Sometimes a weekend getaway to Pennsylvania is what it takes.READ MORE
Like so many great stories, the tale of Fort Makers begins at a bar. Nana Spears (left), a then-assistant buyer for Barneys with impressive artistic vision, met a group of friendly, artsy Colorado transplants at her neighborhood Brooklyn wine joint and hit it off with Naomi Clark, an MFA student with a serious flair for painting. In no time, the pair discovered that they were an all-star team. “I love painting, and Nana had the eye to look at everything,” explains Naomi. “It just felt like a good match—like we clicked.” Naomi’s thesis project, a collection of reinvented found objects, was showcased in an exhibition that Nana curated. Inspired by her time with Naomi and the Coloradans, Nana eventually quit her day job and took a fateful cross-country road trip. “I thought, ‘These people are so talented, and they have all these ideas.’ I didn’t want to do just fashion—I wanted to do something for myself,” she says. Partway through the Badlands, Nana came up with
an idea of her own: bring together a collective of people to form a design house—a place for crafting textiles and art pieces. And right then, Fort Makers was born.
Now, the dynamic duo, along with a growing coterie of designers and craftsmen, is creating beautiful wood tables, men’s ties, and wall-size painted blanket tapestries—all of which have a free-spirited, outdoors-y feel. And they hope Fort Makers will one day have a gallery space where each work and its story can be showcased for everyone to see, maybe even while drinking a glass of wine. —candice chan