I grew up in a town north of NYC and spent most of my free time as a 1980s teenager tromping around the West Village and the Lower East Side, soaking up culture on foot, by visiting small stores and art galleries. I sometimes joke that stadler-Kahn, my shop/gallery hybrid in Philadelphia is an attempt to recreate the creative industry I saw in those storefronts.
As stadler-Kahn has developed over the last four years I’ve realized that it performs several different functions, it is a design laboratory for my own work, a social space for my friends and the artists and designers who show their work here, and (for some of my customers) a place to be surprised or delighted or educated by work that is new to them. For my younger artists and customers I feel that I am giving them a link to a more improvisational, less processed way of thinking.
stadler-Kahn is happily, purposefully, layered and complicated. For most people it takes at least three passes around my small space to take in all the different objects and works of art. I am always working to create an experience of discovery, coupled with human connection.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
stadler-Kahn is my shop/gallery hybrid located in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood of Philadelphia. I’ve been an artist from a young age, and use the space to sell my textile, furniture, and jewelry that is from my own line, also called stabler-Kahn. Much of the products from my own line come from a partnership with local manufacturers. I am currently working with a local silk screen printer (whose studio I helped to fund), local jewelry makers, sewers, and factories in NYC and Reading, PA.
I have just designed my first carpet, which is being produced by Langhorne Carpet Co in Pendal PA, which is one the last carpet mills in the USA! In addition to textiles and art, I am also working with a local pastry chef to make a chocolate bar!
My shop is also made up of art and design work made by artists whom live within an hour of the store. One of those artists is Philadelphia textile designer, Tim Eads, who received a Kiva U.S. loan in the fall! I love that my space acts as a way to help boost artists in the Philadelphia, and I see the store as a gathering space for the arts community!
The shop has garnered attention from the community, and we were recently named one of the top 50 shops in Philadelphia by Philadelphia Magazine! You can read more here: http://www.phillymag.com/shoppist/best-shops-philadelphia/
What is the purpose of this loan?
The Kiva loan will be used to design, build and promote an online version of stadler-Kahn. It has become clear that in order to continue the project, stadler-Kahn must generate more revenue. The purpose of the online sales site is to reach an audience outside of Philadelphia, whose interest and purchasing power will allow me and the artists whose work I show to keep moving forward.
The brick and mortar space has been instrumental in helping me connect to my local community and develop my philosophy, but I have come to see that without a larger marketplace the model is not sustainable. the construction of s-K online will involve design and building of the actual site, extensive product photography and finally, a reasonable amount of promotion so that the site will see “active duty”.
Years in operation: 3 years – 5 years
A loan of $10,000 helps Alexander build and promote an online sales platform for the art collections I design and curate at my store.