San Francisco is such a great city, I always feel so lucky to live here. After such a busy summer traveling, it's particularly nice to be home and discover treasures just around the corner. This city is definitely booming with new companies, restaurants and shops, and it's near impossible to keep up on everything, so I appreciate when someone shows me their finds. After working at my computer for two weeks straight, I needed an excuse to get out, and asked my fellow Keena rep, Katie Gaertner, to show me her store Whistle out in the inner Sunset.


Katie opened Whistle in the "MIDI" at 16th and Irving a few years ago, after having worked as a buyer for the Gardener and Pete's Coffee. Katie had traveled to both Peru and Guatemala for business and found many items she thought would sell well back home. She found an opportunity to rent a small space in her neighborhood and with help from family and friends, renovated it into a charming store full of thoughtful, handmade products from around the world. You can see why I like it!  


We had a delicious lunch nearby at Cafe La Flore and stopped by her neighbor's store Dandy, and cafe Hollow next door. Katie told me the owner, Dawn Kirker, is an interior designer, which made sense, as everything was beautifully chosen and arranged with a specific palette and aesthetic. I could really relate to the neutral colors and vintage finishes, as they were the same inspiration I've had for my point-of-purchase display for 12 Small Things.


I'd been struggling with fixtures for my display and asked my good friend Darcy of Heartfelt if she had any ideas. She gave me a wooden spool from India that was used for threading and I loved the warmth it brought to my recycled cardboard box. I went online and found Worthygoods Textile on Etsy selling a pack of five antique dowels that I quickly bought and then spent a week waiting for them to come from Bar Harbor, Maine. I was thrilled with the results after Ditto drilled the holes and the dowels snuggly fit.


My friend LauraLe Walsh from Oxgut Hose Company met me for a drink at Dave McLean's new pub Magnolia in Dogpatch. The place is magnificent, having been carefully designed, piece by found-vintage-piece, by the group Nothing Something from Brooklyn. The place feels authentic and had a great buzz of conversation and clinking pints of beer. I don't know what it is but I'm seeing this aesthetic everywhere and am loving it.

My new Pilates friend Gail Mallimson, is editing video footage of the artisans I will be featuring in my point-of-purchase display monitor. We met at her office in her Bernal home which she and her husband have renovated with a nice mid century cottage feel. I asked Gail to model one of the shawls I hope to feature from Indigo Handloom which she casually styled with a toss over her head.


My week ended on a high note at the opening reception for Recology's Artist in Residence Program run by Deborah Munk. It was a terrific show by two professional artists, Samuel Levi Jones and Jeremy Rourke, and one student artist, none other than my former intern Shushan Tesfuzigta from CCA. Shushan had been helping me develop my 12 Small Things in a box concept this past year, but spent the summer at Recology's artist program.

Shushan, a textile arts major at CCA, created furniture out of woven communications cable and metal frames she found at Recology. She also made a back-strap loom out of the cable and showed my in-laws how to weave with it. I love how it all relates back to what I'm working on, or am I just finding what I'm interested in seeing? In either case, I am thankful to have such amazing local inspiration!



October 18, 2014 by Laurie Kanes