After finishing school, Andrew Karrasch packed his bags and left Vancouver for the closest thing Canada has to a European city: Montreal. There, he immersed himself in new experiences—visiting museums, trying new foods and meeting people from around the world. The city awakened in him “a real appreciation of different cultures.” It was in Montreal that Karrasch landed a job with Esprit in product management, a position that took him overseas. He fell in love with living abroad, travelling frequently and working in the creative world of fashion. After stints at Esprit and then Benetton, he settled at Calvin Klein Asia Pacific for 15 years, eventually becoming VP of design and merchandising.
On every work trip, Karrasch always built in an extra half-day or more to seek out the area’s fashion and homeware hot spots. His Yaletown apartment now displays reminders of those excursions. “We have a lot of small wood carved things,” he says. “It’s all of those eclectic and special things that you’ve found—that’s what makes a home.”
After taking early retirement at 50 and working for a few more years in Hong Kong as a consultant, Karrasch decided it was time to return to Vancouver and figure out what to do next. Analyzing his interests, abilities and passions led him to notice a gap in the Vancouver market: homewares. Big companies were bringing in high volumes of product, but it all looked the same and lacked colour, diversity and personality. Karrasch launched Details by Mr. K as the antidote to the prevailing monochromatic trend.
The colourful store opened its doors on South Granville in November 2020. Karrasch chooses every item with care, drawn equally to the item itself and the story behind it, “always balancing the beauty of the product with practicality.” He says, “The beautiful teak platter on your island should still be able to hold fruit.”
Karrasch encourages people to take the time to fully explore the shop, from the African wooden stools to the Mexican resin bowls to the Swedish/Indian velvet cushions. There’s a fabulously diverse mix of items to peruse, including cool glassware and tableware, luxurious cushions (don’t miss the cushion wall), throws, trays, home fragrances and more. “There’s a lot of treasure and a lot of feast for the eyes,” he says. Sourced from around the globe, the eclectic products mix “modern design and traditional techniques.”
If there’s one common thread that runs through Karrasch’s life (and his store), it’s being unafraid to try new things. “Where I am today is because of always going outside of your comfort zone.” —Sheri Radford
Details by Mr. K, 2717 Granville St., Vancouver, B.C., 604-806-0510, detailsbymrk.com