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*
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.
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.