Vintage Interview – Schatzi – San Francisco

1908 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Instagram: @Schatzisf
Facebook: Schatzi
Site: SchatziSF.com

The store I am looking for is actually the back storage room to a vintage apparel shop. I enter the shop and am “un-greeted” by a man who runs the store front. I fear this is my interviewee but, am relieved to discover that further towards the back, I will find Charles who is polite and meek. In a cozy white room with ample sunlight and groovy but tasteful 60s brass sculptures and touches of a sea-farers souvenirs, I snap some shots while we discuss the new business he and his partner Kelvin have developed, known as Schatzi. *Disclaimer: Schatzi is now proudly their own store front in SF’s Mission District, images by RockNRoam are from the original space*

Interview:

AD: You’ve been here for 5 months from what I understand?

SH: Yeah, we launched March 24th, so we’ll be in our 6 month anniversary in a couple of weeks here.

AD: How long have you been dealing in vintage?

SH: The man up front was considering renting out the space in the back, maybe to a florist or something, I asked if he would be interested in doing a vintage furnishings store and he said yes. I got in touch immediately with my good buddy Kelvin who over the last year together we’ve done a lot of thrifting, estate sales and markets. We always joked about opening a store and the opportunity came up!

AD: So you guys would just go to the flea markets and shop for your homes and just loved design so much…?

SH: Well, you know, you do it too…

AD: But, eventually you can’t keep buying more shit for yourself…

SH: Right, and our joke would be like “oh, this is for…(insert excuse)” and I had a storage unit…and sometimes I would just really love something, I would just buy it, and put it in the storage…and thought oh, eventually I’ll have a home, have more space, cycle something into my house or cycle something out of my house. So the joke was, “This will go into the store”. This (gestures at the walls) was just a dark storage room so, with a bunch of elbow grease,  we really just turned it into a little jewel-box of a store. It finally just kind of happened. It’s been a slow release and were starting to get some good publicity.

AD: May I ask what your day job is?

SH: I’m a carpet designer, I do contract work for hotels, right now I’m designing (Charles shows me his layout for a ballroom). My business partner (Kelvin) is a communications director for a non-profit.

ME: In a dream world what would you guys be doing in 5 years?

AD: Eventually we would like to have our own store front. So, until this becomes sustainable, and hopefully soon push to do some branded products for the store.

Photo courtesy of SchatziSF.com

Photo courtesy of SchatziSF.com

Photo courtesy of SchatziSF.com

Photo courtesy of SchatziSF.com

AD: Explain to me what “schatzi” means?

SH: It translates into “darling, treasure, or little darling.” It’s German. When deciding what we were going to call the store, we were going back and forth about names and he (Kelvin) said what about “schatzi?” and I was like, “what does that mean”? and he said, “It was the name of my horse when I was a little kid”.

An adorable name to go with an adorable shop. I wish I could have been at their grand opening of their new space and judging from the photos is clean, full of light and eloquently curated.

Photo courtesy of SchatziSF.com

Photo courtesy of SchatziSF.com

Photo courtesy of SchatziSF.com

Photo courtesy of SchatziSF.com

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Don’t REWIND, Just push PLAY

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I have been out of commission since this summer in relation to my entrepreneurial obligations. Sacrificially, I have not made any efforts since late July to push sales in my vintage shop, produce photo shoots, promote the shop via social media or buy new inventory. It’s not that I lost interest. It’s not that I gave up on my dream. I just got distracted. New York City is a very distracting place. I resumed my position full-time in the film business to make more money to put towards my “dream” but in the meantime, I was spending money, going out with friends and dates, drinking, shopping and doing what New Yorker’s do…consume and complain.
Film job opportunities kept arising and it was hard to say no to them. (Who doesn’t want to work on GIRLS?) But, there is always another carrot dangling in front of us just another 10 feet away. Firmly, finally, I took my last job. I may not have left the business with as much money as I could have in my bank account but, at some point I had to take a step backward to take a step forward.

Coincidentally, I have friends in my life at this exact moment who are highly considering the move “home” but there is a fear of…what, they are not sure. The fear of leaving the fast lane perhaps? I think we “creative types” all live a very bold and colorful world full of travel, culture, bright lights and mayhem. It’s a beautiful mess. It’s like driving on the Autobahn for years and then seeing a sign that reads “Speed limit 60”. You develop impatience for anything “normal” hence, why would you purposely put yourself somewhere overwhelmingly “normal”? There’s a great fear of losing who you think you’ve become.

