Hannah Henderson has something special – perhaps it’s her perfectly laid back California style or the way she carries herself with a wholesome ease. Whatever it is, it’s been infused into both her home and her shop, General Store, each nestled into picturesque corners of Venice Beach – the neighborhood where she resides with her boyfriend and their two children.
Beyond her dreamy interiors, Hannah also has integrity and a partialness to the useful, beautiful, and California-made, qualities all of the goods she stocks General Store with contain. She kindly welcomed us into both of her LA spaces and answered a few questions about her style, interior and beyond.
How did you find your home and how long have you been living there?
My boyfriend bought our house a month before we met almost 15 years ago. I moved in about a year later. He wanted to live by the beach and at that time, Venice was one of the most affordable beach neighborhoods in LA. The house was definitely a bachelor pad when I moved in and over the years we’ve transformed it into our little family home. It has evolved with us (I spent many years slowly moving guy shit into the garage.)
What’s your favorite room in your house and why?
Probably my bedroom. In the afternoon, the sun pours through the windows and draws me in. My room has everything I love…my kids, my man, books, some vintage treasures hanging in the closet. I’d rather be there than anywhere in the world.
How did General Store come to fruition? What’s the story behind the business?
My business partner Serena Mitnik-Miller founded the original shop in San Francisco in 2009. We met a couple years later and instantly connected. We are very much alike and have a tremendous amount of respect for each other as women. I had a vision for opening a General Store in my neighborhood in LA. I knew this community would appreciate and support it, and I was looking to work on something that married beauty with integrity. So we partnered up and opened in Venice almost five years ago.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your interior? Did you have a particular vision in mind?
I never set out with a particular vision. I try to put thought into everything I bring into the house. No crap. Just things we love. It somehow works together in the end. The ultimate goal is to have a home that is a respite from the city, and without pretense.
Why did you choose Venice for your home and store? What draws you to the area?
Venice is a little town in LA. Not only is there comfort in that, but the fact that it is on the fringe allows you to ignore the whole city if you want to. At any time, you can go to the beach and pretend that nothing else exists.
General Store has a mix of home, apparel and beauty products, how would you define the concept for General Store? What’s the philosophy behind it?
The foundation of the store has always been California-made products. There are so many beautiful things being made where we live, we love supporting that, and creating a little world from our point of view. Over time, we’ve evolved our offering to include more products that we love…we like to say it’s a little bit of everything useful.
Does your interior decorating taste extend to your wardrobe?
Yes, I think that’s inevitable. With both, I only want to have what feels like me. And comfort is key.
Tell us a little bit about your favorite things in the store. If we had to walk out with 3 things what should they be?
Our vintage section is my personal favorite. Whether you grab a perfect pair of 501’s, a beat up t-shirt or a one-of-a-kind antique dress, each piece feels special. I love to see old garments that I’ve rescued get a new life. Plus, sifting through vintage sparks your creativity, and is a sustainable way to shop.
Next I would say handmade ceramics, something that you will put your hands on every day, like a great mug or bowl. If you’re going to use something every day, it might as well be something beautiful that you love. When an object is made with care and skill, you can feel it, it has a little soul. Last, I would say Juniper Ridge incense. It doesn’t cost a lot, and lighting it is a quick ritual that makes feel like you put extra care into your space. It’s free of charcoal, and smells amazing.
How does your store influence your interior and vice versa?
Since opening the store, a lot of the inventory has made its way home with me. I love what we sell, so naturally I want to take it home. It works both ways too. If there is something that I love at home, I know it should be at the store. Our customers tend to love the same things that we love.
Ok, we need to know where those pants are from…
From General Store of course! They are Jesse Kamm’s sailor pants, a favorite at the shop.