San Anselmo store features bohemian delights

San Anselmo store features bohemian delights By: PJ Bremier IJ correspondent
POSTED: Friday, July 7, 2017 – 11:43 a.m. UPDATED: A DAY AGO
Curated dishes, silver and glassware can be found at Black Rabbit Trading Co. in San Anselmo. (Photo by Holly Hopper Clifford) In one shop or another, Holly Hopper Clifford has sold stylish goods in San Anselmo for years slowly moving from the southern end of San Anselmo Avenue to the northern end.
And, after a few years absence, Clifford has opened her fourth shop, Black Rabbit Trading Co. near the Fairfax border.
“It’s a real emporium of new, old and upcycled furnishings for the home,” the San Rafael resident says. “It’s a mix of everything and a little more bohemian than my other stores.”
Clifford opened her first San Anselmo shop, Holly Hopper, in 1987, specializing in monogramming and engraving as well as appliqued apparel.
After she sold the business to an employee and the non-compete clause expired, she opened Grasshopper, where she sold vintage outdoor furniture, antique cement statuary and fountains.
Then, the San Anselmo flood of 2005 hit and when everything settled, she took on a partner and crossed the street to open her next shop, French Nest, a popular 2,000-square-foot showroom filled with feminine furnishings in the shabby chic-style, vintage lighting, unique accessories and lovely old silverware, among other things.
When that rent was set to increase, she took French Nest to a little shop just off the picturesque Sonoma Plaza.
“It was such a darling space in a 100-year old building with brick walls and terracotta floors,” she remembers. She offered select shoes, clothing, jewelry, candles and other small items easily carried back home by the town’s many tourists.
But, after three years, she closed shop and was ready to retire. At least she thought she was ready to retire.
Instead, she had a change of heart and started scouring San Anselmo again for another space. She found it in a building that most recently housed a bicycle repair club.
“It’s more of destination location than the others but it has great visibility, lots of parking and it’s big enough to do furniture and other things that I like,” she says.
There’s good news for her French Nest fans as she’s dedicated the store’s loft to the French Nest-style of furniture and soft furnishings such as throws and luxury bedding from Pom Pom at Home, with a feminine flair in a palette of pale ocean blue, soft ivory and grays and other neutral tones.
For women, there are summer hats and linen blouses and dusters; for the art lover, there are 90 original oil paintings by San Francisco artist Thalia Stratton.
Look for industrial steel cabinets, vintage silver water pitchers, rare hollow-stemmed champagne coupes ($25 each) and lots of pretty goblets that range from $10 to $25 depending on the cut, the look and the weight.
For the holidays, she has 16 hard-to-find Spode Blue Turkey plates at reasonable prices, and a stash of dishes and hotel silver flatware from the now-defunct Prudential (Cruise) Lines that she sourced from the last container that had been in storage since the 1970s.
A hand-carved wood buffet, with a faded finish, from the Civil War era with doors and drawers and a pullout sideboard ($4,000) would be ideal to display them all.
And, new hand-woven jute-and-wool rugs in soft naturally dyed colors ($465 for an 8-foot long runner) are proving to be customer favorites.
So are the Moroccan pendant lanterns, part of her modern-style chandelier selection. ”
“It feels really good to be back here,” she adds. “It feels like home.”
David N Swaim Owner/Realtor -107078 Town of San Anselmo Planning Commissioner 415 710 5504 phone/text 609 San Anselmo Ave San Anselmo CA 94960

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