By SHALWAH EVANS
Anyone who shops in the Mission District knows about the boutiques on 16th and Valencia streets. But I’ve stumbled on a few shops in more residential areas that I are worth taking a stroll to find–and I’m letting the secret out.
The Good Shop on Folsom near 22nd Street is heaven for folks looking for traditional vintage (1960s and older) and contemporary 80s and 90s retreads at thrift store prices. The almost 400 square foot space next to Casa Guadalupe fruit market that has incredible manzanilla con anís tea bags for sale, is simply arranged with a handful of metal racks, separated into tops, bottoms, shoes, hats and t-shirts. The turquoise colored walls, low ceilings (don’t bump your head on the hanging light) and dark laminate floors give the space a very retro, well, vintage feel. After having terrible experiences working in retail–working long hours for little or not pay, and watching friends get wrongfully terminated– owners Ria Leigh Rabut and Ryan Tacata decided to open their own place. With an interest in vintage retail (Rabut’s husband is a buyer for Wasteland, the vintage reseller) they hustled to find a place and opened May 10.
I walked into the store after spotting it on my way to another venue. After making a mental note of the free clothing and accessories box outside I decided it was worth a return trip. The place is quiet. But it’s not an eerie quiet, it’s more of a “don’t bother me I need to concentrate on finding this 1950s swimsuit” quiet.
There are great finds for the boyfriend too (Members Only jackets for $15, Coogi sweaters for $50), or a couch where your partner can sit patiently while you sort through the neatly arranged racks of clothing. Customers can also entertain themselves with the 1989 KLAX video game in the corner, just ask the owners to turn it on.
Because they receive clothing everyday, the owners said they have many items that can’t fit on the floor. The clothes they sell are either things they find all over the city or pieces from Rabut’s own closet that she deconstructs to “make them more wearable” in her back room sewing space . She also does on site alterations.
But Rabut said that selling clothes is really just to keep the shop open–the real point is to have space where local artists and bands can display their craft. Currently the shop is selling pieces of art by Brandon Wisecarver, a Bay area artist. His abstract pieces (soon to be priced) will be available for purchase until the first week of July.
The store is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., but Rabut, who worked for Benefit cosmetics for three years, wants to start keeping the store open until 11 p.m. on weekends. That done, she said, she would add a salon feature and do make-up for customers.
The store’s appeal is its unpretentious feel and cheaper than cheap prices. It’s like a Wasteland and Goodwill hybrid. With its cozy atmosphere and owners who greet you without making you feel like you must buy something, it’s the type of store you can spend hours in (chatting with the owners mostly, there aren’t enough racks to browse for hours). And if you have something in mind that isn’t there, let them know, they’ll try to track it down for you.
My favorites: Acid wash Frederick’s of Hollywood steel toed stilettos for $16, Asics Tiger black and white boxing shoes for $10, Felt shrunken multi-colored Coogi sweater $40.