When they founded Formerly Yes shop in downtown LA in 2014, Brad and Jenna Holdgrafer were looking for “an excuse to practice in every medium of design,” Brad says, “and to share our favorite homewares with the world.” He has a background in business and graphic design and she’s worked in fashion and sales, and both have a passion for surrounding themselves with fewer, better-designed things. The pair collaborated on designing the space, Brad sketching the big picture and Jenna refining the concept. “After years and years at a computer, all I wanted was to work with pen and paper,” Brad says. “So I drew about a thousand versions until I drove Jenna a bit mad and she said ‘OK! That’s the one!'”
Photography by Stefan Junir, courtesy of Formerly Yes.
The pair cites Super Normal by Jasper Morrison and Naoto Fukusawa at the top of their recommended design reading list. “It’s been a foundation for us. It’s a constant reminder of what to look for when curating products, and it inspired us to design the shop as a product itself.”
“[Yanagi’s] quote about making products to be used and not sold translates into every medium of design. We really try to work toward it as much as possible.”