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Men's Gift Guide

POSTED BY: KEHAU LYONS

Hey there! My name is Kehau. I was born and raised in Hawaii and I've been working at Rare Device for a little over a year as the gallery coordinator and now as the shop operations manager. Some of my favorite things in the shop right now are the unisex items that pull more of a masculine feel. I love gifting things that have a similar theme of color, texture or material and right now the items that are wood, copper or black go extremely well together.



Wood Speaker (1): Designed in New York, this amazing portable speaker is completely wooden and a really great companion for someone who wants to have something natural and modern at the same time. Kikkerland, $40.

Whisky Stones Black (2): These stones will keep your drink cool while not diluting at all (compared to ice). We carry the more natural stone Whisky Stones as well but I selected the black version because it's more "James Bond" -esque. Teroforma, $25.

Retro Pens (3): Cue Mad Men theme music: I love these adorable pens. The color palette is so fresh while the design is vintage inspired which is a perfect combination. I bought this set for my Dad last Father's Day and he loves them! Kikkerland, $6.

Cologne No. 3 (4): SF-based L'Aromatica Perfume designed this exclusive unisex line of cologne for Rare Device. No. 3 features Teak, Cypress, Sage, Lavender, Cedarwood, and Amyris. The scent is extremely fresh; it reminds me of walking through a damp forest in the early morning when dew droplets are still on the leaves. Who wouldn't want to smell like that everyday? Rare Device + L'Aromatica, $60.

Vintage Copper Bottle Opener (5): I've been really attracted to metallic this year. The design and choice of copper for the material is such a lovely combination. It really elevates just a simple bottle opener to something special and memorable. Kikkerland, $9. Available in-store at 600 Divisadero and 4071 24th Street.

Sutro Tower Belt Buckle (6): Based on an original photograph by Kati Kim, this image of San Francisco's Sutro Tower is engraved on a pewter belt buckle. Kati Kim, $30.

Beer Foamer (7): You know you need this! This sleek beer foamer creates a dense foam to increase the taste, aroma, and mouth feeling of your beer. A perfect foam enhances the natural aroma to bring out even more flavors in your favorite drink. The copper top holds the foaming device itself and has its visual inspiration from the large copper boilers you see at old beer breweries. Menu, $30.

iPhone 6 Case (8): We just got a selection of new iPhone 6 cases made by Lazerwood Industries. They are so beautiful and well-made. It fits perfectly to the phone and I love their different designs. As the name of their company suggests, all of their designs are lasered onto the case and there are different materials to choose from. This specific topography design really caught my eye because I love the contrast between the copper and the black. It's visually such a striking image. Lazerwood Industries, $28-$35. Available in-store at 600 Divisadero and 4071 24th Street.

Cedar Soap (9): Last but certainly not the least: the best smelling soap in the whole store! This cedar soap is a personal favorite of mine. I love the fresh, woodsy scent and the modern, clean packaging. Super great pick for a stocking stuffer. Kala Corporation Soaps, $9.

Locally Made Gift Guide

POSTED BY: LEXI MARTINEZ

Hello! I'm Lexi, the assistant buyer for Rare Device. I was really excited to write up this "locally made" gift guide because I'm lucky enough to personally interact with so many of our talented vendors. Below are a list of my favorite Bay Area-made products.



Gold Foil Floral California Print (1): I remember first seeing this print as a postcard version. Giselle asked if I liked it and I believe my exact words were, "It's gold and floral. OF COURSE I like it!" My personal obsessions aside though, this print is just so lovely. Each floral piece is arranged perfectly to make up the Golden State. If you have any friends with my same mind-set, this print would look great in any room. Platinum Jungle, $20 - $30 (San Francisco).

Carmel Popcorn (2): This popcorn is SO good. I think that our entire Rare Device team has fallen into a popcorn craze since these delicious parcels first arrived. Little treats like this make perfect stocking stuffers or a great addition to a small gift package. Atom Sweets, $7 (San Francisco).

