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Who: Perch (www.perchsf.com)
What: Chic shop sells an eclectic and distinctive range of gift items, including handmade jewelry, cards, home goods & kids’ items.
For Whom: the discerning gift giver
Where: 654 Chenery St, San Francisco, CA 94131
Why: Over the past seven years, we’ve been part of the resurgence of Glen Park as a destination for shopping and dining. We work very hard to distinguish ourselves in terms of the origins and quality of what we have to offer. All of our jewelry is hand-made by individual designers. We source things as locally as we can, or from artisans, but also look internationally for inspiration. We try to be special and unique without being obnoxiously expensive. Our assortment is designed to appeal to domestic and international tourists and shoppers from San Francisco’s other neighborhoods looking for something different. People come to us from all over the city for our greeting cards and our jewelry in particular. I take great pride in trying to curate a really unusual assortment of gifts and personal items and we support the community by giving back to school auctions. Unsold inventory is often donated to Under One Roof.
Tell us more about the resurgence of Glen Park and what can visitors expect to experience or see?
(Zoel Fages) Glen Park is one of the few neighborhoods in the city that has retained the feeling of a small village. The “downtown” is centered around a four-way intersection with a mix of businesses and restaurants, some new and some standard bearers of another era – anchored by a gourmet market, Canyon Market, and the Glen Park library. Over the past few years some great restaurants have opened and continue to draw new folks to the neighborhood. Gialina has some of the best simple thin-crust pizza in town. Tataki Canyon has sustainable sushi. Manzoni has rustic Italian. There is French food at Le P’tit Laurent. Chenery Park restaurant was a pioneer in the neighborhood over 20 years ago. And native San Franciscans swear that the taqueria has some of the best burritos in town. For shopping there is The Cheese Boutique and Critter Fritters pet store. There is also Fit Glen Fit gym and a few hair and nail salons. Perch is lucky in that we have no other gift store nearby, but Modernpast vintage store complements our selections. Bottom line, you get a small village feel but with the amenities that we come to expect and love in San Francisco.
Who are some of your favorite local artisans?
(Zoel Fages) We are very luck to work with many local jewelry designers and artists. It is hard to play favorites, but some of the great local artists who we carry include: Owen McInerney, Vanessa Gade, Denise Heffernan, Kendra Renee, Tessa Kemp and Sarah Safavi, Nate1Design, Joshua Coffy, Andrew DeWitt and Hilary Williams.
What type of items do you carry that are sourced locally?
(Zoel Fages) Jewelry is our main locally sourced item, but we also have tea towels, bath and body products, cards and additional items that are designed in the San Francisco area, but are manufactured elsewhere.
Are there any items that tend to be popular among your clients?
(Zoel Fages) Jewelry! But closely behind in popularity is our card collection. We’re very proud of the unique selection of cards, as well as our candle collections. We try to find things that you won’t find everywhere else in town.
What is the most unique gift you currently have at Perch?
(Zoel Fages) Narrowing it down to one item is tough, but I would have to point to our best-selling wood cutting boards that are actual sliced cross-sections of Minnesota trees. Or the messenger bags from Austria that are only found in the U.S. at Perch. There may be one or two vintage items on hand that are pretty cool, as well.
What do you look for when you are curating products for your inventory?
(Zoel Fages) I trust my immediate gut reaction. Do I love it? We won’t sell anything we don’t love or have never tried ourselves. If we don’t love it, why should our customers? Another important consideration: is it unique? People get tired of seeing the same things at every story. We opened with the shop divided into five sections, and we try to stay true to those categories, but every now and then we come across something that may not fit our categories but that we can’t resist getting for the store because it is so unique. Ultimately, if we don’t love it, you won’t find it at Perch.
What’s next for Perch?
(Zoel Fages) In June we updated our website and began offering an online store. This was not an easy decision, as our original mission was to offer a fun place to shop for cool things in person. But over the past almost seven years, the rise in online shopping has forced us to take a closer look at our web site. To reach more people and expose them to our collections, we needed to change with the times. But we continue to love being a great source of gifts for the neighborhood and beyond.
Micro Business Therapist™ and simplicity expert, A.Michelle Blakeley is the curator of the online magazine, Micro Business Therapy. She helps new and seasoned entrepreneurs focus on holistic and sustainable business practices for agile growth. Minding the gap between your personal and professional life™ Connect with her on Twitter at @simplicityinc