Asheville-based lifestyle brand debuts in Atlanta
STORY: Claire Ruhlin
It’s now a thriving lifestyle brand, but Asheville, North Carolina based East Fork had humble beginnings. Its first iteration was on an old tobacco farm in 2009, when Alex Matisse, great-grandson of famed artist Henri Matisse; his wife, Connie; and potter John Vigeland built a wood-burning kiln and began making pottery. In 2016, the co-founders launched their own line of gas-fired dinnerware made from regionally sourced materials and dubbed East Fork Collection.
“That launch and the opening of our flagship brick-and-mortar in Asheville was the big pivot, so to speak, which moved us from a craft business to both a lifestyle brand and a designer and manufacturer of contemporary ceramic dinnerware,” says Connie. “Alex and John were both trained in formal ceramic apprenticeships, which still informs our approach to form and production today.” The brand’s first retail location outside its home base arrived at the Westside Provisions district in December. Like the sleek ceramic dinnerware it originally became known for, the new Atlanta store is clean and contemporary, layering neutral shades of terracota and warm woods. In addition to East Fork’s line of “unfussy, timeless dinnerware,” expect a curated selection of lifestyle products— everything “from kitchen goods to linens to jewelry,” says Connie.
Georgia-sourced items are in stock, too, including small batch clothing from State the Label and hand painted scarves from In & Of. East Fork will also host regular events such as cooking classes and trunk shows. “Our goal is to expand these offerings as we get to know the city and its people better over the next few months,” says Connie. “Our aim is for the space to become a gathering spot for the Atlanta community.”