Caitlin Creer already had a successful career sharing her vision of elevated yet approachable design across the Wasatch Front. Still, she, along with fellow designer Bethany Christensen, dreamed of expanding into new territory. “We had this vision of what we wanted to do,” Creer said. “And we wanted to find a space where we could have everything under one roof.” They imagined an office space, a home for their team and a unique shop with on-site warehousing for their favorite products. Now, their vision is a reality: Foundation Goods, their new store, opened last week in Salt Lake City.
After years of rejecting not-quite-right locations, Creer and Christensen finally found the perfect match in a former aluminum siding factory on Truman Avenue. The spot fit their ideal of an “industrial, raw, cool space,” complete with 25-foot-high ceilings and plenty of natural glow via skylight. Plus, the building is near multiple freeways and located next to both Mountain Land Design and Artifacts, creating a mini-design hub in the city. When the space became available almost a year ago, Creer said, “It kind of just was the kismet thing. We went to see it and it was exactly what we were looking for.”
As designers, Creer and Christensen knew the gaps in the marketplace, and they kept back stock of their favorite things unavailable locally. Now, these products are available to everyone, not just clientele. “We look at it like we’re opening up our doors and a treasure trove of things we curated,” she said. The pair carefully curated products from their favorite vendors across the country, using their years of experience to craft a product line that reflects their point of view in everything from upscale ice cream scoops to Lee Industries furniture. “We have everything from a dish that you could use in your kitchen to pieces of furniture and really everything in between,” Creer explained. The owners’ design philosophy is apparent in every inch of the store: the space features vignettes, including a full kitchen setup, that show how the pair would design an actual home.
Creer’s client-centered approach to design translates to Foundation Goods. Her idea of “livable luxury” guides her work’s marriage of beauty and functionality. “You can have luxury that is attainable, but still comfortable for a family, for children, for pets,” she said. “It doesn’t have to feel stuffy or too formal to feel pulled together and sophisticated.” Creer described the store’s aesthetic as “fresh traditional,” updating classic design with a modern twist. She especially loves artisan products made from organic materials, which feature prominently at Foundation Goods. Creer has designed for ultra-modern homes, rugged mountain retreats and traditional Georgian estates, and the store carries products that could comfortably fit in any style.
All of these details lead to Creer’s mantra for clients and customers: elevate your everyday. “When you thoughtfully curate the items in your home, you elevate your lifestyle,” she said. For her, good design is more than just about having the right products. “When it’s organized, when it’s beautifully designed … it really improves your life.”
Of course, when Creer and Christensen started this project a year ago, they never could have imagined the world they would open the store into. Plenty of people called Creer brave for opening a small business during a pandemic, but her description of the store opening is decidedly less self-serving. “We had all of our inventory already in January,” she laughed. “Like, we had no choice.” Despite the less-than-ideal circumstances, Creer says the business is already a success. Now, Foundation Goods is preparing to open their online store next week, and Creer says she’s grateful for the community support. “I’m not gonna lie, there were some stressful moments the last couple months,” she said. “It really has been so amazing for us to see people come out and support it. [It] made us realize how much something like this was needed in our market.” So, yes, even during COVID-19, Creer and Christensen still feel the same as they did when they first toured that old warehouse: like the stars are aligned.
Foundation Goods is located at 67 E. Truman Ave. The store is open Monday-Friday from 12-5 p.m.
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