Hand-Eye Supply has leveled up! After realizing we were rapidly outgrowing our small Chinatown space, we had a choice: find a bigger rental, or walk our DIY talk with an ambitious project of our own. Just six months after making the bolder choice, we opened the doors of the brand new Hand-Eye Supply, our custom designed and team-built home at 427 NW Broadway, where we’re ratcheting up our role as an inspiring resource for creative minds.
So not only do we have our very own digs, we did a real doozy customizing the place. The interior architecture was designed by long time C77/HES collaborator Laurence Sarrazin, who has helped mastermind numerous exhibits, fixtures, pop-ups and events, and whose previous work has taken her through architectural artworks, Portland Arch & Design Fest, and work for Herman Miller under Ayse Birsel.
The new space features interesting skylighting, airy modular storage and custom sculpture, while allowing the building’s unique structural elements to peek through. To honor our focus on making new skills and design accessible, exposed process and raw materials are themes throughout the space. Our own process was uniquely DIY too: the retail build-out was completed in just four weeks, by a small crew of Hand-Eye Supply employees and trusted pros. Here are some of our favorite parts.
Always a Hand-Eye staple, aprons now have a large interactive display, much like a big, tactile poster wall. Modular storage keeps things neat and accessible below. At the left you can see a little bit of the original exposed brick poking out behind the register. Outdoor gear and kitchen supplies get similar shelving sections, while knives and axes perch in cases built in-house and modeled after Japanese benches. The book area got extra elbow room and a cheery table inspired by Enzo Mari.
Being inveterate desk supply hoarders, pencil storage can get tricky. Our stacks (and stacks and stacks) of notebooks and pencils now have plenty of room, and a beautiful display table custom built in town. Large scale portraits of local artists and craftspeople look on approvingly. Workwear is easy hanging and easy to find between modular shelving and a huge flat file. Behind our wearable goods, beautiful sliding office doors (reminiscent of shoji screens) hang nearly floor to ceiling and keep our offices as private as we want them to be.
Check that signage! It riffs on our longstanding ethos of hands-on work and our new modular space, and anyone with an appreciation for classic signage will appreciate the skill and pride that go into neon-working in the current day. With “Work Inspired” as our new motto, our new home feels like a great starting place.