Featured Space: Sarah Ashley’s Williamsburg Loft
Sarah Ashley Schiear is the creative spirit behind Salt House, which aims to inspire connections between food, people and objects. Schiear is also a Splacer community member, and we recently had the pleasure to team up with her for another exciting Breakfast Club series encounter. We caught up with her to learn more about her work, experiences and life in the City and its spaces:
Splacer: What is the idea behind Salt House?
Sarah Ashley Schiear : “Salt House expresses my idea of a life well-lived; it’s about creating a space that makes you happy. Life is short; why not fill it with things and experiences we love? There are so many memories and happy moments that can be created in the home, from preparing a meal for loved ones to simply relaxing with a book in a favorite chair. My mission is to empower the consumer by providing them with a thoughtfully curated selection of goods and meaningful experiences that educate, inspire, and add joy to daily living.”
S: What led you to develop the concept?
S.A.S: “It started with the idea to create a more modern apron. That planted a seed in my mind that blossomed into something bigger. I dreamed of creating a brand that would speak to our generation; I was craving a brand that fuses style with kitchen and home. That brought the idea of home-making into something more relevant for today. Hosting dinner parties for influencers led me to create Salt House Studio, a beautiful space that reflects modern entertaining. What I’m working on now is expanding the brand into something bigger. Essentially it’s this space on a larger scale: An experiential retail marketplace that feels like you’re in a beautifully decorated home, only everything is for sale; along with a central kitchen offering a coffee bar and light cafe that serves as a community meeting place with events in the evenings.”
S: How do these experiences play out in the way you conceive space and living in the City?
S.A.S: “I think it’s especially important for New Yorkers to create a sanctuary that brings happiness to the home. We need to slow down and relax more than anyone. We have small spaces and it’s even more of a reason why we need to fill them only with things that bring us joy. One of the cornerstones of the Salt House ethos is a pared-down shopping experience. I believe we are overwhelmed with choice. As a consumer I don’t want to choose between 17 sets of pots and pans. I want someone to tell me the best I can get, for the best price. Honest, straightforward, simple.”
S: What happens in your studio right now? What are you working on?
S.A.S: “I’m hosting dinner parties for like-minded groups of people as well as influencer dinners sponsored by brands. I also shoot video content for brands, and I’m working on a video series focused on real entertaining for today’s modern person.”
S: How do you conceive of the relation between the private setting of the home and events, in other words, the idea of bringing some of the exterior to domestic spaces?
S.A.S: “There is something special about inviting someone into your home and providing an experience. People especially love this when it’s the home of the chef cooking for you. Cooking alone is a very intimate thing, and this just heightens that quality.
“Nothing makes me happier than seeing people having a great time in here: eating, drinking, laughing, connecting with others. It’s just different than what you get at a restaurant or event space. This is what I want to carry forward to the store; even in a public retail setting, I want to emulate the same home-like energy that I have here.”
S: What drew you to collaborate with Splacer? What resonated with your practice?
S.A.S: “Working within the community is a core value of Splacer’s that resonates with me a lot. It’s been a joy to share my space with other creatives who then get to make their own art using my creation as the canvas.”