(Patricia Chang)

Zinc Details, 25-Year SF Design Darling, Is up for Sale

Vas Kiniris, cofounder and owner of the 25-year-old home design shop Zinc Details, is ready to move on. He's putting out the call to would-be buyers: This longtime darling of Fillmore Street (a multimillion-dollar biz) is officially on the market. Only lovers of Midcentury Modern style need apply.

Long celebrated by the local media as one of San Francisco's best retailers and beloved as a community gathering place for a myriad of events (panel discussions, artist exhibits, shopping parties), Zinc Details promises a new owner plenty of cachet and built-in customer loyalty, to say nothing of the plentiful stylish contents (Knoll couches! Cherner chairs!) that fill the 4,000-square-foot space.

We sat down with Kiniris, who, incidentally, was also named to 7x7's 2016 Style Council, to get the, er, details on his ideal buyer, whether he's really ready to sell, and what's next for him. Hint: The nattily dressed Kiniris will still be a regular fixture on Fillmore Street.

7x7: After 25 years, why sell now?

VK: I am ready for a change, and the time seems right. Most significantly, I'm excited by my roles as executive director of the Fillmore Merchant Association (FMA)—where I've been able to use all my knowledge to promote all the small businesses in the neighborhood—and as secretary of the SF Council of District Merchant Associations (SFCDMA), which represents 21 merchant associations in the city. Bottom line: I want to be able to focus on these jobs, and I am quite open to whatever else may come my way.

What's in it for a new owner?

A lot of history—design history and design consciousness are built into the DNA of Zinc Details. We started before the internet, remember. We even worked with Yves Behar when he was still struggling. Plus, we're not just a store—we've built an emotional connection via the pieces and furniture embedded in so many San Francisco homes. And, of course, the store appeals to so many types…designers, techies, families. Many celebs, like Robin Williams, David Bowie and Jeremy Irons, have passed through over the years.

Tell us about your dream buyer.

I would love to pass the reins to someone who truly loves people and wants to engage with them; someone who loves design and wants to create a community and emotional connections. A potential owner should be involved with the day-to-day affairs of the business, and someone who also wants to grow the business—there are many opportunities to seize upon, and quite a bit of room to expand e-commerce sales.

Are you suuure you're ready to part with it?

Look, I have been thinking about selling for a while. My wife [Wendy Nishimura Kiniris] and I started this business when we were so young—UC Berkeley grads with an initial investment of $2,000. We were paying $500 a month rent in the Tenderloin. We didn't have money, but we had creativity. So, of course it will be hard to say goodbye, but mostly I am super proud of our success and thankful for our customers. I'm also happy we could help makers and artists along the way—they are a crucial part of the success of the business.

// Zinc Details is located at 1633 Fillmore St. (Lower Pac Heights), zincdetails.net. Interested parties should contact Vas Kiniris at vas@zincdetails.com for more information.