While Hammer & Hand prides itself on offering the rare and old, it took a new way of thinking to put the shop on the map.
For Chris and Amy Plaisted, owners of Hammer & Hand Imports, every piece should tell a story. Bruises and nicks, dings and scuffs — these are the details that captivate and the character that draws in the customers.
A quick look at the products inside their shop, and you know where they’re coming from — another era, but also another region of the world. And they have to be able to do business with smart solutions from literally anywhere to keep their inventory filled with perfectly imperfect pieces.
The partners always knew they wanted to run a business based on their passion for using sustainable, repurposed materials and hand-picking antique furniture from India. The part that wasn’t clear, however, was how they could get this dream-of-a-business off the ground.
“At first it felt like, ‘When is this going to start really happening?’ ” says Amy. “We were both working part-time jobs, trying to figure out what are we going to do with this business, and how we were going to keep it going.”
The eagerness was there, but something important was missing – a necessary third partner: technology
“We’re able to do our business anywhere in the world,” says Chris, adding to the long list of benefits technology brings to the table. “Smartphones, our tablets – being online and having the technology is just fantastic.”The owners can now focus on what makes their business successful – offering the type of pieces that bring up fascinating questions – Where was it made? Whose hands shaped it? How many generations enjoyed it? This one-of-a-kind look requires an incredible eye and an incredible amount of time to achieve.Technology also brings a necessary work-life balance to the pair.
“Without AT&T’s services we certainly wouldn’t be able to run the business conducive [to] our lifestyle,” says Chris. “If we’d like to go to a market somewhere, we’re traveling overseas or we just want to spend extra time with our family – those are the things AT&T makes possible.”
Now the answer to the million-dollar question: Who’s the “hammer” and who’s the “hand?” Amy, who handles all of the marketing, social media and product research, is the “hammer.” That makes, you guessed it, Chris the “hand” of the business. He’s the one behind the design.
For people who so adamantly believe in the power of a good story, Chris and Amy happen to be a pretty good one themselves. You can visit their shop in downtown St. Louis or from the comfort of your antique distressed Indian teak wood bench at hammerandhandimports.com.