When we heard that our dear friend, and part-time NEAT photographer, Sarah Knorr was planning on opening a thoughtfully curated general store, Fieldstudy, we nearly peed our pants in excitement! Sarah has amazing taste and style with a focus on handcrafted goods and sustainability. This love for artisanal products has led her to open her dream store right here in Calgary. How lucky are we?!
We were fortunate enough to sit down with the lady herself and pick her brain about the inspirations behind Fieldstudy and what we can expect from this exciting new store!
NEAT: Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Sarah Knorr: I grew up in Red Deer where I spent most of my time as a competitive gymnast. I had the opportunity to travel a lot with my family growing up and because of this I fell in love with exploring and experiencing new cultures. So naturally, I majored in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Calgary, my dream was to be a photoethnograher. I had the opportunity to work overseas teaching English – then taught at Global Village Calgary for 5 years where I met the most amazing people from around the globe and made life long friends.
Currently, I live in a Century home in Marda Loop with my husband, Hayden, of six years and our French bulldog, Gus. Our home is filled with objects and art from craftsmen around the globe as well as tons of plants. I love being surrounded by things that were made with purpose and integrity and that I will be able to have and cherish for ever.
N: What compelled you to open up your store?
SK: This has been a passion and dream of mine for quite awhile. When I am traveling, I love visiting local stores that carry handmade goods and I love the idea of a general stores and the concept of having a bit of everything. Last fall, there was a tragedy in my group of friends and it made me re-evaluate my goals and ambitions. I stopped saying no to myself and being afraid of failure, just do what you love and the rest will fall into place. I went on a trip to Kauai shortly after this event, and of course, found a general store that I fell in love with, and thought – yep, I can do this.
Debbie Bean Stained Glass
N: Why handmade goods?
SK: I think there has been a growing appreciation for craftsmanship as well as wanting a slower and more simple lifestyle. It feels good to buy things that are made by hand and things that can be appreciated and passed down over time. I find there is an emptiness to buying mass produced products – I want my customers to feel pride in the things they purchase and know that they will stand the test of time.
N: What sort of goods will you be carrying at FS and what was the selection process for them?
SK: I will be carrying women’s clothing and accessories, home goods and objects, ceramics, weavings and textiles, apothecary, art, books, magazines, music as well as a few found vintage items. Pretty much all things I love and cherish and that I want to share. Most of these products come from artisans that I have loved for awhile and new artisans that I have found through my travels down the West coast.
N: What sort of feel and vibe can we expect to see at FS?
SK: I want the store to be warm and welcoming – like visiting a friend’s house and being allowed to go through their closet and purchase items around their house. I love stores that I can hang out in for hours and feel completely at home. That’s how I want FS to feel. We will also be dog friendly! I would love for my dog, Gus, to be in the shop, just need to teach him a few manners first.
N: Can we expect cool events, workshops or community involvement from FS in Calgary?
SK: I hope, down the road, that FS can be a place for local artisans to share their craft as well as a place to hold community events, whether that be an album or book party release, poetry reading, guest speakers, or English lessons, I’m open to any possibility.
Vintage Zuni and Navajo Rings
N: Where can we find you on the weekends?
SK: Usually walking my dog at Southland or Edworthy park, grabbing coffee and browsing the records at Lukes in Bridgeland, but mostly we kick it around our house, gardening, binge watching shows – Stranger Things was our latest indulgence, and playing games with friends.
N: Where is the store going to be located? And about when can we expect to see it open?
SK: On 4th street, between 18th and 19th ave SW, beside Barre Belle Studio. I am hoping for late September, but this is out of my control at the moment. Life. But I am working towards a fall opening.
N: How would you describe your personal style?
SK: Most days you will catch me in high waisted denim with a plain t-shirt and birkenstocks. That seems to be my workwear at the moment. I love clean lines, neutral soft colors and organic fibers. My brands will definitely reflect my personal taste.
N: What are some of your favorite places to shop, eat and drink at in Calgary?
I could talk about my favorite places to eat all day. Shiki Menya has the best ramen, Jimmy’s A&A for an authentic shawarma, Monki’s brunch, everything at the Blackfoot Farmer’s Market, and the tacos at Native Tongues Taqueria.
Look 2 on Suzanne: Vintage Levi’s, Calder Blake Sweatshirt T
N: Dream Trip?
SK: Turkey or Chile for sure. I’ve always wanted to do the Trans-Siberian railway or take a boat down the Yangtze River.
N: What kind of patrons do you envision shopping at FS?
SK: It will be a place for anyone who wants handmade quality goods that are beautifully crafted and unique.
People who appreciate craftsmanship and who are stepping away from wasting money on disposable items that don’t add value to their lives. FS is a general store, so if you are looking for an outfit to wear to work, a gift for a friend, something to put in your house, or a new leash for your dog, we will have it all!
N: What inspirations are you pulling from to create FS?
SK: Most of my inspiration comes from California. I love the natural tones of Joshua Tree, the cool vibes of Big Sur, and the mid century feel of Palm Springs. FS will definitely have this sort of feel to it. A lot of my artisans come from the LA area, so the store will definitely reflect their aesthetic.
Autumn cannot come soon enough if it means that we can get our grubby little hands on these amazing goods. You are definitely going to want to save your pennies so you can blow it all at Fieldstudy when it opens in the fall.
-KB, SS + SK