Jennings & Allen – The Artisan Home is a reflection of all that has made each of us unique, special, and irreplaceable. We have created Jennings & Allen to bring you not only beautiful products, but to bring you the passion we feel for the artisans who create them. It is their stories and history that make these goods so special. We want to share their stories with you and we want you to share them with your friends. We are based in Long Beach, CA and would love to see you if you are in the area.
Our founders Colvin and Steven enjoy traveling for both business and pleasure and they are constantly on the lookout for great new products that capture the essence of their experiences. Everything you will find at Jennings & Allen is personally selected by them. They hope you will enjoy these special pieces as much as they do.
We tell lots of stories here at Jennings & Allen. We would love to hear your travel or artisan experience!
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Who are Jennings & Allen?
Sarah and Jennings & Evelyn and Allen were Colvin's grandparents.
Jennings was a charismatic young man from Arkansas who met Sarah while “riding the rails” through south Alabama looking for work during the height of the depression. He was the eleventh of twelve children and died far too early when Colvin's father was just 18 months old. Colvin doesn't know much about his grandfather but Jennings's best friend, Gatewood, told him he was Jennings' “spitting image” over half a century after he was gone. Colvin thinks his “never met a stranger” attitude probably comes from Jennings.
Sarah was the youngest of eight, the grand-daughter of a Southern Colonel and the daughter of a savvy business woman who ran a large farm by herself in an era when women were often relegated to kitchens and parlors. Even though she was young widow, Sarah made it work. She raised Colvin's father and aunt through some difficult times with some creative solutions for making ends meet. Perhaps, she is to thank for the entrepreneurial spirit which runs deep in Colvin's family.
Allen was a circuit minister in Oklahoma and West Texas when he met Evelyn. He was an imposing figure at over 6’ tall and was an intellectual in a land of ranchers and oilmen still reeling from the devastation wrought by Manifest Destiny. He majored in Greek and minored in Hebrew while in seminary and is undoubtedly a source for Colvin's lifelong interest in learning and in particular in the customs and traditions of other cultures.
Evelyn was a West Texas merchant’s daughter, the youngest of three sisters, she was born in the territory of New Mexico just prior to the state entering the union. She taught elementary school during the week and Sunday school each weekend. She was kind and thoughtful and Colvin remembers her almost as a caricature of a grandmother. Soft, warm, inviting, maybe even smelling of cookies. Her life was dedicated to her family and her home was always open and welcoming. Colvin's value of home and hearth can be found in her.
Sarah, Jennings, Evelyn, and Allen all helped to make Colvin who he is today, and he sees in them parts of himself. Colvin thanks them for helping shape him and for all they did before him to pave the way for this adventure of life.
We hope you will enjoy the stories and products we bring you. We want our experiences to inspire you to seek your own.
Who are Steven and Colvin?
Steven is a SoCal native with roots in New Mexico. His Kewa grandmother roasted chiles, toasted pine nuts, and made him his favorite carne adovado and sopapillas each Summer after their yearly trip to the Southwest. With working-class roots, Steven saw first-hand the challenges immigrant and minority communities face. In 2011 he received is Masters in Social Work from The University of Southern California. He now works with marginalized communities in Los Angeles to help them navigate their way through a system not always prepared to ensure their success. Steven is a passionate supporter of indigenous cultures and is still exploring his own native roots.
Colvin is a Marine Corps brat who grew up in Virginia. His mother was an educator and his father a soldier, artist, and entrepreneur. He grew up working with artisan goods and has been involved with the sale and marketing of artisan products from around the globe for most of his career. He has been traveling the world and accumulating “treasures” for over 20 years and has worked in over 50 countries helping artisans grow their businesses and preserve their art.