Leather Cardholders (3): These card cases are made by the multi-talented artists, Yina Kim and Suhi Chai of Odsy Workshop. Based in their Mission studio, these two make beautiful leather products. These card holders are sleek and have so much handmade-quality. They'd make a great gift for anyone looking to minimize their wallets or for someone who's just had a batch of business cards made! Odsy Workshop, $40 - $45 (San Francisco).

Sippin' Pretty Tea (4): Tea is such a comforting winter favorite, so why not gift an especially pretty box of it? Shana Astrachan (known for her gorgeous stud earrings) has put together the loveliest mixture of flora and herbs that can also be used for several at-home beauty remedies. Time to treat your sweet friends to some comfort and relaxation! Shana Astrachan, $18 (San Francisco).

California Native Plants Postcards (5): I'm totally guilty of hoarding pretty stationery. (I think it helps motivate me to send more mail!) If you know any stationery or flower enthusiasts, these sweet sets of illustrated California flowers would be an absolute delight to receive. Maria Schoettler, $20 (Oakland).

Ceramic Pods (6): The first time I saw Jo Boyer's ceramic pods, I was blown away that every detail was made by hand. She intricately sculpts, carves, and glazes every piece so each pod is unique. I LOVE these beauties. My favorite buying days are when Jo comes to the store and I get to personally select each piece. Not only do they look great on the wall, but they're precious objects that just feel great to hold. Jo Boyer, $38 - $110 (San Francisco). Available in-store at 600 Divisadero and 4071 24th Street.

An Interview with Lexi Martinez, The Artist Behind Rare Device's Dreamy Holiday Storefronts

POSTED BY: ELLIE WILLIAMS

We're lucky here at Rare Device to have Lexi Martinez to keep us constantly inspired with her beautiful, quirky, unique designs. Whether she's crafting cactus piñatas or sketching spooky girls for Halloween, people are constantly popping into the store to ask about the work she's done for the store. This year, for Rare Device's Divisadero and Noe Valley shops, she created two lovely holiday window displays.

Divisadero

 

Noe Valley

I asked her a few questions about how she came up with her designs and about creating window concepts generally; our conversation is below, including many beautiful photos.

Ellie Williams: What's your first step in beginning to design a window concept?

Lexi Martinez: I like to get a lot of feedback from the store owner. It's important to know how much freedom I have in the design as well as knowing the time-frame, budget, and how much space is actually allotted for the display. But I love collaborating, and seeing if there are any ideas already buzzing around that I can help bring to life.

EW: What were some of your thoughts and inspirations behind the Rare Device holiday windows this season?

LM: The idea for the Noe Valley holiday window happened rather organically. I wanted to play up the clean white interior to make a dreamy, snowy display. The sleeping fawn surrounded by falling snow puffs was my first idea, and I'm glad Giselle was as into it as I was! I think the Noe Valley store is in the right neighborhood for hand-crafted installations (and I can get away with being a bit sweeter there!)


The Divisadero window was more of a challenge. Those windows are SO big! (Especially when I tend to do window displays with lots of hand-crafted details.) I knew the product merchandising would be front and center, so I came up with ideas focusing around vignettes. In the end, I was inspired by all the gorgeous illustrated cards and stationery we carry, and decided on hand drawing winter themed doodles like presents, hot coco, mittens, and mistletoe all over the windows.  

EW: What materials were used for each display?

LM: The fawn was made primarily of paper. A cardboard base, LOTS of watercolor paper cut up into fringe, glitter (which is still all over my studio), and paint. I also drew some snowflakes on this window and included "snow" fluff to both displays for a cohesive look.

I drew all over the Divisadero windows with a water-based Sharpie paint marker. I was really surprised by how many people asked what I used! So far all you inquirers, I got mine at Michaels. Happy doodling! 

EW: Can you tell us about some of your early ideas for the designs?

LM: My very first ideas for Divisadero were purely decorative. I was thinking along the lines of bunting, pinecones, cotton balls, etc. But I really love making things, so I'm glad I didn't go the store-bought and pre-assembled route. I then started playing around with the ideas of vignettes. I had this idea of cutting out large, abstract snow flakes to frame the windows, but I honestly wasn't sure how to make that happen.

