The Mission Shops
956 Valencia St., Mission
Corina Nurimba and Catherine Chow, the two Cornell grads behind Azalea, are big believers that shopping should be an experience, and a pleasant one at that. This means that customer service is priority number one at both the original Hayes Valley outpost and the newer one in the Mission. The stores are split into men's and women's sections and do a really great job of staying current and affordable with the brand offering but not super trend-driven in the assortment (Topman and Nudie jeans for guys; OAK, T by Alexander Wang, and the house line for gals).
3458 18th St., Mission
The website doesn't really do Basil Racuk's artisan accessories justice, so it's a good thing he opened a brick and mortar boutique. Bags, pouches, clutches, and the like are all handmade on-site using natural hides and can be customized as little or as much as you like. We're particularly fond of the totes, which are longer in silhouette and come in metallics as well as neutrals. For guys, there are excellent luggage pieces.
Bell Jar (Closed)
3187 16th St., Mission
This Mission-based shop's tagline—"Gorgeous Little Things"—couldn't be more accurate. They do offer a few racks-worth of pleasantly affordable clothing, but we prefer to come here for the giftables and home décor, which runs the gamut from a menagerie of tiny ceramic animals, to artisanal candles by Mary Meyers, to hand-sculpted evil eye spoons we never knew we wanted.
Gravel & Gold
3266 21st St., Mission
Dainty hand-beaded accessories by Salihah Moore, pottery by Patricia Yenawine, and Gravel & Gold's house line of print-centric separates make it kind of difficult to stick this eclectic little shop in any one category. Then there's the vintage décor and teeny indie apothecary section which also play to the greater theme: Everything is made by women, for women, right here in California.
290 Townsend St., Mission
The first thing to keep in mind about HD Buttercup stores is that they're HUGE—the one in S.F. is actually the largest home store in the entire Bay Area. Like the original L.A. outpost housed in a former bread factory, this one lives in a former meat-packing warehouse, where the selection of modern and Mid-Century lighting, seating, dining tables, rugs, and absolutely everything in between is unparalleled in the area. While there is depth, there aren't a lot of bargains (though they occasionally have huge sales).
2900 18th St., The Mission
A true mid-century American icon, Heath has been producing beautiful modern and minimal tableware (with a brief break) and tiles since 1948. In fact, it's part of the permanent collections in New York's MoMA—and graces many a table across the Los Angeles restaurant scape. The store, like the products, is modern and minimal, with wooden shelves, concrete floors and a lot of space to browse. Besides the Heath line, they've selected a handful of designers to showcase. There are multiple locations in the SF area, including an outpost in the Ferry Building—the factory store in Sausalito offers seconds (i.e., subtly imperfect plates and bowls) at big discounts.
2900 18th St., Mission
The team at Heath, one of our long-time favorite SF and LA destinations for gorgeous mid-century-inspired minimal tableware, has nailed the aspect of creating a true community by opening a neighborhood newsstand.
301 Valencia St., Mission
This welcome new addition to the San Francisco shopping landscape is the passion project of stylist Pauline Montupet. It's a truly unique concept int he area: The minimal, airy concept space is set up like an obsessively curated Pinterest board with whitewashed walls (and a stark floor to match), plywood fixtures, and pops of color courtesy of the merchandise, which ranges from Whyte to Tibi to Acrimony.
Small Trade Company
550 Florida St., The Mission
Founder and designer Matt Dick has roots in traditional Japanese design, and it shows: Whether it’s the heavy canvas aprons, linen smocks, or wool blankets, everything has a distinct utilitarian simplicity to it that makes for the best kind of workwear (clients include Mast Brothers and Blue Bottle coffee). The Small Trade Co. space above Heath Ceramics (also a client) serves as both workshop and showroom.
493 Sanchez St., Mission
This incredibly well-stocked shop has all the makings of the perfect wardrobe for sartorially-conscious guys. The buy here is focused on craftsmanship and longevity, not trends, which translates to tidy stacks of Alex Mill shirting, Gant Rugger knits, Mackintosh raincoats, and shelves lined with heritage Wolverine work boots.
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