Six years ago in 2014...
we moved from a small workshop located in a walk up space over an auto body workshop in SoMA to this wonderful airy and bright location on 16th Street. I personally spent 6 months building it out to be the perfect combination of manufacturing and showroom. This included putting in a custom mezzanine, raising the ceiling height to 16’, refinishing the original soft wood floors from 100 years ago and maintaining an outdoor cactus garden to liven up the street. When we opened to the public we had the most beautiful retail shop in the Mission. It was a place customers could come to not only see the products but experience the entire manufacturing process. They could walk away with first hand knowledge that our products are ethically and well made. The design and marketing team would work in the front and greet customers, while just around the corner the leather and sewing team had their own snug areas to work in. Our customers from all over the world stopped in while visiting San Francisco, as the shop was central to the Mission District and easy to reach.
Although I had every intention of 16th St. to be the home of JOSHUVELA for 10 years, things change. It may seem abrupt to leave such a beautifully customized space after only 6 years, but there are bigger forces at work. We have been dismayed to see the local government’s mishandling of our cities houseless population as we have had front row seats to the decline of the 16th and Mission area right outside our door. We have also been affected by this negligence inside our space, as the building above was ill suited to house the homeless it was designated for and thus leaked and fell apart at every opportunity to do so. Although we have been pressed from all sides by many negative aspects, I have also become wiser to the true responsibility of this problem resting with those who are in power. So I have decided this is not my fight.
Though the homeless crisis provided the reason to leave, it was not the reason to create a new space. That reason comes from the very nature of the work we do, which is to create objects that inspire and enable the wearers own creativity. This process thrives on change and focus. After enjoying an outward period for the last 6 years as we welcomed guests interested in our process, the time has come to start new and create a space with new intentions.
Goodbye Tradeshop, Hello JOSHUVELA STUDIO. Our new space will be created from the beginning with the intention of focus. We are laying out every aspect of the space to encourage focused thought and enable a clean table for inspiration. Some aspects will have to be sacrificed to achieve that and the ability for our dear customers to drop by anytime is one of those sacrifices. But we feel that the new products, insights and experiences that will come out of this new space will be worth it for both us and you.
More news on the STUDIO will be forthcoming.
Thank you all for being apart of the JOSHUVELA story thus far. Thank you for the continued support of our team and our designs.
After and before, from the front door looking in. The main office area, cutting table, and retail area.
After and before of the leather work and sewing bays.