The Perish Trust (San Francisco)
May Shop of the Month
The Perish Trust has been shelling out quality antiques and contemporary wares since 2008 in San Francisco, where the owners have watched the neighborhood grow and flourish with time. We spoke with them to find out more about the eclectic mix of products they carry, and how their personal work in photography and interior design influenced the curation of their general store.
When did all start?
We opened our doors October 31, 2008
Why did you decide to open the store?
The Perish Trust forced itself on us, if you will. We are a photographer, and stylist duo in our daily lives with an affinity for the old and storied objects, and the hoarder mentality that comes with that kind of obsession. The space was handed down to us from a creative work family, who we used to work for. It just seemed so logical to open a shop for our creative outlets and overstocked storage units.
How would you describe the neighborhood in which the store is located?
When we first opened we would have called the neighborhood a bit dicey but vibrant: a mix of very old African-American families, street gangs, and a few swaths of interesting counterculture. Before we opened in 2008, there was a great independent music venue, a fairly decent watering hole, a bike shop, an Ethiopian club, and a Popeyes here. Since then, we have witnessed the Western Addition transform into NOPA (North of the Panhandle): jangly, hip, young, and affluent destination for daytime coffee connoisseur’s and nighttime players. It’s at once classic San Francisco and neophyte’s playground.
In terms of books and other merchandise, what do you offer your customers?
We started our “library”—(which is a rather modest portion of our business)—with vintage books about Northern California and that quickly evolved to new publications about our immediate surroundings. That then grew to other titles about the natural world and general information. The Gestalten books seemed like such an obvious addition. Beyond books, we carry a lot of vintage finds that we source from here in our little part of the world and handmade goods from all over that personify quality and craftsmanship. We sprinkle other finds from our larger adventures around the globe.
What are your favorite Gestalten books?
What are your customers’ favorite Gestalten books?
What kinds of people shop at your store? Who might be seen visiting the store?
Our customers range from neighborhood folks to global tourists.
Do you do anything at your store besides sell books? Do you, for example, have any events or exhibitions there?
The Perish Trust has played many different roles over the years. The space is very conducive to our varied interests. We have been home to pop-up shops from Japanese barware to classic haberdashery. We were the original home to Warby Parker eyewear before they opened their own showrooms. We often act as gallery to original artists and kitchen/dining room to local chefs.
Images © The Perish Trust