Acorn Concepts LLC

Acorn Concepts is an art and design business based in Brooklyn, New York, started in 2006 by Russell Steinert and Janis Stemmermann.

Russell Steinert and Janis Stemmermann moved independently to New York City in the 1980s. Their careers each began within the New York art world, Russell a painter, working for art dealers Doris Wiener, Leo Castelli and Morgan Spangle and Janis, a sculptor, working with master printmaker, Catherine Mosley on the etchings of Abstract Expressionist painter, Robert Motherwell before moving on to establishing her own collaborative press in 1992.

The Russell Janis Project Space was started in 2014 to reconnect with their roots in art-making and studio practices in Williamsburg, Brooklyn by inviting artists from the neighborhood to make prints on the press at Russell Janis and to exhibit the resulting work.

Since the inception of our first design business, Brooklyn Handknit, Acorn Concepts has been designing and producing machine and hand knit products for other designers and retailers such as Kate Spade, Anthropologie, Francis Valentine and more.

Amalialad, Dalai Lama spelled backwards, was inspired by the numerous Tibetan and Nepalese hand knitters and families that have been creating/producing our designs for years. This line of women's knit garments explores the genesis of knit construction and traditions into a contemporary realm.

Some of our best designs were born out of making a gift for someone. Butternut celebrates the handmade object: rooted in inclusiveness, modernism and craft that appeals to all ages.

Brooklyn Handknit was started in 1995 when Janis Stemmermann started knitting with her babysitter Tsering Wangmo. They began collaborating, interpreting patterns used on Janis's sculptures and turning them into knitted hats and mittens. With hand knitters in Brooklyn and Nepal producing Janis' designs, the business grew quickly into a international brand selling to various retailers including Bergorf Goodman, Barneys, Harvey Nichols, Anthropologie and more.

Spacial Etc was born out of Russell Steinert's storefront furniture making shop on North 6th Street in Williamsburg Brooklyn. In the mid 1990's the work shop hosted Brooklyn Handknit sample sales, and with little other retail in the neighborhood at the time, Spacial Etc saw the potential and expanded to the corner of North 6th and Bedford Avenue. It sold wares from a net work of fellow artist turned designers and curated global goods.