About the Store
Rare Device is, simply, good stuff for you, your home and your kids. The storefront is a place to promote designers, artists and artisans plus help them grow by taking on new projects and collaborations. Every object in the store has its own story, and has been chosen because it is either handmade, well-designed, useful, beautiful or all of the above. The aesthetic is modern and whimsical while remaining warm and inviting - design that is accessible to all. Influences range from comic book art to entropy in nature, laser-etching to hand-lettering to nautical lore.
If you are an English major or an English teacher, you know that 'Rare Device' is from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem Kubla Khan. (If you are a true bookworm, you know that Ray Bradbury took a stab at that phrase too.)
About the Owners:
Giselle and Phurba Gyalzen met in San Francisco in 2001, and quickly discovered their mutual love of beautiful objects. Both are admirers of artists, crafters, designers and technology. Scouring flea markets, open studios and every modern home store in the Bay Area, they’ve created a comfortable environment in their home that combines both vintage and modern aesthetic. When they’re not trekking through San Francisco exploring all of its beauty and bounty, they can be found in the comforts of their home hanging out with their daughter, Ophelia, and Rooney the half-chihuahua, who also doubles as the store dog.
Rare Device History:
Rena Tom, the founder, is a former jewelry and graphic designer who loves design. She was so inspired by all of the fabulous, creative designers she met along the way, both in person and online, that she decided she had to share her discoveries, and she opened Rare Device in Brooklyn in October 2005. The webshop opened in December of that year and, combined with a lively and generally topical blog, has developed into its own microcosm of design.
Building on the success of the Brooklyn store, Rena partnered with artist Lisa Congdon to open a second Rare Device in San Francisco in October 2007. This larger location also accomodates an art gallery with monthly shows by local, national and international designers whose work meshes with the Rare Device aesthetic. Rare Device Brooklyn closed in May 2008 so that Rena and Lisa could focus on growing the flagship store in San Francisco.
Rena and Lisa sold Rare Device to San Francisco couple, Giselle and Phurba Gyalzen, on February 2011.
Giselle and Phurba moved Rare Device to its current location in Divisadero Street on March 2012.
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