For this first post of the share sf heading, I would present you Picnic. I have discovered this store few time after my arrival in San Francisco, walking to Cow Hollow. In this cozy neighborhood you can take a stroll among the cafes, restaurants, pretty shops and even practice yoga. Being decorating (very slowly) our apartment, I went to Picnic last week and I had the opportunity to talk with Jasmine and Lawrence. I thought it will be nice to share our exchanges and my experience in this pretty place. Picnic mix interior design, fashion and jewelry. I have enjoyed this time at which I discovered beautiful references and good adresses.
Could you introduce each member of the Picnic’s team ?
-Of course! We have a very awesome team and I am grateful everyday that they are a part of Picnic.
We have Chloe who is our store manager. However, she does so much more. She is store manager, visual merchandiser, stylist and e-commerce director all-in-one! Chloe is always so happy and positive, always cheering the team on; she makes us feel that we can do anything!
We also have Lawrence who does our in-house photography as well as helps out on our sales floor as well. Lawrence is super chatty and always has a story to tell; we never run out of things to talk about with him around. Lawrence is such a talented photographer and has been featured in Vogue Italia as well as other publications and he’s responsible for all the pretty images on picnicsf.com and our insta @picnic_sf. Beside photography, he’s also an avid biker and hopes to conquer Mt. Ventoux one of these days. Check out his insta @lawrencedeleonph.
And last but not least, we have two part-timers that help us out, Angeline and Minnie. Angeline is currently on track to completing her MFA in Fashion Merchandising and brings a very fun energy to the store. Minnie is the one that keep us all neat and organized. Without her, my desk will be very, very messy.
When did you open your shop « Picnic » and what is your career? Have you always worked in sales?
Picnic was opened in 2004 and has been in the same location for over 14 years! Prior to opening Picnic, I had worked in Advertising as a copywriter but I always felt that my passion was to open a boutique and fill it with all sorts of cool and fun stuff, like an urban bazaar or emporium!
How do you select the products offered in the shop and to whom are they addressed?
My general rule is always to follow these three questions.
– Will I wear or use it?
– Can I afford it?
– Will I be proud to carry it in my store?
If it fulfills the above three categories, I think I can safely says it will be perfect for Picnic and the Picnic customer. Our Picnic customer has also evolved along with the store as well as myself. We opened our home boutique next door as an extension of Picnic as we felt that we (myself and my customer) were maturing and wanted a product selection to help fill our lifestyle needs as well.
What do you like most about your work?
I like the interpersonal aspect of it. I enjoy meeting customers and chatting with them. I enjoy being in the same neighborhood for 14 years and getting to know our customers more intimately. My favorite time is during the holidays when I see a customer who hasn’t been by in a while, or has moved away, but still remember us when they need to shop for gifts. Or when we have customers that have come in with their kids since they were little and now they are shopping for them before they head off to college. That’s a very special feeling.
Who are the creators/designers you admire and brands who seduce you?
Too many! I love aspects from so many creatives and brands, like Phoebe Philo, Natalie Lete, Kelly Wearstler, Claire Damon, Pierre Herme, Kinfolk magazine, and the list goes on. Some of the brands that we carry in our store that really speak to me are Thesis of Alexandria and Alibi Interiors. The first is a local jewelry line with a modern aesthetic and the other is a husband-and- wife duo that craft beautiful frames and small furnishings from reclaimed wood. Both are grounded in their brand aesthetic and are local and have grown their brand organically.
What inspires and fascinates you (art, book, music, moovie …)?
I love beautiful visuals and easily find inspiration from imagery. I love the movies of Wes Anderson and Wong Kar Wai (who doesn’t!) for the visual poetry and attention to the smallest details for creating a mood. I love Instagram for delivering instant access to beautiful images and connecting us from all across the globe. I also am absolutely fascinated by a series of books by a Japanese Publishing House called Edition Paumes. They have a series of books on interiors of apartments, family homes, ateliers, kitchens, thrift-stores in different cities likes Paris, Brussels, Stockholm, London etc. I don’t even read Japanese but I love to pour over them.
Which city or country would you dream of discovering?
Do I have to pick one? Yet to be discovered and high on my list are Marrakesh, Buenos Aires and Havana, can’t wait to fall in love with these cities.
If you had to share only one address in San Francisco?
This is so hard! Legion of Honor. I love how intimate this museum is. The space is so beautiful and quiet, a wonderful place to take your time and enjoy art. The courtyard with the shadow play of the columns and the sun is just stunning. And the surrounding area with the tall trees and view of the ocean and the golden gate bridge is just breathtaking.
– my shopping selection-
The adress to remember :
→ Picnic, 1808 Polk Street, San Francisco 94109 www.picnicsf.com