I am thrilled to be sponsoring a pop-up event with Loom + Kiln at cityhomeCOLLECTIVE on July 1st from 12:00-3:00 at our office on South Temple, offering an opportunity for our community to shop a hand-picked selection of antique rugs, vintage paintings and ceramics in person! RSVP here
You may recognize Hannah Leonard’s home as the online showroom for her creative business, Loom + Kiln, a curated shop specializing in antique textiles and vintage artwork. Without a brick-and-mortar location, she utilizes her own space for product shoots and marketing, which you can glimpse on her Instagram page and website. I was lucky enough to visit her home - which she impeccably designed with character and intention - as we plan an upcoming pop-up shop at cityhomeCOLLECTIVE for July 1st: at this event, we’ll feature a curated selection of her shop’s antique textiles, vintage paintings and ceramics available for your purchasing pleasure! If you’re like us, Hannah’s home will absolutely inspire you to bring an original piece into your own space.
A lover of all things vintage, Hannah is also a creative herself equipped with an art degree and studies in interior design. This foundation - paired with a love of travel and passion for other cultures - led to her development of Loom + Kiln in 2015. The shop began organically on Instagram and has since evolved into an online gallery with weekly product releases and exploding sales. As a small business owner during the pandemic and a mother of three, Hannah’s vision for the business has evolved and shifted over the years as she’s streamlined her focus to offering vintage European paintings and antique Turkish, Persian and Caucasian rugs. “That’s where my passion lies,” says Hannah, who initially offered contemporary art and ceramics at the onset. “This way I’m able to offer a really curated collection at affordable prices.” With this niche model, Hannah sets her business apart in the growing realm of creative digital marketplaces. “There are a lot of big companies who are trying to achieve a common denominator and appeal to the most people possible
– and I’m not trying to do that. I want to do something niche, special and meaningful, and that’s always how I’ve felt.”
Hannah has developed a distinct aesthetic for her business that naturally stems from her personal taste and style: her home in South Jordan is filled with original art, vintage furniture pieces and of course, antique rugs. Her personal art collection is largely mid-century, intermixed with special pieces by contemporary artists such Utah painters Sunny Taylor and Colby Sanford. Hannah’s appreciation for vintage stems from an environmental responsibility in a world of mass production, combined with the emotional appeal and mystery of objects from the past. “There is something romantic about old art, and there are such rich stories behind these paintings,” says Hannah, who loves to muse about the past artists’ experience with their subjects – whether it be a personal interpretation of an unknown place or an impassioned portrait. Artists at the time weren’t able to easily look up an image to replicate, so their imagery was surely based on an authentic experience, becoming a delightful mystery for today’s beholder.
For her home and her shop, Hannah sources a variety of designs and styles but is personally drawn to Scandinavian art from the 1940s-60s, which has a modern feel applicable to many different design aesthetics. This genre is typically characterized by landscapes, still lifes and portraits painted with gestural brushwork and raw emotion. Her rug selection is from the 1900s and is a mix of styles including Turkish, Persian from Iran, and Caucasian from the Caucasus region.
Learn more about how and why Hannah developed her distinct style and niche business model in our Q&A series below, which is sure to inspire all lovers of art, interiors and creative entrepreneurship:
Why is it important for you to live with original art? Can you share a little about your “why” when it comes to collecting?
I try to make supporting creatives a priority whenever possible. Whether that’s picking a small independent restaurant over a chain or buying an original piece of art over a mass-produced print. Your home should be a reflection of you, and I value living with soulful pieces that intrigue me and have a story to tell. Someone intimately poured themselves into this ONE piece of art and you’re the lucky one that gets to be the recipient of that every day. I look at the strokes of the artist’s brush and try to imagine what their state of mind was when they were painting or what this art piece meant to them - and it’s such a beautiful experience. Mass produced art prints only become that because they are palatable enough to be accepted by the general population. When you make the choice to purchase a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork, it’s because it spoke directly to you and you alone. That’s an empowering decision to make.
What do you love about vintage art in particular? Do you have a favorite era or region that you like to source art from and why?
Owning vintage art is like owning little time capsules. It’s the individual artist’s interpretations of people, scenes and places from so long ago. Aesthetically speaking, I’m very drawn to expressive mid-century art from the Scandinavian countries. The more gestural and crude the brush strokes, the better! They tended to use shapes and colors in really playful ways in the 50s and 60s and I can’t get enough of it. I’ll get so inspired by these vintage art pieces that I’ll often design an entire room around the style and colors of it.
What about living artists? Anyone in your collection we should know about?
Absolutely, there are a couple local contemporary artists that I love, including Sunny Belliston Taylor and Meggan Waltman. I purchased several pieces from Sunny about 8 years ago, I’ve yet to purchase one of Meggan’s pieces but she’s always on my radar. I own several abstract Karina Bania pieces, and if you are drawn to textile art, I adore the work of Rhiannon Griego. I’ve struggled to find a lot of vintage artwork that is non realistic, so I often look to contemporary artists for abstract pieces to juxtapose my personal vintage collection.
You’ve really honed in on a seamless, recognizable style with your business and personal aesthetic. What’s your advice to others who are striving to do the same in their space or with a creative business?
It took me years to hone in on my aesthetic and to understand what really speaks to me. Some pieces I’ve owned for a decade and love them as much as the day I acquired them, and others I’ve gotten rid of and thought, “what the hell was I thinking?” With time, you’ll start to see patterns in what things have longevity for you. But also, you don’t know what you don’t know. So as you are starting this creative process, one of the best things you can do is just expose yourself. Attend local art shows, go down rabbit holes on Pinterest, gather inspiration as you travel to new cities and places. With more exposure you’ll continue to push the boundaries of what you thought you liked until you can confidently create something that feels intimately you.