by Iza Wojciechowska
photography by Eamon Queeney
A recent addition to the Five Points neighborhood brings together two local businesses in an unusual—yet fortuitous—way. Green House, which opened in August in an old convenience store, is a studio, workshop, and retail space shared by Lie + Loft and Pamut Apparel. Lie + Loft specializes in making modern golf prints and other golf-themed accessories and art. Pamut is a sustainable and eco-friendly fashion company. For both of the young entrepreneurs who run these companies, Green House is their first venture into having a space to call their own, and they’re off to a running start.
Luke Davis, 29, founded Lie + Loft two years ago, combining his love of home décor with his passion for golf. Together with a few employees, he creates contemporary prints of traditional golf course maps and custom poster rails out of locally sourced walnut. After selling prints wholesale to major golf resorts like Pebble Beach and Pinehurst, Davis thought a bigger space might provide a good opportunity to branch out into retail and events; when an acquaintance pointed him toward the convenience store last year, he jumped at the chance. He moved in last November, transferred his woodworking workshop to the store’s old beer cooler (“Schlitz” and “Stroh” are still scrawled on the wall), and hosted a few events. But he soon realized the space was too big for Lie + Loft alone.
“I’ve always worked in startup incubators, out of school, and I kind of like that feeling of working alongside other like-minded people trying to do something entrepreneurial,” Davis says. He placed an ad, and Kat Williford, Pamut’s founder, soon moved into the second half of Green House, which she’s using as both a retail shop and her design and sewing studio. Visitors to the store will be able to see her working.
“Clothing is such a tactile experience,” says Williford, 29. “When you touch it and can experience where things are made and you get to see it, I think that makes people so excited and more involved in the idea and the process.”
Williford started Pamut in 2014 while living in Budapest, Hungary, where she began designing trendy, eco-friendly cotton clothes and screen-printed T-shirts. When she moved back to her native Raleigh, she brought her business with her and was eager to work with North Carolina textiles and the local, sustainable sewing and screen-printing companies she outsources to.
“I love to throw in handmade details, so I’ll do a lot of hand-dyeing, and I hand-draw all the prints that I do,” Williford says. “So it definitely has that handmade quality while also representing all that North Carolina has to offer and representing the textile industry.”
There’s a lot in store for Green House. In addition to showcasing their own pieces and allowing customers to glimpse them at work, Davis and Williford hope to make the space more than just a store. On the agenda are artists’ workshops, block parties, video screenings, and other community events. In addition, Davis and Williford plan to display and sell other local artists’ work in the store.
“I would love for this to feel like a welcoming space that people can come into and also support the design community,” Davis says. “It’s a community that needs to be pushed up in Raleigh and kept in Raleigh. So we want to feature that and show off the talent.”
And though Pamut and Lie + Loft may seem like pretty disparate ventures at first, sharing a space has already gotten Davis and Williford thinking about how they can collaborate. Pamut-made Lie + Loft T-shirts are in the offing, which will give Davis the opportunity to expand into the apparel side and will give Williford the chance to explore menswear. Davis also has plans to expand Lie + Loft in the near future with a sister brand, Land + Loft, which will feature art and accessories related to national parks, coastlines, mountains, and other outdoor destinations.
“The Pamut product is all about being organic and sustainable and keeping things natural and wearable, so I think [Land + Loft] will fit in really well with that,” Williford says.