It's the concept of local retailers Kenny Barrett and Joshua Hahn, co-owners of downtown Phoenix's much-loved GROWop Boutique, and their latest venture, described as a "new general store," is inspired by living in a modern desert city.
Phoenix General stocks both men's and women's clothing, accessories, home goods, and gifts. "The idea of this store is that it's very specific to the desert climate, so you can always expect to see things that are wearable all year round that are, not so much trendy, but timeless desert-inspired pieces," Hahn says. "Because we live and breathe it. This is what we are."
Inside the new retail space, expect to find dark wood accents, modern colors, and clean lines. The darker stains and finishes highlight an old west feel, like an old saloon or general store, but they're employed in a modern, minimal way.
The store shares 2,100 square feet of retail space with local, design-focused retailer Framed Ewe, which offers a superb selection of independent eyewear. The two shops will operate side-by-side as part of a creative collaboration. The new Framed Ewe, known as Framed Ewe Duex, will offer full optical services, including lenses, eye exams, and eyewear.
Inventory at Phoenix General emphasizes everyday basics such as T-shirts and jeans, but co-owners Barrett and Hahn are also interested in lightweight yet durable fabrics, a lived-in feel, and ethically produced labels.
The shop carries textile-focused brand Ace & Jig (which has a cult-like following), as well as Skargorn, a line out of LA. They will also be carrying men's brand The Hill-Side, among others. In addition, expect to see some local favorites including Alex Ozer's jewelry, Standard Wax candles, and Concrete Cacti by Brandon Gore.
Phoenix General has its own line of basics, meaning that customers can purchase a piece with the Phoenix General label sewn in. It's something Hahn and Barrett hope will set the store apart, and it's an area where they plan to focus more creative energy in the future. "We're aiming for creating more of our own line," Hahn says. "That's a goal of ours."
The aesthetic feels deeply rooted to a sense of place. Maybe not surprising, since this is the team who had the vision to grow an urban garden on the front lawn of their first retail store, GROWop in the Roosevelt District. The store/garden combo was an organic, grassroots endeavor in a literal sense. Barrett and Hahn mixed urban farming with handmade and vintage retail, forming partnerships with local artists and makers.
Reflecting on the store Hahn says, "GROWop was more whimsical. You know, the garden influenced the concept of that store. We literally took a sunflower leaf to ACE Hardware and matched the color of the walls to it."
Phoenix General has a more minimal and refined feel than GROWop. But fans will recognize still see the stylistic touches of Barrett and Hahn at play. And GROWop isn't going anywhere. "That's where we came from, and that's where our heart is," Hahn says. "As long as people want vintage and handmade, we'll be there."
Phoenix General's grand opening party is Friday, June 17, from 7 to 9 p.m. at 5538 N. Seventh Street. Hours Monday through Saturday are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.