noe valley welcomes rare device.
by victoria comment

10/16/14

noe valley welcomes rare device / sfgirlbybay

i’m so happy to welcome rare device to my very own neighborhood in noe valley. i love it here, but we were in desperate need of a unique gift shop like Giselle Gyalzen’s rare device. This small, but sweet storefront is filled with lovely, approachably designed items for your home, yourself, and your family. Every object in the store has its own story, and has been chosen by giselle because it’s either handmade, well-designed, useful, beautiful or all of the above. The aesthetic is modern and whimsical while remaining warm and inviting. Influences range from the natural world to the interaction between humans and things, be it your clothes or what you choose to use in your homes. Many of the wares are locally produced, handmade creations and there’s also a wide variety of internationally created items, from such far flung places as Japan, Sweden, Canada, and the Philippines. Rare Device is all about bringing people together around beauty and inspiring ideas. rare device’s other shop on divisdero in NOPA has been open for a while now, and noe valley welcomes rare device to the neighborhood with open arms. and never fear, if you’re not visiting san francisco soon you can shop online, too.

noe valley welcomes rare device / sfgirlbybay

noe valley welcomes rare device / sfgirlbybay

noe valley welcomes rare device / sfgirlbybay

noe valley welcomes rare device / sfgirlbybay

noe valley welcomes rare device / sfgirlbybay

noe valley welcomes rare device / sfgirlbybay

noe valley welcomes rare device / sfgirlbybay

noe valley welcomes rare device / sfgirlbybay

noe valley welcomes rare device / sfgirlbybay

noe valley welcomes rare device / sfgirlbybay

noe valley welcomes rare device / sfgirlbybay

noe valley welcomes rare device / sfgirlbybay

noe valley welcomes rare device / sfgirlbybay

noe valley welcomes rare device / sfgirlbybay

• all photography by cindy loughridge for sfgirlbybay.

16 responses to “noe valley welcomes rare device.”

  1. Karina requests that Lucy check out their dog treats for her. She greatly misses her Noe Valley dog park as well as the many lovely shop owners who treated her like a queen. In fact, now that we are back on the east coast, we all miss Noe Valley.

  2. I have a problem with these kind of stores– they are all the same. They sell the same books/ magazines (always Kinfolk), posters, jewelry and knick knacks. Nothing original about it. It’s just merchandised in pretty way so it’s more appealing. What really hurts is this space was formally a cobbler shop. Which had been in Noe Valley for years. He was forced out and now this shop opened- a chain in fact. Please keep in mind- not all Noe Valley residents welcome Rare Device.

    • Hi Nicole,

      I’m very sorry you feel that way, and I am sorry about the cobbler – I too was a customer, although he lost my shoes on a couple of occasions. :)

      I don’t think it’s Rare Device’s fault that he had to leave the neighborhood – it’s just the circumstances of the real estate market. And perhaps his service record. While he was really nice, I’m not the only person who lost shoes here – if you read the yelp reviews you’ll see perhaps he put himself out of business:

      http://www.yelp.com/biz/mikes-of-noe-valley-shoe-repair-san-francisco

      And Rare Device is not a ‘chainstore’. They’re a young family that runs 2 small independent stores. I think Noe Valley was deeply in need of an updated gift store, and as a resident I welcome them. I can’t think that we need another mani/pedi salon, real estate broker, children’s shop or flash from the past gift shop. I think Noe Valley is in need of more shops that deliver independent design (whether that be your taste) and more variety. We are sorely lacking much to choose from. I hope you’ll give them a chance. Giselle is a lovely woman and I’m sure she’s happy to hear what you might be interested in having her carry. Best, Victoria

      • Hi Nicole,

        I, too, am sorry that you feel that way. We really think that we are bringing something new and unique to the neighborhood. A lot of the items that we carry are made by the people who we buy them from. Therefore, when you purchase items from us, you are helping to directly support me and all the other makers, designers and artists whose work we carry. You are enabling us to make a living doing what we do.

        We are also definitely not a chain. We own 2 small stores in San Francisco, the city I’ve called home for the last 18 years. I run the business myself in addition to being a mom to 2 small children, with the help of my great staff and my husband. We also live in Bernal Heights and are frequent shoppers and visitors at 24th Street even before we had a store there.

        I, too, am very said that Mike the cobbler is gone, however, when we first found out about this space becoming available, he had already decided to leave. I am at Noe Valley 1-2 days a week, or can be available any other day if you’d like to stop by and get to know me or the store better. Like Victoria said, I’d love to hear any suggestions that you have of any items that you’d like to see us carry, if you think that something is lacking in our store or in the neighborhood.

        Lastly, thank you, Victoria, for the wonderful blog post and to Cindy for taking such great pictures! We’re very happy to be a part of the neighborhood!