As I packed my personal belongings in my Williamsburg apartment to bring back to Texas I kept feeling hot flashes and emotional pangs all over my body. My brain was telling me I was failing because I was going back home. This is something I trained myself to think at a young age to keep myself moving ahead, that going back to San Antonio was failure. It was a reset button.

But sometimes life brings us “full circle, back to our roots”, so I hear. I’m actually looking forward to a therapeutic experience this winter. I admit, the words are stumbling out of my mouth saying, “this is my home”, but I guess acceptance is the first step in all rehabilitative programs and this is certainly a rehabilitation of sorts in my perspective. I’m learning to slow down, focus on the present and be optimistic about life, like I use to be. I’m not resetting. I’m my own boss now. I’m moving forward, making a mature decision and going with my gut feeling, finally. Taking a deep breath.
“Home sweet home”.

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Sorry, Not Sorry.

Why do bloggers apologize for “not posting for so long”? You don’t give a shit, and neither do I. The truth is, life happens and hey, I’m not getting paid to blog so I have to work for a living. I’ve been costuming all summer on HBO Girls and flying back and forth from Brooklyn to San Antonio putting my hard-earned money towards my Airstream mobile shop. Yes! The dream is still on the horizon! And it’s taking so long because, well, I am renovating it myself, and no corners will be cut on this bad Mamma-Jamma!
Also, I had no clue what I was doing! So, research, research, research! I’ve been reading  books, listening to pod casts, have been very active in the Airstream Forums community and have even been cold-calling nationwide vintage trailer restoration shop owners.
Oh yes, it’s happening and I’m taking a serious pride in building “Chucky” from the ground up, and literally, I’ve broken that beast down to the shell and the rusty frame. I’m still selling vintage in my online shop and doing a few pop up shops here and there but, my costuming job in the film biz keeps me busy and my savings account ready for all my upcoming Airstream dreams.

It’s hard to believe that only one year ago today I was in San Francisco on my 5 month road trip across America. Here’s my visual journal into what I’ve been up to this summer on my Airstream building adventure thus far between New York and Texas:

Welcome home Chucky! What a piece of shit!

Welcome home Chucky!

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Before demolition

Before demolition

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El Bano

El Bano

Grandpa tried to give us some A/C in the hot TX summer heat #fail

Grandpa tried to give us some A/C in the hot TX summer heat #fail

A very tedious job of removing every rivet in the trailer

A very tedious job of removing every rivet in the trailer

Ponyo never left my side...until I kicked her out when we removed asbestos tiles

Ponyo never left my side…until I kicked her out when we removed asbestos tiles

The hardest part was sawing out all the pipes and pulling out the kitchen/bathroom

The hardest part was sawing out all the pipes and pulling out the kitchen/bathroom

Getting closer to bare bones

Getting closer to bare bones

Now that we are down to the fiberglass, we put on hazmat suits

Now that we are down to the fiberglass, we put on hazmat suits

Yup, rat shit everywhere, all the more reason to start from scratch!

Yup, rat shit everywhere, all the more reason to start from scratch!

Couldn't have done it without Mom!

Couldn’t have done it without Mom!

Decided to re-wire everything for safety and modern upgrade reasons

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This is called ribs + veins

This is called ribs + bones

Next, it's time to rip out all that rotted floor

Next, it’s time to rip out all that rotted floor

Drilling, cutting, sawing, sweating

Drilling, cutting, sawing, sweating

Getting down to the frame allows me to see all the rust damage and prepare for welding new cross members and outriggers which I had to order

Getting down to the frame allows me to see all the rust damage and prepare for welding new cross members and outriggers which I had to order

Bag it up!

Bag it up!

This was a bartering piece to my new Airstream buddy, Bruce

This was a bartering piece to my new Airstream buddy, Bruce

This and so much more!

This and so much more!

Salvaging all the 1960's OG accent pieces for future renovations

Salvaging all the 1960’s OG accent pieces for future renovations

This bizarre voodoo from New Orleans is all over the door and window!

This bizarre voodoo from New Orleans is all over the door and window!

Monopoly and the Lord! What a combo

Monopoly and the Lord! What a combo

Now that I've pulled ALL the bolts and rivets out...what's holding the shell down? Not much

Now that I’ve pulled ALL the bolts and rivets out…what’s holding the shell down? Not much

I get by with a little help from my friends...Chris helping me build the X-frame to secure the shell off restoration

I get by with a little help from my friends…Chris helping me build the X-frame to secure the shell off restoration

X-marks the sweet spots!

X-marks the sweet spots!

The Glamour

More updates when the new axle comes in!