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Celebrate Pride Beyond the Castro: 10 Gay Supportive Businesses We Love

Celebrate Pride outside the triangle at these 10 gay-supportive businesses we love.

Rosenow Floral Design. Auspiciously named, Erin Rosenow has really, um, blossomed since opening Rosenow Floral Design in 2008. That same year, she showed her support for marriage equality by donating wedding petals to gay and lesbian couples who managed to say “I do” pre-Prop.

Levi Strauss & Co. Let’s just say that when it comes to supporting LGBT rights, Levi’s is one big, bad mamma jamma.

Bimma Loft. Nancy Arrowsmith, partner in this contemporary design shop with locations in SoMa and Potrero Hill, isn’t just lazing about on one of her sleek modular sofas. Since 2004, she’s been busy working toward the inclusion of LGBT stories in the media as a member of the SF leadership council for GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Both Bimma and Arrowsmith’s other showroom, K&D Home Furnishings in SoMa, donate money, space and furnishings to GLAAD.

Kimpton Hotels. Locally, the San Francisco–based hospitality group may be best known for its Art Nouveau–style Palomar Hotel, but Kimpton is more than just a pretty place to rest your head. In 2004, it became the first hotel group to earn a 100-percent score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. This year, the company won HRC’s award for Workplace Equality Innovation.

Marlowe. In May 2009, former South Food + Wine co-owner Anna Weinberg piqued our curiosity when she posted an appeal on Facebook asking locals to patronize businesses that supported marriage equality. In fact, you could say Weinberg, who is also an ongoing sponsor of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, inspired this very story. Say “thank you” at her new restaurant, Marlowe.

Wells Fargo. In the 1980s, this 10-year sponsor of San Francisco Pride recognized the power of marketing to the gay community. The bank also knew it must “earn the right to market to this politically savvy segment,” so it focused on inclusive hiring and HR practices. Today, Wells Fargo has certified more than 40 accredited domestic-
partner advisers (with 160 more coming soon) and has given $17 million to LGBT causes.

Lori Anderson Skincare. While Lori Anderson’s talent in providing glowing skin and shapely brows is service enough to the gay community, we love that Anderson always seems so willing to donate her skills to LGBT charity auctions and that she proudly displays information on marriage equality inside her serene SoMa studio.
(And, if you’re reading this right now, you can take 20 percent off your first visit.)

Shreve & Co. This homegrown purveyor of fine baubles has taken a shine to the Academy of Friends, a fund-raising organization for HIV/AIDS charities. For the past three years, Shreve & Co. has been bringing the bling to the silent auction at the group’s annual Academy Awards gala by donating more than $20,000 in luxury watches from Baume & Mercier. It’s time you paid them a visit.

Stinkerpants Design. When the California Supreme Court ruled to uphold Proposition 8, East Bay illustrator Sara Olsher got “pissed off.” So, she whipped up a bumper sticker of impossible cuteness, depicting gay, lesbian and interracial couples ensconced in hearts. The tagline: “This is what love looks like! So get used to it, already!” Get a free bumper sticker, then order personal stationery or celebration invites.

City CarShare. In 2001, Bay Area transportation activists took aim at reducing our addiction to owning cars with the launch of City CarShare, a nonprofit that provides cheap, easy access to vehicles for those jaunts to Napa or Target in Daly City. City CarShare is also an ongoing sponsor of San Francisco Pride, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and SF’s LGBT Film Festival.