After I settled on the winter-themed drawings, I sketched several mock-ups so I'd have something to work off of on the day of. I was on the fence about wanting to just draw lots of little cozy houses and pine trees, but I went for the scattering of winter items instead. (The houses and pine trees did get a special spot on the side panels of each window though!)

EW: What's your favorite part of window design?

LM: As much as I love painting and drawing, I really enjoy making things. I enjoy crafting by hand, and window installation is such a good outlet for exploring different mediums and ideas. There's SO much you can do with a window display. Holiday windows are fun because there's such a broad range of themes to work from. I actually made four holiday windows displays this season, and I really enjoyed the challenge of making four unique installations that all reflect my handmade quality! 

Window Photos by Derek Macario / Sketch Photos by Lexi Martinez

Ceramics Gift Guide

POSTED BY: GISELLE GYALZEN

Hi everyone, this is Giselle, owner and buyer at Rare Device. I often confess to friends and strangers alike that I have a "ceramics problem." I could easily open a store that only stocks ceramic products; maybe I'll call it Rare Pottery. Anyway, when we decided to do gift guides this year I immediately said that I would choose the ceramics. Easy peasy. The only problem was that I had to narrow it down to four--so here goes my list.


Salt Box (1): This is a Rare Device staple. We have them in 10 colors and I can safely say that not one color is the winner. Everyone loves the salt box and every color is the best seller. In my house, we don't actually use it for salt but for sugar. Really, you can use it for anything that you like, even if it's not in the kitchen. Beehouse, $24.

Girl Cup Cat Mask (2): I don't remember where I first saw Klai's ceramics but I remember thinking that I had to have them, they are so very Rare Device. In my buying notes I wrote the words "so great, email her ASAP." So I did, and I'm so happy to have these at the shop. She paints each one by hand and no two are alike! Klai, $31-$53.

Morandi Pitcher (3): I fell in love with Roost's Morandi line the minute I saw it. We carry the cup, mug, and cream and sugar set but I chose to highlight the pitcher. I just love this shape and its substantial size, it is beautiful and functional and will make a great addition to your holiday dining table. Roost, $66. Available in-store at 600 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA, 94117.

Grey Stitch Butter Box (4): I've been internet stalking Danish designer Gry Fager for a long, long time. I've been trying to scheme up ways to import her products to the US. When some of her stitches collection became available, I jumped at it and immediately ordered them for the store. I just really love the shape and simple design of this butter box. Menu, $40.

Small Stuff Gift Guide

POSTED BY: GRACE SINCLAIR

Hello, my name is Grace and I am a Retail Assistant at Rare Device. This gift guide project has become a shameless exercise for me in brainstorming gifts to send to my friends and family back home in New Zealand. Subsequently, I’ve selected all things sweet, small, and light- in other words items that won’t cost a fortune to post to your loved ones out of state or overseas.


Imagined Desks of Historical Women 2015 Calendar (1): This adorable desk calendar reimagines the desks of important women from history, including Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe and Amelia Earhart. Both whimsical and wee it is the perfect present to send to the fab, feminist friends I hope you all have. Dear Hancock, $16.

Gingham Crew Socks (2): I know that giving socks during the holidays has a bad rep but please bear with me. I think these are so cute and would personally love to receive them as a gift. They are small enough to tuck into an envelope if you’re posting them and the orange and green gingham print makes these the perfect accessory in which to transition from fall to winter. Note: These are exclusive to our Noe Valley location and are not available online. We carry their tights as well which naturally are also amazing so I encourage you to pop by 4071 24th Street if you can, and and check ‘em out! Hansel from Basel, $15.

Wooden Cafe Clip Coffee Scoop (3): My dad is a nightmare to buy for but I think he would like this- he is a fan of presents that have a purpose and this has two; being both a coffee scoop and a clip to seal the bag after. Pair this with a bag of locally roasted coffee beans and you will have nailed the art of stylish yet practical gift giving. Kikkerland, $9.

Nail Polish in Gangsta-Boo and Party Bruise (4-5): All of their colors are so great it’s hard to choose, so I tend to pick the names I like the best to help me decide. Biscuits is another favorite. And Tan Lines. The glosses are harsh chemical- and cruelty-free so both the recipient’s nails and conscience will be happy. Floss Gloss, $8.