Bass & Bennett Trading Co. bringing unique furniture from around the world to Pittsburgh's Strip District – TribLIVE

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A lifetime of travel is bringing Matt Bass and his business, Bass & Bennett Trading Co., to a storefront in Pittsburgh’s Strip District where he’ll sell unique furniture and home decor from around the world.
“We travel around the world and find one-of-a-kind or few-of-a-kind items,” said Matt Bass, who founded Bass & Bennett Trading Co. in 2019 and is now the company’s co-owner.
The store sells furniture and home decor from India, Mexico, Africa and elsewhere, he said.
“In addition to bringing back the products, we try to understand the history or origin of the product,” Bass said. “So we bring back stories and pictures as well.”
Bass, an assistant teaching professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Institute for Software Research, said he’s been traveling his whole life, and travel remains the main impetus for his business.
“The selling part was the smallest motivation,” he said. “It was, number one, when you’re traveling, having something to look for and to learn about. It gives you an opportunity to meet people and learn things you wouldn’t if you stuck to tourist sites.”
Bass began the company as a wholesaler, working out of a warehouse in Tarentum.
The business currently has a retail location set up on a farm in Moon Township. With the Strip District site set to open in January, Bass said, the Moon site will be used as a spot for special events and barn sales.
The new Strip District location, at 1900 Smallman St. across from The Terminal, will be a “perfect location” for the business, Bass said.
“These days there’s no better high-traffic area than in the Strip,” he said.
The 4,300-square-foot site was once a produce warehouse, Bass said. The business is now working to restore the building to its original style with exposed brick and a concrete floor, he said.
“We really like the history and character of the building itself,” he said. “It really lends itself to showing off the kinds of things that we have.”
Bass said he hopes to have a rooftop deck where the business could host events and showcase outdoor furniture. The company has been hosting chefs, wine tastings, yoga classes and other community events at the Moon location — something Bass said he’d like to continue at the new storefront.
“We really love the community aspect,” he said.
Eventually, Bass said, he’d like to have three locations in the Pittsburgh area.
Selling unique furniture and home decor in Pittsburgh is his way of bringing back a bit of his worldwide travels, said Bass, who lives in North Side.
“Mostly I travel by myself. I come back and I try to convey the things that I see and the experiences I have to others. Bringing back artifacts, it’s like bringing people into my world and letting people experience what I experience,” Bass said.
Julia Felton is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Julia at 724-226-7724, [email protected] or via Twitter .
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