portland monthly faithhaus

DISPATCH

Activewear Hijabs to Rosary Necklaces, This Website Is a One-Stop Faith-Based Shop

Online marketplace FaithHaus is the brainchild of Portlander Kristin Spear.

By Ko Ricker 2/20/2017 at 2:51pm Published in the March 2017 issue of Portland

portland monthly and faithhaus

Five years ago, when Kristin Spear’s then-second-grade son decided he wanted to make his first communion, the Portland stylist—who has worked with Esquire and, once, with Janet Jackson for a music video—faced a problem unrelated to theology. Though she hunted tirelessly for the perfect outfit for her son’s big day, Spear couldn’t find anything she liked.

“I was going to these Christian and Catholic websites, and everything felt cheesy,” says Spear. “It’s amazing how every first communion shirt comes with a zip-on tie.” Finally, after three months, she happened upon an English retailer that sold a red tie elegantly embroidered with a chalice—appropriate for the occasion and tasteful. High-quality, spirituality-inspired products shouldn’t be that hard to find, Spear thought. When other parents quizzed her about where she’d sourced her kid’s neckwear, she realized she was right—and ready to fill a gap in the market.

Next, she designed some modernized challah covers for a friend who had converted to Judaism. Then Spear decided to go bigger. Raised Catholic, she was used to being surrounded by friends of diverse religious and cultural backgrounds. She also loved having global merchandise at her fingertips, and wanted to translate the multicultural markets of New York and LA to a national audience.

This revelation spurred Spear to create FaithHaus, an online marketplace for contemporary, faith-based products that she launched this past July. Strewn about her cozy—and impeccably decorated—home office in Hillsdale are items FaithHaus sells: “activewear” hijabs, silver-gilded tarot cards, halal nail polish, and soy-based yahrzeit candles, along with the ties that started it all.

“Going to the website is like going to a bazaar,” says Janet Rosenthal, director of operations at FaithHaus. “Kristin has this eye for really unique handcrafted items.”

Many of Spear’s customers are shopping for their own religious needs, but she says she also wants to create a destination for, say, someone who has no idea what gift to get for the host of a Diwali celebration. (On the site’s blog, The Vibe, which has 1,500 subscribers, Spear recommends a monetary offering for the goddess Lakshmi or a sweet treat made with coconut, an auspicious symbol in Hindu culture.) “I want to honor these faiths in the appropriate way, but also make these products accessible,” she says.

FaithHaus sales have grown by double digits every month since launch. For now, most of Spear’s customers shop from East Coast metropolises, and she says she would love to open a store in New York one day. Meanwhile, she hopes Portland—a city noted for its low rates of engagement with organized faith—will nurture and support a business that celebrates religious diversity. After all, we live in a time when hijab-clad models rock the runway at New York Fashion Week and world-class athletes, like US Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, are seen competing in modest athletic gear. And if you’ve ever tried to buy Shabbat supplies at Albertson’s, the site’s clean aesthetic and navigation are minor religious experiences in their own right.

“There is a general consensus that shopping for these things is not fun, and I wanted to change that,” says Spear. If it works, FaithHaus could demonstrate a larger truth: divisions aside, great accessories remain universally revered.

 

 

 

Monthly

portland business journal talks about faithhaus

Portland e-commerce startup puts many faiths in online retail

Dec 14, 2016, 12:11pm PST

Fashion industry veteran Kristin Spear found herself running into a similar problem over and over again: When she looked for spiritual or religious based gifts for her friends she couldn’t find anything that spoke to her aesthetic, their tastes, or a shopping experience she liked.

When she was invited to a Hindu wedding, she was unsure what to wear or bring. When a friend converted to Judaism it was hard to find items that matched her friend’s stylish lifestyle.

“The experience (of faith-based shopping) needs to evolve and be inclusive and elevated and fashionable and feel like any other modern shopping experience,” Spear said.

To remedy this, Spear in July launched Faithhaus, an online retail site featuring religious-themed items made by craftspeople from around the world. Items on the site include handwoven linen challah bread covers; modest active wear; and ceremonial matcha tea.

The site is just the first element of Spear’s plans. Next spring she wants to start a series of pop-up meal events centered around religious holidays and ceremonies where people can learn each other’s traditions.

The technology or product: Faithhaus is a curated online marketplace for religious or spiritual items for modern faith and lifestyle. Items are handcrafted and are designed to speak to a more contemporary style. The site includes items relevant to Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islam, Judaism, and Sikh religions.

Competitors: Faithhaus is designed for an upscale experience that Spear found lacking in the market. Other sites typically focus on one religious belief or the sites lack design, she said.

Competitive advantage: Spear spent 23 years as a stylist and professional shopper. Her experience in fashion aids in curating the site and making products sellable for various markets. She also includes how-to guides and gift ideas based on spirituality.

Managers and their background: Spear launched her own t-shirt line in the ‘90s and has worked with major artists and retailers such as Janet Jackson, Nordstrom, H&M and Coca-Cola.

world religion news faithhaus

20 GIFT IDEAS FOR THE CHRISTIAN OR JEW ON YOUR LIST

FAITHHAUS

world religion faithhaus holiday picks

At the intersection of faith and lifestyle is FAITHHAUS, the religious marketplace that allows you to shop and select from a variety of stylish spiritual merchandise that make wonderful gifts. The site was launched in July by Kristin Spear and offers faith-inspired items that are both stylish and meaningful. Some of the items that FAITHHAUS offers are handwoven, linen Challah bread covers and ceramic Shabbat candle holders, chrysanthemum wooden rosaries, modern ceremonial matcha tea and turquoise hamsa necklaces.

