From tiny acorns do mighty oaks grow, and so it is with Seedstore in San Francisco. Since its opening in 2010, sisters Cynthia and Jennifer Huie have grown their clothing boutique into a true pillar of their Inner Richmond community – and gotten a little help from a four-legged store greeter.
“My sister and I always loved shopping with our mom and loved those moments when we all loved the same thing. That moment of shared appreciation were really powerful for us,” says Cynthia. So the sisters make it a point to curate a selection of clothing and accessories that can bring together people of “all ages, styles, backgrounds, and lifestyles” through a bold mix of established and independent designers. “We love designers that have a story and a thoughtfulness behind their ethos.”
And the results are spectacular: wrap up in a cozy Callahan cable-knit duster for those chilly San Francisco mornings, get nerdy with Naked & Famous jeans made with raw denim, maybe rock a Neck & Tie Co. neckerchief (who donate a portion of every sale to a charitable cause). Then be sure to check out all the other amazing and unique goods on offer, like Oxalis Apothecary’s sea salt scrubs and Minnie + George’s gorgeous drawstring leather bags, and of course a lot of amazing jewelry.
For folks who might need some help navigating, Seedstore’s got them covered. “Everyone that works at the store is really friendly,” says Cynthia, “and I think our clients like being able to come in and have someone point them in the right direction for gifts or outfits. It’s like shopping with your friend.”
So it’s not an accident that walking through the boutique feels a lot like perusing a friend’s closet – an exceptionally fashionable friend, that is – and that feeling is only intensified if you happen to be shopping on a day when Tiger is in the store.
“Tiger is my two-and-a-half year old Golden Retriever,” laughs Cynthia as her pooch offers a trademark doggy grin, complete with wagging tail. “He’s about ninety pounds of nothing but love.”
A high-energy breed, Tiger isn’t always content to just hang out behind the counter, but Cynthia is pretty firm on Seedstore’s approach to their canine clientele. “We love dogs and the humans that come in with them. We’ve almost always had a dog in our family and they are a natural part of our lives.”
In a city replete with water dishes set out for local woofsters, this attitude may not be exceptional, but it’s always a joy to find even the four-footed members of a community welcome in particular space. In fact, Seedstore is so welcoming that Tiger has even got a pawful of pupper pals. Take Pippa, for example, a black mini-poodle who belongs to Gene, a very good friend of Cynthia’s. “She is particular about who she is willing to hang out with at any given time, but if you play a little hard to get, she comes around,” Cynthia says.
Or Sandy Beach, a neighborhood pup recently rescued by customer Dynelle from Rocket Dog Rescue. “We usually always have a dog around in the shop,” says Cynthia.
That kind of careful attention to community is central to the sisters’ vision for their store. “We loved the idea of creating a space where neighbors, designers and community want to gather and grow,” says Cynthia. And that’s not just all bark and no bite! Cynthia and Jenn host a number of neighborhood events in their space, from jewelry-design workshops and beer tastings to designer pop-ups and launch events for their seasonal collections. They participate actively in their hyperlocal Clement Street Merchants Association (Cynthia is president of the board), which puts on neighborhood events like holiday strolls and family film screenings, and are proud supporters of the Shop Local Movement.
With such an abundance of neighborly feeling, it’s no wonder Seedstore has taken root on Clement Street. We’re excited to see where they grow next.