The fact that Gravel & Gold’s URL could be read, rather morosely, as “Graveland Gold,” produces satisfied grins on the faces of Cassie McGettigan, Nile Nash and Lisa Foti-Straus, the twenty-something friends who co-own the new Mission District boutique that specializes in home accessories and vintage clothing. “It’s a little dark, but it seems to be an awesome name for a vintage store,” says McGettigan, a Virginia native.
“Gravel & Gold plays off the whole treasure-and-trash, high-and-low, shine-and-grit aesthetic that this store is about,” says Nash, also a nurse-midwifery student at UCSF. G&G’s collection of pristine vintage clothing (sourced from local flea markets) is small but meticulously curated, unlike those of the less-discriminatory used-clothing chain stores sprinkled throughout the city.
“Our vintage collection is a labor of love,” says McGettigan. “We’re real sticklers for finding things in flawless condition. Vintage should have the same quality as new.” A recent visit resulted in an impromptu fashion show, à la Pretty Woman, of decades-old woolen capes, a deadstock green paisley Cacharel blouse, a rhinestoned YSL sweater and cozy reversible coats crafted by Foti-Straus’s family friend, Lynn Kelly, from Bengali quilts. “I love knowing that it’s had a previous life as a blanket and is still providing warmth,” says Foti-Straus, who moonlights as a documentary filmmaker. “Being able to support someone who is legitimately making a beautiful object means a lot.”
The core of G&G’s business concept is the idea of a ’70s-style crafts co-op, where dozens of artisans (from weavers to knitters to leatherworkers) consign their handcrafted wares. Handsome driving caps by North Beach’s Al Ribaya (of Al’s Attire), glitzy metallic-leather satchels by London’s Mimi Berry and WindWalkers sheepskin boots by Bodega Bay’s Angél Fiorito-Leddy are all part of G&G’s thoughtful inventory. “The WindWalkers feel like five little orgasms for each foot!” raves Nash. So those are the boots Nancy Sinatra was singing about.