A few weeks back I had the opportunity to attend Alt Design Summit in Salt Lake City Utah, which was pretty cool. While there I stopped in to see Ron Green who owns “thee” mid century modern furniture store in Salt Lake. Ron is a really nice guy, laid back and easy to talk to. His shop was loaded full of drool worthy pieces. I really needed to come home with that Hans Wegner Ox Chair. I asked Ron to tell us a little about the Green Ant and how it got started.
Q: Who is?
The Green Ant is located at 179 E Broadway in Salt Lake City, Utah. We are a mid-century modern furniture store that buys and sells modern furniture from the late 40’s through the late 70’s. I opened the store in 1998. At that time it was just vintage furniture that I thought was cool looking and had great lines. Then I started reading about the designers who created it. At that point my need for modern furniture knowledge exploded.
Q: What inspired you to open your store?
Unemployment and the love for mid century design! I was a camera assistant in the film industry prior to opening the shop. The industry was struggling and I went 5 months without work. One day I just sat down and asked myself what do you love to do more than anything else? The answer was look for vintage furniture and resell it (That’s how I would subsidize my income in college). So I decided to open a shop with the $500 I had in my bank account and just try!
Q: Who is your favorite designer and why?
I get asked this a lot and my answer is there are two; Poul Kjaerholm and Jean Prouve. I like the way Khaerholm uses steel and leather together in a very sleek simple way. As for Prouve I like his simple approach to design. No frills just great design!
Q: How do you keep yourself educated on designers and their work?
When I first started out 15 years ago I would try and get books on furniture design or architects. Now I do a lot of reading on the Internet. And my favorite way is to talk with people in person. Be it a customer, a designer, an architect or anyone who just loves design.
Q: Is there a “white unicorn”, a piece you have yet to find, either for your store or private collection?
Hmmm… good question! I’ve always wanted a pair of Half Nelson lamps by George Nelson. Just haven’t quite stumbled across them yet! And the ever elusive Jean Prouve Standard chair!!! I see them in auction houses but I just want to see someone bring one into the shop someday!
Q: My favorite______is________
My favorite chair is Charles Eames’ LCW.