Read more at World Religion News: "20 Gift Ideas for the Christian or Jew on Your List" http://www.worldreligionnews.com/?p=33291

 

 

Hadassah Magazine

Hanukkah Gift Guide: Festival of Color and Design

Keeping the Faith

Faithhaus appeals to spiritual and religious groups—by meeting their material needs. The online retailer is organized by faith and showcases a modern approach to ritual items. This delicate hamsa anklet (from $35) shows up under both the Jewish and Islamic collections. The Shabbat Set (left) includes a hand crafted mahogany candleholder and a Kiddush cup crafted from a wine bottle, from $68. And the bottom of the minimalist ceramic Shabbat candleholders from Israeli design studio Yahalomis separates to form two holders for tea lights (from $108)

hanukkah gifts from faithhaus

The Ish blog

 The Ish Give or Get

 

Oregon Jewish Life

 

Portlander launches website for faith-based items

Former New York, luxury retail stylist Kristin Spear has founded Faithhaus, an online marketplace dedicated to products of faith and lifestyle.

The Portland-based online marketplace is designed to bridge the gap between faith and commerce by providing consumers with gifts and lifestyle merchandise with an elevated sense of style and taste.
“We are filling the need for a place to shop for contemporary and relevant gifts, to find entertaining and decorating ideas, and to gather inspiration from vibrant people who share their rituals of faith,” explains Kristin.

Kristin says the concept for Faithhaus was born when her best friend got married and converted to Judaism. She saw the new couple had a difficult time finding traditional items to fit into their modern lifestyle. She decided to take her years of experience as a stylist and curate a shopping experience for people looking for faith-based gifts.

The website offers Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish, Sikh and Spiritual gift lines.
Faithhaus.com

 

EAST MEETS WEST IN VISIONARY ONLINE MARKETPLACE

In a time when style and spirituality do not often fall on the same page in Vogue or the New York Times Style section, we continue to find nods to religion within the fashion industry. Be it Prabal Gurung’s 2015 New York Fashion Week show which opened with Buddhist monks chanting a prayer of gratitude, Givenchy’s inclusion of the traditional Jewish song "Shalom Aleichem” in their Fashion Week showing the same year, or Tommy Hilfiger’s Ramadan collections, faith and spirituality are at the roots of our self-expression.

The many religions practiced in this country celebrate glorious, diverse rituals.  And these rituals require gifts. With current faith-based product companies offering cliché items on hard to navigate sites, the recent July 2016 launch of the uniquely curated, FAITHHAUS, is bringing spirituality and religion to present day style in a digital marketplace for modern faith.

The Portland-based, inspired marketplace is bridging the gap between faith and commerce by providing consumers with gifts and lifestyle merchandise with an elevated sense of style and taste.

“We are filling the need for a place to shop for contemporary and relevant gifts, to find entertaining and decorating ideas, and to gather inspiration from vibrant people who share their rituals of faith,” explains FAITHHAUS Founder and former stylist, Kristin Spear.

FAITHHAUS reinvents traditional items to fit within modern lifestyle through relevant, heirloom quality, handcrafted goods that speak to a more contemporary style of living. From handwoven, linen Challah bread covers and vegan, kosher beard oil, to modern ceremonial matcha tea and modest activewear, the selection of original and heirloom pieces from faith-based artisans provides consumers with always-appropriate items that reflect contemporary lifestyles and time-honored traditions. The e-Commerce site also includes a news blog covering practical tips, seasonal topics and religious traditions, offering articles exploring the various avenues of faith.

About FAITHHAUS

Founded in 2016 by former New York, luxury retail stylist Kristin Spear, FAITHHAUS is an original marketplace dedicated to products of faith and lifestyle. At FAITHHAUS we understand that the paths to spirituality are many. Our mission is to bring you sacred items that reflect your journey, as well as those of your friends, family and colleagues. Need the perfect baptism or bar mitzvah gift? Invited to your first Indian wedding? How about a Diwali gift for the hostess? Modest fashion? Here you will find always-appropriate items that reflect contemporary lifestyles and time-honored traditions. FAITHHAUS selects original and heirloom pieces from faith-based artisans. Discover gifts, home decor and fashions specially selected for special occasions and everyday inspiration.

Reinventing ritual... www.faithhaus.com

Media Contact:

Marcy Fitzpatrick

press@marcyfitzpatrick.com

310.927.8548

 

Portlander launches website for faith-based items

Former New York, luxury retail stylist Kristin Spear has founded Faithhaus, an online marketplace dedicated to products of faith and lifestyle.

The Portland-based online marketplace is designed to bridge the gap between faith and commerce by providing consumers with gifts and lifestyle merchandise with an elevated sense of style and taste.
“We are filling the need for a place to shop for contemporary and relevant gifts, to find entertaining and decorating ideas, and to gather inspiration from vibrant people who share their rituals of faith,” explains Kristin.

Kristin says the concept for Faithhaus was born when her best friend got married and converted to Judaism. She saw the new couple had a difficult time finding traditional items to fit into their modern lifestyle. She decided to take her years of experience as a stylist and curate a shopping experience for people looking for faith-based gifts.

The website offers Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish, Sikh and Spiritual gift lines.
Faithhaus.com