Shop Tour: Hold General Store

by Garrett Fleming

When Marla Ebell was younger, she used to help her grandparents harvest and sell organic vegetables from their farm. She’d wrap the precious goods in paper and string before market days, all the while dreaming of one day owning her own general store. If she had her way, she’d become the purveyor of “morally-beautiful products.” Those hopes and wishes never wavered, and today they’ve become the backbone of Hold General Store, the result of all of Marla’s dreaming and scheming.

The store in Victoria, Canada carries a range of diverse products simple in their design and look. They aren’t flashy with in-your-face colors and patterns. Instead they are streamlined and pretty, perfect for seamlessly fitting into anyone’s home. Peppered amongst brooms and bowls are nods to Marla’s time on the vegetable farm: greenery that tastes as fresh as it looks. All in all, Marla says Hold General Store is a one-stop shop for building a life beautiful in its singularity. “Its about treasuring simplicity, noticing the small things, filling your home with tools you cherish and allow[ing] their stories to integrate into your everyday,” she tells us.

Each product Marla carries has clearly been carefully chosen. That being said, her wares couldn’t be displayed on any old, store-bought furniture. Instead, these items reside on tables and benches made of wood salvaged from British Columbia’s coastline. Even better, Marla’s family and friends helped her make the pieces, each one adding warmth to a space already full of such thoughtfulness and care. Click through to hear more from Marla and to take a closer look around the space. Enjoy!  —Garrett

Photography by Kelly Brown

Shop Tour: Hold General Store, Design*Sponge
Hold General Store provides practical tools that can be seamlessly integrated into one's life. Their designs aren't over-the-top or out-of-the-box, but instead they're beautiful in their simplicity. "We believe in the fundamentals," owner Marla tells us.
Shop Tour: Hold General Store, Design*Sponge
Growing up, Marla used to help her grandparents market their organic vegetable farm. At the time, she was also studying holistic nutrition and herbal medicine and came upon her true passion: "making morally beautiful products and ideas aesthetically attractive." These two experiences helped mold her view of her future store.
Shop Tour: Hold General Store, Design*Sponge
Hold General Store's furniture was a labor of love. Skilled family and friends pitched in to help make tables and such out of salvaged wood from British Columbia's coastline. The light and versatile pieces are easy to move, making them perfect for when Marla hosts workshops at the store.
Shop Tour: Hold General Store, Design*Sponge
Hold General Store doesn't only sell housewares. It also carries fresh-off-the-farm veggies. They bring a pleasant touch of the outdoors into the space.
Shop Tour: Hold General Store, Design*Sponge
When she was working on her grandparents' vegetable farm, Marla never prepared the veggies for market in plastic bags. She'd instead enclose each one in paper and string. It was her way of not only honoring their hard work, but also a marketing move she knew would serve them well.
Shop Tour: Hold General Store, Design*Sponge
"Good food, warm shelter [and] full hearts," are what Marla says her store is all about.
Shop Tour: Hold General Store, Design*Sponge
The back of the store's plaster wall is made from clay brought back from the beaches of one of Marla's favorite coastal towns.
Shop Tour: Hold General Store, Design*Sponge
Throughout the shop's construction, Marla's father proved himself to be particularly invaluable. "I feel so lucky to have spent all the time I have with my Dad over the last few months. He has pushed me to build as much as possible on my own, teaching me so much along the way," Marla gushes.
Shop Tour: Hold General Store, Design*Sponge
More handmade, wooden pieces add warmth to the back of the store.
Shop Tour: Hold General Store, Design*Sponge
The general store's branding is simple yet beautiful, just like its products.

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