The Rapidian

Have Company, Harbinger Leather Design join South Division Avenue art district

Have Company, a general store and small publication shop, and Harbinger Leather Design opened their doors last week.

Have Company and Harbinger Leather Design:

136 South Division Avenue

Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Open Tuesday - Saturday

Noon to 9 p.m.

Have Company on Storenvy

Have Company on Etsy

Harbinger Leather Design on Etsy

/Marlee Grace

/Marlee Grace

On July 13, Have Company and Harbinger Leather Design at 136 South Division Avenue enjoyed their “soft opening,” which coincided with the Avenue for the Arts downtown market. This week marks the second official week of the store’s opening and Marlee Grace, owner and operator of Have Company, says that opening on the day of the Market was more than appropriate for their new storefront.

“To have our opening during that was just…really fitting considering how much time I spend in this neighborhood already, and how much I love this neighborhood and the Market,” says Grace.

Have Company, Grace’s portion of the shop, focuses on a wide range of products. The store features handmade goods, like lamps and jewelry from Will Campbell of Anvil Goods, rugs by Rose Beerhoorst, and, of course, Jacob Vroon’s handmade leather items with Harbinger Leather Design.

Vroon lives in the in the store and has a workshop in the basement where he makes his leather goods. Harbinger offers a wide range of products including leather rucksacks, messenger bags, belts, leashes, purses and bifold wallets.

Have Company also offers an assortment of independently published lifestyle journals or “zines” like Kinfolk, as well as some of Grace’s own publications.

“I have my whole series of zines here. I have a couple different titles in the shop. One that’s actually called Have Company, one that’s called The Art Of, which is a series of essays I wrote for a website called GR Screamer,” says Grace.

Above all, Grace is concerned with inclusion. For example, she says it was important to refer to the shop as a “general store and small publication shop,” rather than a zine shop.

“People who know what zines are will know that that’s what Have Company is. They’ll know that they can come here to buy them. I don’t have to search for those people,” she says. “Reaching kind of a broader audience… is a really big goal of mine. The city is big and I feel like a lot of people could be really excited about a store like this existing.”

Have Company found its origins in a vintage camper, which functioned as a mobile shop.

“It was actually a Start Garden funded experiment. It went really well. It went so well that we decided to have an actual storefront,” says Grace.

Now the Have Company vintage camper is stationed in Bangora, Michigan where Grand Rapids artist Sam Snedeker is living and preparing work for an exhibit at MadCap Coffee.

Traveling artists and designers of handmade goods will also have an opportunity to showcase their work at Have Company. 

"The store has a domestic residency tied to it. I have an extra bedroom in our house, so we’ll have residents staying with us who will be in and out of the shop,” says Grace. “It’s kind of an opportunity to get people in the shop, get people excited about making stuff.”

Have Company will be hosting a show on August 5 at 8:30 p.m. The lineup includes:

Radiator Hospital

Sacred Strays

Strawberry Heritage

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