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Maker and Moss has been selling locally-sourced, reasonably-priced home furnishings for less than a year in Hayes Valley. But when you walk into the space, with it's vaulted, exposed-beamed ceilings, leather chairs and wooden tables with metal accents, you feel as if it's a place where owner Matt Bissinger has received guests forever. This is his second retail store, and he has taken his curation of home goods to the next level. We paid Bissinger a visit to get an up-close look at his SF-made topographical maps, driftwood mirrors, steamer trunks, and unique tableware. Join us in the gallery!
How long has the store been in Hayes Valley?
"We opened end of September 2013 so about eight months now."
Can you tell us a little bit about this awesome building? Did you do a lot of work to the interior?
"A customer told me the building was originally a livery stable, which makes sense given the contours of the space, however I really couldn't substantiate that one way or another. What we did was aimed at bringing out the architectural highlights that were already there. We opened up the space and painted it a clean white so that the existing brick wall and high beamed ceiling draw your attention."
Tell us about your merchandise, how would you describe the style? And where do you source it from?
"Our guiding principle is to source from artists, designers and small manufacturers and to source locally when we can. The look could be described as organic industrial, or I heard someone use the expression Zen industrial which I rather liked. I am attracted to natural materials, colors and textures."
You previously owned Bae Home in Presidio Heights. What did you learn from that experience, and what are you doing differently at Maker & Moss?
"Bae was my first foray into retail and I learned a tremendous amount from the experience over the eight or nine years we were open. I built relationships through Bae with a number of artists and vendors that I remain loyal to and I continue to work with at Maker & Moss. Simply stated, I couldn't have done one without first doing the other."
How would you describe your typical customer?
"The wonderful thing about Hayes Valley is the cross section of people you see. People are coming from all over to take advantage of the great restaurants and shopping, go to one of the many performing arts venues, or just have a day out with friends on a sunny day. It's an exceptionally varied crowd. That being said, I'd say our customer tends to be someone who has a defined sense of their own style and wants home decor that one doesn't see everywhere else."
What's the best thing so far about being in Hayes Valley?
"The neighborhood is so vibrant and continues to develop and transform. I'm really pleased that the with all the changes there is a concerted effort to keep the local flavor and feel of the area. As a business, the local merchants and long time residents have uniformly been welcoming and supportive. There is a real sense of community."
Do you live in SF and if so which neighborhood? How would you describe the style of your home?
"I've lived in NOPA since 2001, which is another neighborhood that has seen dramatic transformation. I'd describe my personal style a fairly earthy, comfortable and understated. I have a mix of mid-century furniture, asian antiques, art and ceramics that I've picked up over the years. My home gets alot of light which is important to me."
Do you have a favorite SF interior designer?
"I'd be hard pressed to pick one single designer. There are so many really wonderful designers in San Francisco and it really comes down to style and taste. They each bring something to the table. Of course, the most important thing is to find a designer who understands you and what you're about. A good designer should push you to try some new things but always with who you are in mind. They shouldn't be coming out of left field."
What's your go-to reading for the latest on interior trends?
"You know, I get so busy I don't sit down and read as much as I'd like. I definitely peruse design magazines and pay attention to what designers and other retailers are doing. I like Houzz because the site aggregates so any different topics and ideas. It's a great place to go see what other people are doing."
Where are your favorite places to shop in the Bay Area?
"I really enjoy picking a neighborhood and spending time walking around and exploring."
Do you have go-to men's clothing designers or retailers?
"I'm more likely to pick and choose from quite a few different sources. I think that's to some extent the same way I shop for the store."
What's your favorite lunch spot in Hayes Valley?
"I won't single one out since there are a number of awesome places to eat! I'll just say that sometimes it's best to start with dessert and work backwards and leave it at that. My sweet tooth gets the better of me!"
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