A Natural Selection
Sometimes small curiosities are just too precious, but other times, they make you smile as they evoke pleasant places, people or things. At Prairie Collective, on Divisadero near Haight Street in the Lower Haight neighborhood, you will find many tiny treasures that will transform your home and brighten your day.
Prairie Collective is actually three stores in one, made up of Magpie and Rye, Studio Choo, and Cloak and Cabinet Society. All combined, you can find floral arrangements, home accessories, jewelry, vintage items, and more. The theme threading throughout most of the pieces is nature and/or nostalgia items of the past.
Magpie and Rye’s Annabelle Miller creates jewelry in addition to offering housewares. Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo of Studio Choo provide floral designs and arrangements. Cloak and Cabinet Society’s vintage curiosities are provided by Lia Thomas.
Magpie and Rye’s owner Annabelle is a fine artist by training who grew up in the mountains of Colorado and also a sheep ranch in British Columbia. Her upbringing in nature influences the home and body accessories she chooses. Many items have a North American sensibility about them, and are made of raw materials, often by hand, and feature natural designs.
Studio Choo’s Alethea and Jill work with local vendors to choose fresh and seasonal flowers grown nearby whenever possible. They also create arrangements for weddings, private parties, and events. Prices vary, but the smaller scale arrangements I saw in the store ranged from $10 to $40. Local delivery is available.
Studio Choo offers flower arranging classes, too. They’ll soon be holding classes on fall and holiday centerpieces, and also wreath making. Check the Studio Choo website for details.
Jill’s no newbie to flowers or design. Some of you may recognize her work from former Hayes Valley floral designers Rose & Radish. She also comes from a family of floral designers, and she is trained in illustration at Parsons the New School for Design. Not only does Jill come up with imaginative floral designs from Studio Choo, she is also the artist behind Small Stump. You can find her prints in the store, too.
Last but certainly not least is Cloak and Cabinet Society, run by full-time librarian Lia. Her contributions to the store include books, vintage items, and other curiosities.
Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find in the store: vintage keys ($2), mini geodes ($1), geometric brass bangles ($15), ties from San Francisco designer Ciuccio ($60), wee birds ($1), felt stones ($1), fire starter kits from Oakland-based Jen Pearson Designs ($16), seed bombs to distribute wildflowers ($7), bird houses ($5), tiny coffee spoons ($12), hand silk-screened wildflower cards from R.V. James Designs ($5), and books to help you find out what you are looking at out in the wild ($5).
In the jewelry case, there were large and small macaw wings from Fredericks and Mae ($140 and $70 respectively). Don’t worry, these feathers were naturally molted and collected. Most jewelry runs from about $45 to $300. The diamond seed and sterling triangles were $195 and $75, respectively.
If anything, the space is a tranquil little spot on the bustling Divisadero Street. The interior feels like a quaint cabin, complete with salvaged wood beams and an old cast-iron sink from Lia's father's barn. The wooden display cabinet and counters are refinished pieces sourced from Urban Ore. Somehow all these seemingly disparate parts (interior and inventory both) work together to make an appealing space and store.
There’s a 20 percent off sale through November. Also, look for extended hours during the holidays.