Posted on by John Rife
One of our beloved retailers when we first opened was Old Inc. From home decor and customer furniture to vintage rentals Old inc. had a little something for everyone. By far the most notable pieces were custom built signature furnishings that were individually designed for their customer. Using reclaimed wood, metal and sustainable materials these items often became the show piece of many local homes, offices and restaurants.
That custom work has been a mainstay for Josh and Kristen Allen, Old Inc’s founders. Some of their most recent work can be seen in the outfittings at the recently opened Hunger Street Taco’s. While the custom work is arguably what Old Inc. is most known for, there has been a burning passion in Josh’s soul to take the brand in a new an exciting direction.
After leaving the market to expand their operation in a showroom/warehouse north of town, Josh met Paulina Wisniewski who would in many ways serve as a co-conspirator for the transition to Old’s new endeavor.
A Montreal native Paulina had earned her stripes working in design. Everything from children’s and men’s fashion to a stint in jewelry design for local non-profit. It was on a side gig as Old Inc’s administrative assistant where she began drawing Josh toward a new an exciting change for the Old Inc. brand.
Enter Beaver and Bison – The fusion of Josh and Paulina’s vision for a brand new aesthetic with clean lines and a strong utilitarian element to the design. The offering have a sense of dependability and simplicity. There is a feeling like the corner mirror and this seasons’s sofa for instance will grace the home of a customers for a lifetime if not reach heirloom status.
The name too is a fusion of sorts. With the Bison, America’s new national mammal, coming out of extinction and steadfastly anchoring the brands and the Beaver with its industriousness and wood worker skills is a nice nod to Paulina’s Canadian roots .
You can see the evolution of their brand in Beaver and Bison’s first capsule. This Winter / Spring collection hosts 12 items and furnishings made in house and 12 from makers and designers that the B&B team curate from the best-of-the-best around the world. Each year will showcase 2 capsules with the look and feel shifting to lead local and international trends as well as give a nod to the season of the year in which the capsule debuts.
What I love most about Old Inc’s story is this ongoing evolution. From operating their 200 Sft. shop in the market to now expanding into an internationally aware, yet locally based business, Old Inc. has adapted to both external trends and paid credence to internal yearnings.
One of the great assets of East End is its ability to provide a venue for small-scale entrepreneurs to get market validation for a concept without having to commit to a long term lease or exorbitant rent. The ability to pivot is part-and-parcel of the way the market was designed. By listening to their customers and to their heats the Allens have matured their business and brand in a way that feels really authentic and sustainable.
We wish them and Paulina the best of fortunes with the launch of Beaver and Bison and are totally stoked with their first capsule. With more high design and quality furnishings / decor in the pipeline we’re confident the brand will flourish.
Beaver and Bison has a brand launch coming soon to showcase their current offerings so pop-over to their Facebook page to get all the details.