Appreciation Society was opened in 2015 by sisters Emma and Molly Hatch. The shop is located in the Starland Arts District, a creative neighborhood south of Savannah's historic downtown. Appreciation Society was founded out of the need for a retail outlet that celebrates independent publishers, local artists, and the ideal of conscious consumerism. They carry a curated collection of zines, artist' books, and vintage clothing.
What led you to opening Appreciation Society?
After living in New York City for several years, we decided we wanted to be back in the south, which is where we grew up. Savannah is an amazing city, but it doesn’t offer a lot of options where creative jobs are concerned, so we figured why not start our own business. It made sense to start something that we were both passionate about and that would bring something new and of value to Savannah’s creative community.
What vision do you have for your store?
We want to exist not only as a retail outlet, but also as a resource for anyone who is interested in learning more about art publishing or zine culture. When opening Appreciation Society, our number one goal was to support artists, independent designers and makers by providing a retail environment where they are able to sell their wares, art and publications.
What kind of publications are you drawn to?
Local publications, international publications, publications that are clean and simple, that are messy and weird, that make us laugh, that make us want to know more. The only real qualification we have is whether or not we want to keep a copy for ourselves.
Can you talk about why your space is unique?
In addition to artists’ books and zines, we carry vintage clothing and are beginning to expand into carrying art objects. Every single item in the store has been hand picked by us. In fact, we’ve been hands on with just about every aspect of Appreciation Society—from building garment racks and refinishing vintage furniture to doing our own graphic design.
Have you thought about having programming in your space? If so, what do you envision?
Absolutely! We’ve already had a couple events, including a t-shirt launch party for a local artist. We had bands, beers, t-shirts and local zines. It was a really fun night and we plan on doing more of that in the future. We also want to have workshops and symposiums, so we can help educate those who are seeking more knowledge about self publishing and zine making.
How do you see Appreciation Society evolving in the future? How do you see it fitting into the broader arts community in Savannah?
In the future, we definitely want to get into publishing, and we also have a gallery space in the works. The gallery space should be open this summer, so we are really excited about the different opportunities that space will bring to us and consequently to the local community.
We carry a lot of local publications in the shop, and through our participation in zine and books fairs, we hope to share those publications with a wider audience. Savannah is a truly unique city and we are passionate about seeing its artists grow and thrive.
What are your favorite publications in the store? Why?
It was hard to choose, because we are big fans of everything we stock, but we each narrowed it down to two!
Emma: I have a soft spot for clean, modern graphic design, and Gratutious Type really exemplifies that aesthetic. Gratuitous Type is an “occasional pamphlet of typographic smut” created by designer Elana Schlenker. I have truly never come across a more carefully crafted publication.
In contrast to that, one of my other favorites in the shop is Savannah Fist, a comic-style zine published by Fist City, a local artist collective. It’s totally hilarious, gross and inspiring all at once.
Molly: Discharge by Petra Collins is one of the publications I was eager to get into the shop. I originally became familiar with Collins’ work while working for American Apparel in NYC. I was excited to discover that Capricious had published her first book and feel it is a beautiful representation of her work. Collins’ work is honest and intimate with a hint of nostalgia that allows it to resonate so successfully with her generation.
I’m admittedly a little obsessed with FFOR #7 - BORN AGAIN IN DC3000 by Jonas Delaborde. His graphic, colorful, marker drawings have a unique aesthetic that is both playful and structured. There is just something so incredibly satisfying about Delaborde’s drawings.
Any additional thoughts?
Thank you to Capricious for reaching out. We are figuring this thing out as we go, but we couldn’t be more excited. Looking forward to becoming part of the art publication community that so far has been nothing but wonderful and welcoming.