West Elm, a furniture and home goods retailer, will open to the public today in Bakery Square. Part of West Elm’s LOCAL initiative, the Bakery Square location is one of 10 stores in the United States that will be given latitude to source merchandise representative of its region.

By partnering with local designers and makers, West Elm seeks to offer customers distinctively Pennsylvania products and build networks that support local craftspeople. Makers already represented include Peg and Awl, Honest Alchemy, STAK Ceramics, and Baby Jives Co.

In August West Elm announced a call for applications to win their We Love Small Business Grant. One United States-based maker will win $25,000 to expand their business. Pittsburgh artists, designers, and producers are encouraged to apply. The deadline for entry is September 9.

The 10,000 square-foot space features some reclaimed materials and is intended to reflect the history of the area. Patrons can work with the store’s Design Center in-house or in their own homes to design style plans. Headquartered in Brooklyn, the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. subsidiary says it is committed to responsibly-made, handcrafted products.

Through 2015 and over the course of long-term partnerships—three to five years—the company will invest $35 million in 20 artisan groups around the world who make products by hand. Those artisans agree to source and produce products ethically, abiding by local laws and providing safe, healthy working conditions.

Located at 110 Bakery Square Boulevard, the store is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

Margaret J Krauss

Margaret J. Krauss is a writer, radio producer, and researcher. If not biking Pittsburgh's streets or swimming its rivers, she is likely geeking out about a really good story.