Happy customer Jeremy Spearing didn’t know he wanted to create a custom piece of art with 1767. The 39-year-old just wanted to buy a piece that he couldn’t stop thinking about after spending time on the website and Instagram.
“I kind of thought they had a million of what you saw in the photos,” Jeremy said. When he reached out to 1767 with a screenshot, co-founder and custom sales manager, Jenny Hayes, had to break the news gently.
“I sent a screenshot and I said, ‘I love this. How much does this cost? I mean, I love it down to the T,’ and Jenny said, ‘Actually, that’s a custom piece and we don't recreate anything twice.’”
Fortunately, the alternative that Jenny suggested was even better: “She said, ‘Well, we can design something with you that we think will still check all the boxes that made you fall in love with the other piece,’” Jeremy recalled.
That conversation started Jeremy down the path to a custom commission, which led to the creation of what is now a centerpiece of his home in Buena Vista, Colorado. Jeremy admits he was hesitant to commit to the process, saying he – like most people – is “very busy,” but was ultimately grateful that “1767 asked me to slow down a bit.”
Working with our co-founder and lead designer, Patrick Hayes, Jeremy discovered the beauty of buying art that is made explicitly for you, with your direct input. “I enjoyed the process even though I didn't think I was looking for it. I'm glad that I found it,” he said.
We spoke with Jeremy to hear more about his experience, as well as how stories – and the “stuff” they’re attached to – add joy to his life.
JEREMY SPEARING: (The process) was very efficient. And as it continued, I started to fall in love with this different design and forget about the one from before.
I wanted (my piece) to reflect the first thing you see when walking into my cabin – which is usually the sun peeking over three fourteener mountains. When Patrick asked what I liked about their other art pieces, it almost always came back to the sunset or sunrise. So in the end we wanted to divide the pieces into this separation of dusk and dawn.
1767: How would you describe the feeling of stepping back and taking in this piece of art that you helped design?
JS: I want everything in my home to tell a story. That was part of the reason why I drove to Nashville to pick this piece up. Cuz when I looked at it, I wanted to be able to say, “This is the story behind it,” and driving there added to the story. When I think of the piece, not only do I think of the time that we designed it, I think of when I went to the VFW and the Legion Club in Nashville and had beers and watched everybody play the piccolo and banjo and all this other stuff. When I finally hung the artwork it was one of those moments where you see more than just what you put on the wall.
1767: Obviously you care about storytelling, and that's a really important aspect of the work that 1767 produces – the materials had a life before they came to you.
JS: I didn't realize this until I picked it up, but they put the address of the house (the lath came from) on all of their pieces. That was a surprise to me. Maybe it was obvious through the process and I just glossed over it, but that was a cool touch.
1767: How would you describe your aesthetic? What’s your approach to creating a space for yourself?
JS: My grandparents built this cabin in 1981 and it took forever. They had this genius way of saying, “Alright, this is going to be your room that you work on so you guys build it.” You’d walk into each room and they were all weirdly eclectic. The goal was to give ownership to each grandkid or kid. It was also a way to keep us all working... And so each little thing is something from Oklahoma or Texas.
And when we have all our friends come together, whether they're friends from Austin, or my old military friends, we have this rule that you have to bring up your own mug and accept that the mug stays at the cabin. So when they come back, there’s always something waiting for them. When you wake up for coffee and grab the mug, it’s like, “Oh yeah, this is the mug I took from Nashville when I picked up my piece from 1767,” and it brings you back to that. That's kind of what the whole place is filled with – that stuff. And when you look at it, you just smile.
1767: What a wonderful, and ultimately very simple, way to almost guarantee moments of joy and love in your life through the things in your home.
JS: Yeah, having something present to anchor you in those moments. I think it's very important.