Online Extra: The Homestyle Hideaway Of Future Ancestor
Future Ancestor, the newly opened Cherokee Street destination owned by husband-and-wife team Brian and Julia Leenig, offers a creatively curated selection of vintage home decor and handmade lifestyle goods. We caught up with duo to get the scoop on the new shop for our April issue, and we have to say: home style has never looked so chic.
ALIVE: When did you open Future Ancestor?
Brian and Julia: We started Future Ancestor in 2012 as a way of supporting our vintage shopping addiction. We were living in a small two bedroom apartment in North Carolina, working full-time jobs, and didn’t have the space to keep the treasures we were finding. We started selling on Etsy and took our little side business with us as we moved to to Washington, D.C. and then Chicago. We’d spend our weekends scouring junk stores and thrift shops, coming home and rearranging our space and taking pictures before the sun went down. While we were decently happy with our day jobs, we were always so much more passionate about Future Ancestor.
ALIVE: What types of items do you carry?
Brian and Julia: All of our items are home decor or lifestyle goods, ranging from Mid-Century sectional sofas to ’70s kitchenware. It’s such a blend of old and new, tattered and polished, natural and graphic. We don’t like to pinpoint our style too much since it’s so fluid, but all our pieces have good design as their foundation. We don’t care if it’s an iconic designer chair or an intuitive block print from a middle schooler in the ’80s. If we think it’s wonderful, we’ll put it in the shop.
ALIVE: Do you plan on expanding your selection of handmade items?
Brian and Julia: We are working on bringing in a lot more handmade into the shop right now. We’ve got four or five different makers currently and have a few more in the works. We’d love for our shop to be an outlet for artists to sell their work, allowing for more people to make a living from their passion and to perpetuate an independent market. Also, while we love vintage, it doesn’t really make sense to have your entire living space be entirely that. Our personal style is a mix of vintage and new and we want our shop to be the same way.
ALIVE: Why did you choose Cherokee Street for the location of your store?
Brian and Julia: We chose Cherokee Street for the like-mindedness of the neighborhood. We love that everyone is committed to supporting one another and carving out a really special spot in the city for independent thinkers and goodhearted souls. Since moving into the shop, we’ve only fallen more in love with the community.
ALIVE: If you could describe Future Ancestor in three words, what would they be?
Brian and Julia: Eclectic. Curated. Modern.
For more on Future Ancestor, snag a copy of ALIVE Magazine’s April issue, or visit at 2617 Cherokee Street.