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Wallflower: a Magical Portal to Gorgeous Vintage in SF


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As we strolled by Carousel Consignment on Mission Street last week, we couldn't help but take a gander inside at the amazing vintage home goods. And when we did, we noticed a magical-looking portal at the back of the store leading to a bright room well stocked with amazing vintage clothing. Not only is the '60s and '70s garb exceptional, but the interior of the room, which features two huge skylights, is gorgeously appointed with pretty wallpaper, succulents placed in geodes, and wall art true to the modern boho aesthetic—also for sale!

It was all created by Victoria Nicoll, a Bernal Heights resident and style maven who's been hosting the Sunshine Factory pop-up in her hood for the past couple of years (she was also a merchandiser at Bell Jar). When the opportunity to have her own store came along, she snapped it up. As you can see by the photo gallery, she's off to a great start. Click through for our interview with Nicoll to find out all about her style, her favorite neighborhood haunts, what it's like being off the beaten path in the Mission and lots more.

You've been doing a pop up in Bernal Heights for a while, how did you decide to open your own shop?
"The opportunity came up rather abruptly and I just decided to go for it! I had been working on transitioning to being an online store, but I really enjoy working in a retail environment and getting to interact with customers so it just seemed like the right fit. The ladies of Carousel (Kelley Wehman and Illy McMahan) had this gorgeous back room that I fell in love with and really felt like I could turn into something great. Being inside of another store definitely helps as well because I'm just one person and can only do so much on my own!"

The interior looks amazing, how long were you working on it before opening? What's your favorite part of the decor?
"I did construction for a solid two months before opening. I literally scrubbed, sanded, painted, stained, and sealed every inch of this place and created the full concept for the store in two months. It's kind of crazy but I wouldn't have it any other way! Once I have a vision I have to do everything in my power to make it perfect. My favorite part of the decor would have to be my vintage shadow box that houses all of the air plant crystals! I found it at a flea market in the city and it's a one-of-a-kind piece that is perfectly atomic and blingy."

We love your mix of 60s and 70s clothing plus the accessories and succulents! What's your philosophy on curating such a cool collection of merchandise?
"Thanks so much! My philosophy is a combination of personal taste and understanding my customer. Who is she? Is she wearing this to a festival or the office? Is she a bohemian babe or a buttoned up mod? Creating an environment that's welcoming and fun also is just as important as the merchandise. Good music, good vibes, and getting to share my favorite products with the world- it doesn't get any better than that!"

Do you have a current favorite piece of vintage in the shop at the moment?
"My favorite piece at the moment is a full length Cleopatra-esque goddess dress! It is so flowy and free and has gold embroidery that is just fantastic. There is also a fully hand-carved wood unicorn wall hanging that makes me smile every time I look at it!"

All the clothing is so amazing, do you have a difficult time parting with special pieces?
"It can be difficult to see a special piece go, but it makes me happier to see it go to the right person than sit around collecting dust. I love to set pieces free so they can go out into the world and be seen!"

How do you like being on Mission street so far?
"Honestly, I've been really pleasantly surprised by the neighborhood since moving in. There is the occasional crazy for sure, but there are way more sweet and considerate people who help me with the troublesome metal gate and say hello everyday just like any other neighbor would. Someone did offer me a Cheeto out of their hand the other day though... so that was weird!"

How would you describe your own personal style?
"A lot of mustard... a lot of leopard! Bad girl with a good job. Jane Birkin meets Peg Bundy."

Do you have favorite lunch or coffee haunts in your new hood?
"There are so many delicious places around here! I'm vegan so I hit Herbivore more often than not, but Weird Fish and Gracias Madre are also favorites of mine."

You mentioned launching a website, will it have online shopping? And will you retire your Etsy page?
"I'm so excited for my new website, and owe my husband Mat Dunlap big time for all the hard work he's done to make it perfectly 'me.' It is a fully functional e-commerce site that features info about the boutique, tons of photos, and of course online shopping! I will most likely keep my Etsy site live as well, as I get a lot of international buyers that would not have found me otherwise. The internet is a big place, and the more places shoppers can find me the better."
· Wallflower Vintage [Etsy]
· Carousel Consignment [Racked SF]
·All Now Open Posts [Racked SF]