Chicago for the break! So our hours for the next couple weeks will be a bit different.
Today (12/23) we will close at 2pm!
Dec. 24th - Jan. 4th we will be closed.
Jan. 5th we come back to take the new year head on!
Westwood Westwood Feature
Our friends over at Westwood Westwood and the DfM teamed up with Square to make a nice little video of us doing what we love doing everyday. Head over to the link below to hear us act like we know what we are talking about ;).
We've had the privilege to be featured in the Downtowner this past week. It's been a special feature for a couple reasons. One, being that downtown Los Angeles is really starting to feel like home to us. A walk through downtown won't make you think the area is anything too special. Just lots of construction and chewed bubble gum covered concrete sidewalks. But, look through the Downtowner and you get a sense of all the movement in the area. Movement we are very very proud to be a small part of.
With the help of some lovely friends we have proudly launched a little digital gift guide for the holiday season featuring some of our favorite products for under $100.
Holiday Gift Guide
The holidays are very quickly approaching! We banded together with our friends Jess Hannah, Tyler Thomas, and Nick Finney to put together a digital gift guide of a few of our products under $100. It'll be on its way early next week and will be sure to send out the link when it goes live. Hope ya like it!
Styled by Jess Hannah
Photographed by Tyler Thomas
Web development by Nick Finney
Kisses Sunday Jam Session
We were fortunate enough to host the band Kisses jam session this past Sunday at the shop. We all slowed down a bit, drank some good coffee by the folks at Installation Cold Brew, and ate jam and toast from Sqirl and Alma. This downtown community of people is starting to become a downtown community of friends and we are feeling very at home around here. Thanks to everyone who made it out and especially the guys at Hit City U.S.A. for making it happen!