Shop Talk: The Inner Richmond’s Seedstore is Fostering a Community for a Growing City
Nestled between Arguello and 10th Ave., a lively strip of shops on Clement Street in the Richmond has become a budding destination for San Franciscans aspiring to be tourists in their own city.
Locally owned mom and pop shops, bookstores, and restaurants sprinkle the street, creating a lively and welcoming community for those who live there and for those visiting. Among these eclectic establishments stands Seedstore, a retail haven and denim head destination that is guaranteed to strike a chord in the hearts of any visitor.
Opened in 2010 by sister duo Cynthia and Jennifer Huie, Seedstore was founded on the grounds of a passionately curated and intentional lifestyle. The two reminisced on shopping trips with their mother as kids, noting that shopping didn’t always mean buying every little thing you came across. Shopping is a shared experience among old and young, connecting generations with the same fabrics and threads, just merely seen through a different lens. Seedstore sells goods with both classic and modern aesthetics, carrying a little bit of everything useful. A meticulously chosen assortment of thoughtful, independent and well-established brands fill the racks with love. The sisters have truly created a space where true fashion meets community.
Seedstore’s interior is what makes it a truly special shopping experience. After soaking up warm sun rays at the parklet just steps from the entrance, shoppers enter the comforting living room-esque space only to find a boutique that stocks beautiful handmade gifts, seriously cool apparel for both men and women, and a vintage selection that will blow your mind. The shop (and the people in it) embraces anything and everything artisanal, extending open arms (and dresses, and shoes, and denim) to any and all who enter.
The well-edited selection is casual but pulled together; a wardrobe San Franciscans can get behind. Beautiful spring must-haves can be found sprinkled through the quaint brick-and-mortar. Familiar brands can be seen around the store, like the Pendleton blankets dedicated to park days, juxtaposed by lesser known brands like Naked and Famous Denim. (who are are so serious about their denim threads that they created a glow in the dark pair.) If that doesn't boast love for an industry, I don’t know what does.
Other goods and knick-knacks include an assortment of cool-kid patches, jewelry for the minimalist, and Baggu packs for aforementioned park days. Stocked is even one of Spring’s most coveted accessories: Woven wicker tote bags.
Seedstore has stood the test of time in a retail renaissanced economy. The Huie sisters have spent the last 7 years devoting their time to curating a space and community the bustling Richmond neighborhood needs. Not only are they strong advocates for quality and unique goods, they also carefully select inventory to compliment diverse styles. Cynthia says, “it’s not just loving the clothes themselves, but loving the stories behind them: loving the designers, sourcing and how it gets to the shop, and then finding styles and brands that speak to people universally.” This inclusiveness also expands outside the shop’s doors. “We’ve grown from just a store to being excited and being active in the community,” says Jennifer.
Cynthia is the president of the Clement Street Merchants Association, which puts Seedstore at the forefront of community engagement. The sisters, and other members of the CSMA, have worked hard to keep Clement Street small and locally owned. (Which is why you won’t see resident coffee shop favorite Cumaica battling with Starbucks anytime soon!) Through events like the weekly farmers market and the Richmond’s first commissioned art mural, the sisters see their place in the community as a chance to foster growth and community. (Seriously, as I sat with the two they waved at almost every person who passed by.)
Fueled by the results of the November election, the sisters helped the community put on the its first annual Women’s Art Walk- a festival which featured strictly women artists and musicians. According to organizers, “the event was inclusive for trans womxn and non-binary folks as well, and was/is meant to raise up and celebrate the art of all womxn identifying folks!”
There’s no doubt that the Huie sisters have created something truly special for The Richmond, and San Francisco as a whole. To see community blossom within style is a very lovely thing.
// Seedstore, 212 Clement St, Inner Richmond, seedstoresf.com