When walking the cozy, welcoming streets framed by alluring boutique windows displaying the laid-back lifestyle of North Bay, one looks beyond department store big brand products and discovers spring lines celebrating trendy colors based on ideas and innovations designed for this area. As fluorescent makes its way out and pastel in to take its place, boutiques in the North Bay are selling up-to-date items designed by local artists this spring.
1212 4th St.
San Rafael, CA 94901
Add a fashionable piece to your space with this turquoise Ava sofa poised on spade legs. Its chic, postmodern lines are reminiscent of Danish and Scandinavian design. This modern interpretation of a popular 1960’s look has been recreated with today’s technology. This thoughtful piece appeals to people at different phases in life. It may be perfect for a young couple’s first apartment, a single person’s entertainment space or an older couple downsizing. Made in the United States, each sofa is custom-made to fabric specification. If your swankiness include your pets, fabric for pet owners can be used on Ava. Reminiscent of the San Rafael style, where the company’s first store opened, this signature piece just may be the sofa you’re looking to take home.
Dandy Lion Press
105 Julian Ave. #4
San Francisco, CA 94103
Keep an eye out for these drawings on T-shirts worn by cast members of the TV show “The Big Bang Theory.” Just in time for Easter as pastel takes the stage, sending custom-made greeting cards by mail is one step away from a hand delivery. The Bunnilope and Farm and Wood series offers a creative collection of cards, including a new line of bold- and soft-colored bunnies and ducks. Find cards at the local gem Knimble in San Rafael. A letterpress class at Smith College inspired artist and business owner Maia Karolina de Raat to create handmade greeting cards expressing a unique naturalistic style of flora and fauna, both actual and imaginary.
Wine Glass Writer
Fairfax, CA 94978
Wine at parties in North Bay never go out of style. Remembering which wine glass belongs to you can be a challenge, but these pens allow your guests to write their names on the glass. Because a name is something a drinker will seldom forget, this Sonoma-based company launched a nontoxic metallic pen to entertain guests in style. The spring line, in brightly colored purple, blue and green ink, can be found at cooking and gift shops such as May Madison in Tiburon, the Fairfax Variety Store and the Fig Garden in San Anselmo. Made in the United States, these pens can be used to write on porcelain and plastic for entertaining, and the ink washes off with soapy water. Your friends will love these pens. Allow them to write their own names and use it as a party ice-breaker.
Be the trendiest of your friends with this high-gloss nail collection of bold polishes. Found at Space NK in Larkspur, this line of nail polish was inspired by the Monet’s Garden exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden. Created by a Korean immigrant and former manicurist, Jin Soon now owns hand and foot spas in New York, where these colorful polishes are placed on fingers to shine as constant reminders of beauty.
A Mano Trading
Sonoma, CA 95476
Amid the trendy flowers, owls, sculls and lockets that have made a strong comeback, a microbusiness in Sonoma has released a spring line that playfully echoes the amateur urban beekeeping trend in North Bay. The bee collection offers tiny honeybee earrings with a 24k gold plating or the same adorable earrings mounted on honeycomb hexagons. On the matching necklace, a bee perches on six honeycombs. The pendant hangs on a 16-inch chain with a 4-inch extender. The small bees can be used as collar pins, which are very hip these days. Designed by Tara Brown and Seana Pedelaborde, the company, A Mano, offers jewelry handcrafted in the United States by a network of artist from Providence, Rhode Island to Sonoma. Selected items created by A Mano Studio, such as trendy bright vintage flower earrings, locket hairpin sets and Indie Mod initial post earrings, can be found at Knimble on 4th Street in San Rafael.
Kristina Ruiz-Healy is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.