San Francisco, CA
As egg & the Urban Mercantile say on their website, they are "one of San Francisco’s most unique purveyors of sublime and refined household goods." We couldn't have said it better ourselves. Everything in this small neighborhood store feels special and personal.egg & the Urban Mercantile have an organic, art-and-design-conscious style that springs directly from the eclectic tastes and sensibilities of its owners, Marisa Lin (egg) and Bradley Burch (Urban Mercantile). For several years now this duo has been quietly retailing a beautifully-curated selection of contemporary home accessories, including software, tableware, glassware and lighting, a small selection of unique furniture pieces, and paintings and ceramics by local artists.
Prices are also very decent. Considering the expertly-edited feel of the merchandise, we find it gratifying that Burch and Lin did not just set out to foist their excellent taste on people with money to burn.
Burch says: We take our price points seriously and really consider our customers and their presumption of a fair price. We try to have something for everyone, and we know that most people are conservative when shopping (given that many people are fine buying housewares from Ikea for fractions of the price in boutiques.
The most expensive items in the store are lamps and furniture, which range from $175 to $2200. The colorful pillows, blankets, and throws range from $30 to $200. Fine art ranges from $50 to $200. