Growing in ALX: Featuring Spaeth Hill
By: Adrianne Griffith
From retail and restaurants to tech and media, contractors to coworking spaces, large, small, and everything in between, a diverse array of businesses call Alexandria home. In our blog series, Growing in Alexandria, we sit down to talk with businesses around the City to learn more about who they are, what they do, and why they love it here. Have an idea for a business in Alexandria to talk to? Email us!
Part of a strong and growing group of creative firms in Alexandria, VA, we caught up with Jill Spaeth, Partner, to learn more about her firm – Spaeth Hill– a design practice located in Old Town Alexandria.
AEDP: So, can you tell us a little about Spaeth Hill?
Jill: Spaeth Hill is a contemporary design practice focusing on interiors, signage, branding and publications. Additionally, we offer clientele experience and expertise in strategy and traditional graphic design services including identity design and collateral for retail, restaurants, commercial and corporate clients.
The soul of the studio finds itself somewhere between art and design which enables the production of unique solutions for clients. Spaeth Hill seeks partners who are equally as passionate about what they do and possess a desire to create memorable things, believing that meaningful and positive collaborations lead to the most forward-thinking outcomes.
AEDP: What’s something no one knows about Spaeth Hill?
Jill: Not many people know that we design furniture for ourselves and for clients. We currently have two furniture lines in the works. The first is Biscuit, a desk ideal for those who are looking to add flavor and a pop of color to their work environment. Biscuit takes inspiration from the Playskool building blocks of our past as well as the colorful industrial designs of the 1980s.
Our egg-inspired side table, affectionately named Oeuf, is the first in the culinary-themed furniture line. Each table in the side table series is given a name in a language that relates to its geographic culinary prevalence. In the case of Oeuf, we chose French to celebrate the egg’s prominence in many classic French recipes.
We’re also finalizing a custom design for HEMPHILL Fine Art. They commissioned us to design and fabricate a desk that will be a prominent feature in the main reception area of their new gallery space in Mt. Vernon Place, NW.
AEDP: Is there a charity that Spaeth Hill likes to support?
Jill: We have supported the AIGA DC Design Continuum Fund since its inception in 2007. This scholarship fund supports local design students of diverse backgrounds with an unmet financial need to continue their education. This scholarship fund grew from the generosity of the local design community, one that both Nathan and I have been a part of since we started our careers, so being a part of this program is incredibly meaningful to us personally.
AEDP: What’s on the horizon?
Jill: Last year, we established a longterm partnership with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation when we were engaged to redesign the organization’s traditional annual report format and present a serious and pressing health topic with an energetic and optimistic tone. Following the success of that project, at the beginning of 2020, we helped CFF launch its new strategic plan and introduce their new CEO’s vision for the organization, guiding the Foundation’s work for the next five years. Right now, we are beginning the design process for the 2019 annual report and hope to continue to help communicate CFF’s important work through forward-thinking design work.
AEDP: What’s your favorite thing about Alexandria?
Jill: Our favorite thing about Alexandria is its rich history, dating back to the late 1800s. In our work, we often look to the past as a reference and starting point as we conceptualize a project. In Alexandria, the historic charm is all around us and is especially evident from our location on the 3rd floor of the old firehouse building.
AEDP: Similarly (and lastly), why did you decide to locate here in Alexandria, Virginia?
Jill: We relocated to Alexandria from the Petworth neighborhood in DC because the location was easily accessible and we have clients everywhere, from Tysons to Washington and Bethesda, so having a more central location was important to us. However, the biggest reason that we chose to locate in Alexandria was, of course, the historic charm. We love the cobblestone streets, brick facades and the tree lights (perfect viewing proximity from our expansive windows!).
To learn more about Spaeth Hill or to schedule an appointment to stop in, visit their website.