We're Jonathan and Crystel Hardin. Our grandparents are Gerald & Joan. While they never had the opportunity to meet, they believed strongly in family, heritage and the simple things in life. We inherited those traits from them, along with their features and mannerisms. We spent countless hours with them as children, and we treasure those memories to this day. While we were still in college, we started visiting antique malls, and we saw many things that reminded us of those happy times.
In addition to the warm nostalgia those dusty malls evoked, we realized the old, scuffed and worn took us back to a time when craftsmanship came standard. Everything -- from a rolling pin to a '55 Chevrolet to a copy of Gulliver's Travels -- had character, beautiful details, history and it was built to last a lifetime.
In our throwaway modern world, those qualities appealed to us and so Gerald & Joan was born.
Gerald & Joan believes in preserving history through design. We create products and experiences that preserve the past while honoring the present and future. Our style is timeless with a hint of nostalgia. Everything we make tells stories and has one-of-a-kind details, just like the vintage objects that serve as our inspiration. Some might call us old-fashioned dreamers, but we come by it honestly – We’re just like our grandparents, Gerald & Joan.
A Mississippi boy, Gerald has always held faith and family above everything else. He is a quiet man who finds pleasure in the simple things -- a hot cup of coffee, an old Western movie, an antique car show and a home-cooked Southern meal.
He has been married to Sadie, his high school sweetheart, for more than 50 years. He prefers plaid shirts and black jeans, and he believes a funny birthday card is better than any present.
Jonathan, supportive husband
Born and raised in Mississippi like my pa paw before me, this apple did not fall far from the tree. When I'm not at work, I can be found watching old movies, working on cars or enjoying a good meal with my family and friends.
I like well-worn boots, 1960s Chevys and music on vinyl. Faulkner and Kerouac top my list of favorite authors, but I'll read just about anything.
While I do have a full-time job as an accountant, I provide the male voice for Gerald & Joan and regularly join my wife on weekend treasure hunts.
An Ohio girl, Joan followed the rest of her family when they relocated to Southern California in 1960.
Despite spending the next 40 years in glossy Los Angeles, Joan never lost her hearty Midwestern ways. She felt most passionate about her family, her country and animals, and she preferred to spend her money on others.
She was happiest working with her roses, baking in her kitchen or buying cards and stickers to send to her grandchildren.
Joan passed away one month before her 70th birthday in August 2003. A week later, we met during our first semester at the University of Mississippi. We started out as next-door neighbors, became friends and have been together ever since. Joan is still very much a part of our lives.
I spent my first eight years of life just outside of London, England before my family moved to the States to be closer to my grandparents who were in California and Mississippi. Home base was north Mississippi with vacations spent in Los Angeles. Now, twenty-one years later, little has changed -- The South is still home base, and vacations are usually spent on the West Coast. When I'm not dreaming about the beach, I'm reading blogs, working on some sort of art project or cooking. I'm crazy about my vintage Pyrex collection, soft sweaters and family treasures -- either mine or someone else's!
Gerald & Joan is my full-time job, and I'm so grateful that I get to create and share beautiful things every single day.
Photos from top: Jonathan and Crystel in Annapolis, Maryland in 2009. Gerald and Sadie in the early 1950s. Jonathan in Manhattan Beach, California in 2012. Joan and Crystel in 1984. Crystel in Redondo Beach, California in 2012.