Forth and Home (8137 Big Bend) may be just 900 square feet, but the Webster Groves shop is bursting with interesting finds: vintage furniture, woven basketry, glassware from Morocco, vintage rugs from Iran and Turkey.
Owner Amy Kuntz wants to help people discover and foster an individual style and make their homes reflections of the things they love. “The store kind of originated from the idea of back-and-forth,” she says. “We go out into the world, and home is the place that we come back to, so it’s this idea of creating a store that allows people to create that sense of home in their own space…and then extend that warmth to the people they invite in.”
The shop, which opened November 5, stocks a mix of vintage furniture and new housewares. It is Kuntz’s second foray into retail. She previously co-owned Seta, which was a collaboration by Route, LoKey Designs, and her own company, Oh Hey Aim. Seta opened in the Shaw neighborhood just a few months before the pandemic hit the United States, and closed in mid-2020. After taking time off to focus on being a foster mom, Kuntz was considering getting back into sourcing vintage furniture when she noticed that Union Studio’s former space, on Big Bend, was available to lease.
“I was driving down the street and saw the ‘For Lease’ sign in the window,” she recalls. “I had considered putting my portion of Seta up online and doing my own e-commerce thing, but when I saw the sign, I thought I’d just send an email and see. I figured there were at least 20 people already lined up to be in this area.” She was pleasantly surprised to learn that the owners were interested in adding a furniture store like hers to the block.
Kuntz still sources vintage rugs and furniture—welcoming commissions by customers—but having a store all to herself has allowed her to add a variety of new housewares and textiles to the mix. She looks for products that she loves, but it’s also important to her that the lines are ethically sourced and that the companies in question provide fair wages and working conditions for employees. So far, some of the shop’s most popular items have been candles from Mo&Co Home, products from the Fellow coffee line, and pillows and other textiles.
This year, Kuntz hopes to add new furniture to the shop. She also plans to offer classes on how to host a get-together and other hospitality-related topics. “I’m excited for the new year and to expand the line and learn more about the customers and the area so that I can continue to make [housewares] accessible for people,” she says. “It’s really hard to return a rug—I know, I’ve done it—so I want to give people options that they can look at in person.”