Today we’d like to introduce you to Andy Littleton. Them and their team share their story with us below:
Andy Littleton and Sean Hunter of Midtown Artisans opened M E S A in the spring of 2018 to showcase their custom furniture and a capsule collection of in-house designed and fabricated concrete goods. One year later, Emily & Kent Willert joined M E S A. Emily’s own leather and textiles goods, and Kent’s steel items have been added to the collection of M E S A-made products. Today Andy and Emily have taken the helm at the store, while Sean and Kent still handmade several of the products. Emily’s curation builds upon M E S A’s original concept, enriching the store’s offerings by sourcing well-made, beautiful, and hand-crafted objects to complement what M E S A founders originally put into motion from other local makers and trustworthy fair-trade wholesalers.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Our most difficult hurdles were simultaneous. We opened our store when the Mercado Annex was very new and still being discovered. The presence of other construction in the area hindered customers from embracing the area immediately. On top of that, we opened the store with an emphasis on furniture and soon discovered that we needed to provide a lot more variety to keep our customers engaged. When it was just Andy and Sean and a couple of employees of Midtown Artisans keeping things moving at M E S A, it was very difficult to invest in creating or sourcing additional products. Around the time that the Annex was beginning to take hold as a destination for Tucson shoppers, we also teamed up with Emily and the store began to thrive. We’re just glad we survived that first year!
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about M E S A Shop?
M E S A stocks handmade and locally sourced, small furniture and home goods, many created by local Tucson makers we know and love, as well as a curated selection of local ceramics, jewelry, natural skin and hair care, and textiles from around the world. We are located in the MSA Annex just west of downtown in Tucson, AZ. Our offerings always fall under the simple heading of Fine Crafted Home Goods.
We are especially unique in that we curate around the semi-minimalist desert aesthetic as opposed to the more ornate and colorful southwest themes you see in many of our friends’ stores. We love their work but strive to bring together products that feel at home in their desert surroundings and draw inspiration from the desert’s simplicity. We are most excited about bringing small-batch handmade products to market on behalf of our local makers. Every time you visit M E S A, you’ll find a unique assortment of such things on the shelf!
Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
We love Tucson! It’s very much our home, no offense to Phoenix. Tucson has an incredible balance of character, charm, grit, and authenticity. The new in Tucson is always emerging in tension with the old. We feel very much the same. We grew up around here and felt a deep connection to the Tucson we remember, but we also feel very invested in the city Tucson is becoming.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.shopatmesa.com
- Instagram: @shopatmesa
- Facebook: @shopatmesa
- Other: Pinterest – www.pinterest.com/shopatmesa – @shopatmesa
Photos by Shannon Christine Photo – Tucson, AZ