Archive for the Shops/Boutiques Category

Street Styles

Posted in Designers, Fashion, Shops/Boutiques with tags , , , , on April 14, 2009 by shapach


I ventured into a chic little shop called M Zoe Couture in Alameda and saw Nikki, a sales associate, rocking her chic outfit. She was wearing these adorable Steve Madden boots with her skinny, black Hudson Jeans, and a pretty wrap top. As expected, she said M Zoe was her favorite place to shop (but I think that had more to do with her boss being in earshot). Her favorite piece in her closet is a navy blue Charlotte Ronson sweater dress that she picked up at Dutchess in Lafayette. When I asked her to sum up SF/Bay Area style in a few words she said it was relaxed, and very conservative/trendy.


FOR RENT: Borrowing A Piece of the Past

Posted in Shops/Boutiques with tags , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2009 by shapach


On a recent trip to the Prop Co-op, which is located just outside San Francisco, I witnessed the most amazing collection of vintage furniture, accessories, housewares, and odds-and-ends that I have ever seen in my life. Every item, from the minutest trinket to massive furniture and set scenery,  is available to rent for use in various productions like photo shoots or movies. As I hopped off the bus and snapped a picture, I could see the fun spewing out from a large, open warehouse door.


Upon entering, I was warned not to be too loud or I may upset the warehouse manager, Cinque’ Marshall, who prefers patrons to use library voices while inside his cavern of collectibles. The inside was a large Costco-style warehouse, with aisle upon aisle of giant shelves stacked with treasures, also lined much like the stacks of a library. But the biblio-vibe ended there as I was set loose in the enourmous, and slightly creepy, maze of wonder.


 Mannequins sat akwardly posed into scenes, amongst rows and rows of toys, suitcases, throwback election buttons, suits of armor, traffic cones, watering cans, telephones, wagons, couches, and anything else your little heart desires. I meandered the towering shelves, stopping to try on a few funky hats and sunglasses that probably date back to 1960.


And if you get hungry during all of your arduous browsing, they even have the cutest mini Pringles dispenser machine, conveniently situated next to a comfy couch, so you can purchase a snack and have a rest.                                     img_05261

Known for their amazingly realistic sets and scenery, the Prop Co-op is the largest prop warehouse in Northern California, and is often frequented by Hollywood movie makers working on a film. Most recently, the Prop Co-op supplied all the authentic vintage props and accessories for the Oscar-winning film Milk

The Prop Co-op is located at 80 Industrial Way in Brisbane, California. They are open Monday through Friday from 9AM to 5PM. View them on the web at or call 415-468-7767.

The Best Little Boutique You’ve Never Heard Of

Posted in Fashion, Shops/Boutiques with tags , , , , , , on March 7, 2009 by shapach


Photo courtesy of

Situated in a small enclave off of Grand Avenue, which runs along scenic Lake Merritt in Oakland, Femme Boutique is filled with luxurious wonders. Privately owned and operated for years, Femme Boutique carries finely crafted scarves and handbags by ZAZOU, as well as adorable hats, and elegant dresses. Sometimes the clothing can be a bit matronly, but the gowns and accessories are exquisite. The window displays are also something to look forward to, rotated often to accompany the season or the trends. Check out this adorable shop at 464 Santa Clara Ave, in Oakland, California.