With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting in-person retailers across the globe, Jordan Fox found himself compelled to take a step back and return to the roots of his passion — creating quality products by hand, he shared.
“Foxtrot has always been very experience-driven. The feeling you have when you come into the space, coupled with the workshop where things are made right in front of you, is something missing from the online shop,” said the founder of Foxtrot Studio — a design and retail shop known for its simple, high-quality leatherworks.
Foxtrot Studio, launched in 2015 and previously known as Foxtrot Supply, has relocated to Rosedale in Kansas City, Kansas, with an official opening set for mid-July. The move comes after a roller-coaster year in 2020 — with the shop temporarily closing, limiting store hours, then permanently closing its Crossroads Arts District location and Fox’s co-founder Ryan Hetu stepping away from the business, Fox recounted.
“Through those changes, I decided to focus more on making things by hand again, which is how I started the brand and how the term ‘studio’ came about [in the rebranding],” he explained.
Click here to read more about the founding of Foxtrot.
Fox said goodbye to Foxtrot’s original location in October 2020 and started looking for a space that would support a blend of retail offerings, a workshop and other experiential ventures, he noted.
“Part of the inspiration for continuing down this path of experience-driven ideas is because when you have a very intimate space, people open up in a way that you don’t see in other spaces,” said Fox, who also runs High & Dry Cactus Co. out of the back of his home in Rosedale with his wife, Emily. “We just really want to dive into this idea of letting people into our lives and educating them on the things we’re making.”
Soon after Foxtrot’s close in the Crossroads, Fox came upon an open space not too far from home (quite literally — with the building’s location less than a block from Fox’s house, he shared).
“When we first came across the space [in Rosedale], it was quite a bit of square footage, and I knew I didn’t need that much,” Fox said. “But, then I remembered how I had always thought a cafe would be the perfect complement to our workshop.”
Meta Coffee Roasting Co.
Zach Tarhini launched Meta Coffee Roasting Co. around the same time as Foxtrot in 2015. Meta Coffee’s emphasis on organic and sustainably-grown coffee aligned with the values of Foxtrot Studio, making the partnership feel very natural, the duo said.
“I’m really excited to be in the part of town we’re in,” said Tarhini, noting the Foxtrot space will showcase Meta Coffee’s first physical location. “That specific neighborhood doesn’t have a lot to offer coffee-wise right now, and [Meta Coffee] can bring in some really robust and flavorful roasts. … The whole idea of Meta is to highlight the flavor of the coffee while keeping it very simple.”
Click here to check out Meta Coffee Roasting Co.
The community was invited to a June 19 shop preview at Foxtrot Studio to grab any last-minute gifts for Father’s Day, as well as experience the creative process behind both Fox’s leatherwork and Tarhini’s coffee.
“It was really cool to see people in the space, enjoying a cup of coffee or checking out Jordan’s products,” Tarhini said. “We wanted this to be a space where people gather, so watching it become what we intended — even just for that little snapshot of a day — was really gratifying.”
“At the preview, we offered belts that we would customize right in front of you; and it’s a pretty symbiotic thing to have coffee prepared right in front of you,” Fox added. “So having Zach be in that space with us is such a blessing.”
Along with the cafe and the workshop, Fox is intending on bringing other service-oriented concepts into the space, he teased.
“The shop preview was to give an idea of what we have ahead, but we still have quite a bit more that we want to work into the building itself,” Fox said. “I really want the building to be a central, community hub for Rosedale.”
Possibilities are not limited to the inside of the Foxtrot Studio building, Fox said, noting the prominent cycling community in his neighborhood.
“A cool thing about Southwest Boulevard is the cycling lanes,” he noted. “I am a cyclist myself, and we really want to cater to the cycling community by offering a walk-up window to the cafe. There’s outdoor seating, and we will eventually add bike stands to promote that community-feel, even outside of the shop.”
Throughout 2020 and his journey through the pandemic, Fox has learned the importance of patience and not sacrificing one’s true passion, he shared.
“I could have tried to scrounge something up really quickly, but the best things take time,” Fox said. “It’s necessary to feel the highs and lows that come with that.”