If you’re stopping by Phoenix, Arizona, we’d recommend checking out For The People, a friendly, welcoming shop focused on bringing you the best of design, globally and locally. Owners Shawn Silberblatt and Chad Campbell started with a passion and curiosity for design, which led them to opening this little shop where they want visitors to experience that delight in finding something new and inspiring in the form of modern art and functional design.
Read on to learn why they don’t have just one favorite item in store and their piece of advice for future shop owners…
Where did you get the name for the store?
We wanted to focus on pairing local artisans with world-renowned makers in our own unique way. We source what we love and we love to share what we find. For The People says everything we wanted it to: This is what we’re here for; we’re here for you, and we’re happy to be.
What’s one lesson you’ve learned since opening your store?
Since moving to our new spot here on Central Ave., we have learned the immense value of creative collaboration with our neighbors. The relationships we’ve built have inspired us. They’ve made us better than we were.
Has it changed much since it opened? How?
For The People is a whole new experience from what it was when it first opened. Especially with the recent move to our new location and larger space, we have had the opportunity to expand our vision dramatically. Additionally, we have greatly enjoyed running with the community element – feeling a true part of something meaningful; learning to share with, support, and promote our neighbors and local business in ways we simply weren’t able to before.
What’s one of the challenges you have with the business?
“My eyes are bigger than my stomach” – that’s one of our biggest challenges. There is SO much beautiful work out there – so many inspiring products and, if we had the space and budget, we’d want them all! But the fact of the matter is that our customers depend on us to curate the best of the best – to track down some of the most engaging functional modern design products available anywhere in the world. So we’ve learned to be discerning.
What is this season’s theme/inspiration/story?
One change that has been of distinct relevance and excitement for all of us here at For The People is the inclusion of Kream Coffee inside our store. Kream Coffee is the area’s first multi-roaster specialty coffee shop and it’s the PERFECT fit for us.
So maybe that’s our theme, eh? Localism. Community. Teamwork. That extraordinary dynamic of professional give-and-take. We’ve learned so very much by choosing to engage with these elements of what we like to call “generous collaboration”.
What’s your favorite item in the store right now?
Ouch! That’s a tough one. Is it acceptable to admit that we’re in love with all of these items all at once? Some personal favorites would include Ben Medansky ceramics (true pieces of art from an Arizona native), the stunning Tank Series from Tom Dixon, the stimulating handmade “architecture for the body” jewelry by Heidi Abrahamson (a long-time Phoenix local who was recently written up in Vogue), and the Kennedy Chair by Thrive Home Furnishings because of our love for great mid-century design.
What’s been a consistent best seller?
The Tank Series by Tom Dixon. This collection is seriously stunning. You can’t walk past it without stopping to have a look. Crystal-clear glass barware paired with the richest copper you’ve ever seen. Sensual curves. Functional yet sophisticated design…
Does the store have its own line?
We do, in fact! Another one of our very best sellers is a small, geometric concrete planter designed in-house and crafted by Cole Smith, a young maker right here in Phoenix.
Any special events/exhibits/pop ups/collaborations coming up?
Coming up fastest is a book signing for the new book from Wendell Burnette (who also happens to be the owner of our building!). Following the book signing, we will be launching a bi-monthly architectural lecture series featuring talks from world-renowned architects on a variety of industry-related subjects.
Are you carrying any new products and/or undiscovered gems you’re particularly excited about?
Some TRUE undiscovered gems would be the Al Beadle sculptures you can find prominently displayed inside our store. Al Beadle was a modernistic architect responsible for over 200 commercial and residential projects right here in Phoenix during the height of the mid century era. We have been honored to work with his widow, Nancy Beadle, and their daughters in showcasing pieces from the family’s personal collection – pieces that would otherwise only be presented one day per year at the Valley’s premier modernism event.
Do you have anything from the store in your own home?
Oh yes. We try not to source any product that we’re not specifically enamored with ourselves (it’s a problem sometimes!). One item that we use daily is the SOD Drying Rack from Finell. It’s gorgeous, functional, and unexpected. We love it.
What’s next for you and your store?
We’ve been focusing heavily on growing our community. Since our store is established on a pairing of local and global makers, we have been working out ways of growing both our local and extra-local communities.
For our local followers, we have been building out a really exciting calendar of events. For our extra-local fans, we have been working hard on web development to improve the quality of our online experience as well.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to follow a similar path to yours, what would it be?
Do what you love. Present it to the world. True passion is evident. You’re sure to stand out if you love what you do.
Visit For The People online or at 5102 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85012.