        Giselle

  3. Noe Valley was not in desperate need of a gift shop–we had several already including Wink and Cliche Noe in the next block from Rare Device–but RD is an appealing store with some interesting stuff. I hope there are customers enough to keep all 3 stores in business. I buy gifts at CN and Wink and expect I will at RD too. All those friends and relatives. But about the cobbler. Of course it isnt RD’s fault the neighborhood lost its only shoe repair place. It’s the owner of the building asking more rent than the cobbler could afford. It isn’t RD’s fault that they could afford it. But we still lose. We had gift stores already. Now we don’t have shoe repair.

    • i think there’s so much room for all of these shops. cliche is, well, a little cliche. and wink is really great, but doesn’t carry nearly as many handmade items as rare device. and personally, i was desperate for shops that carry things i would take home. i agree a cobbler would be a plus, but so would a hardware store. we have 3 florists, countless mani/pedi, and 2 wine stores, and like a ton of kid’s shops – all of which seem to be doing fine. something for everybody. :)

  4. Hi Victoria!

    I am a SF native who went to school in the neighborhood. I am the owner of a small children’s boutique in Noe Valley called Mabuhay. I have been selling locally designed and handmade gifts for children for almost 7 years.

    I wanted to respond to your statement- “we have 3 florists, countless mani/pedi, and 2 wine stores, and like a ton of kid’s shops – all of which seem to be doing fine.”

    It has actually been quite challenging keeping my boutique open all these years. I opened in 2008 during the recession, with a baby boy in tow. I have witnessed the changing SF demographic (even in Stroller Valley), and have talked to many customers struggling to adapt to the changing economic landscape. My business is entirely boot-strapped. I started without SBA loans or any investors, so I have had to operate with minimal overhead and small inventories. I have survived by paying close attention to the needs of my customers and creating my own niche.

    I have found myself in competition with new shops opening in the neighborhood and selling my wares. It is a constant race to find new designers and maintain my unique style, and provide a value for customers who are increasingly shopping online. Another key part of my strategy involves working with other businesses in Noe Valley and sending referrals their way to our mutual benefit. It is my hope the retail merchants keep offering a variety of merchandise for everyone’s taste to build the value of the neighborhood as a shopping destination.

    Giselle reached out to me before she opened Rare Device in Noe Valley. Years ago, Giselle consigned some of her pottery in my boutique before she opened her first store on Divisadero. And before she opened her 2nd shop in Noe Valley she asked me (knowing I specialize in handmade and local children’s clothes and toys) what children’s designers were off limits so we would not compete. Giselle and I have become friends and collaborators, and will continue to help each other grow our businesses. Giselle is just the kind of business owner I want in my neighborhood. We need to help each other as small business owners because rent is increasingly prohibitive, and customers have particular needs that we cannot completely serve as individuals.

    I miss the hardware shop, it was a great small business. I never took my shoes to the cobbler but I know that some residence were not happy with the business. But I can understand how it feels to see another business close that had been around for so long. I have seen too many small businesses, many owned by great women, fail to succeed and eventually disappear.

    Being a native, living in SF most of my life I am worried about losing my home and business. SF will always have my heart but it will be broken if small business in SF continues to become extinct. I hope many of the retail shops that have been here for a long time, like Common Scents, unique in their own way, will be here for many more years. The costs of living and running a small business are continuing to rise and it is a real challenge to keep up.

    I sell local and handmade wares because I enjoy supporting other woman business owners, many who possess the same entrepreneurial and artistic spirit that growing up in SF helped to flourish in me. Small businesses in San Francisco need each others support. So I welcome Giselle and Rare Device too!

    Camille Guerrero Seiberling, owner, Mabuhay (Church and 24th in Noe Valley)

    • I’m so glad you and Giselle have collaborated in such a progressive way. Sounds like something really positive for everyone involved, shoppers included. I in no way meant to diminish the struggle small businesses go through – I know it can be tough with rents as expensive as they are and competition high. I was simply welcoming Rare Device to the neighborhood and inviting my readers to visit. As a resident of this neighborhood for five years and of San Francisco for twenty years I’ve seen a lot of changes myself, but I always welcome diversity and enjoy welcoming new businesses I think add to the neighborhood.

      I wish all the best to you and all the small businesses in the city. Small Business Saturday is coming up on November 29th and I’m excited and happy to support it.

  5. I am so happy that rare device opened up in Noe Valley. I’ve lived in this neighborhood for almost 11 years and I love changes. I support small family businesses and artists. The shoe repair guy wasn’t very responsible. I did not get my shoes back (still sad). I heard that he retired and didn’t return anyone’s shoes. Anyways, I welcome rare device! ‘Haters always gotta hate’ The staff at Rare Device is very welcoming and so sweet.

  6. Wonderful addition to this neighborhood. I welcome you! It’s great to see something fresh and new in noe valley. Your items are so beautiful.

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