Why is The Curiosity Shoppe Closing?

Feb 01, 2013 at 3pm

We're huge fans of The Curiosity Shoppe here at The Bold Italic. In the six-plus years since moving to SF from NY, owners Derek Fagerstrom and Lauren Smith have really made their mark, curating an awesome mix of art and artifacts in their shop (and then for a line at Target), supporting talented indie artists both locally and nationally, and helping other inspiring creative enterprises come to life (such as Pop-Up Magazine). So we were really sad to hear the couple announce that they are closing up Shoppe on Sunday, Feb. 17. The online shop closes even sooner – at midnight next Friday, Feb. 8. 

To get the scoop on why, after such a successful run, The Curiosity Shoppe is closing, I did a little Q&A with Derek and Lauren, who I first met back when we were all in school together down in Santa Cruz. Good news: It turns out closing this door is just the first step in opening more doors down the line. I wouldn't expect these two to fade from the scene any time soon. I can't wait to see what they have going on next. 

We were so sad to hear you're closing up shop. Why is The Curiosity Shoppe closing? 

Don't be sad! The simple answer is that it's time. We've had an amazing run and met so many unbelievably creative and talented people through the Shoppe, we just feel that now is the right time to open up some space in our lives for other creative opportunities.

We keep hearing about the rising rents on Valencia St. You guys have been there for years – were rent prices factors in your decision at all?

No. This wasn't a financial decision, it was a creative one. That being said, of course the neighborhood is changing, and it is a lot of work to run a business in the Mission. But we never wanted to be anywhere else, and in the time since we opened we've seen Valencia go from a local destination to a national (and even international) one as well. We're extremely proud of all of the other small businesses in the neighborhood that continue to make it such a unique and inspiring place.

Can you tell us anything about the future projects you have in the works?

We have a number of ongoing projects that we're excited about. We are co-Creative Directors of Pop-Up Magazine, and Derek is the Managing Editor of Francis Ford Coppola's art and literary journal Zoetrope: All-Story. We'll never stop looking for unique and surprising things to share with an audience, so curating, buying, writing, events ... are all within the realm of possibility. Once we close our doors later this month, we're very much looking forward to talking to lots of people about other creative collaborations and projects down the road.

How did the relationship with Target work out? Did it open any new avenues for you guys?

It was amazing! They were so fun and professional and it was an incredible learning experience. Having worked with them certainly helped us reach a much wider audience than we ever expected to reach. Seeing an ad for The Curiosity Shoppe in the September issue of Vogue was a bit of a mind-blower...

What were the highlights of owning The Curiosity Shoppe? 

Honestly, seeing all the heartfelt emails and tweets that have gone around since our announcement has been surprisingly — and deeply — moving. We're so happy to have been a part of the small business community, and it really has been such a huge pleasure and honor to have worked with all the amazing artists, makers, and entrepreneurs with whom we crossed paths.

Anything else you want your fans to know about the shop and your future?

We're not going anywhere. We still have lots more to do. We hope people will keep in touch. And we'd love to thank everyone for the amazing support we've received all these years!!!

Image courtesy of The Curiosity Shoppe

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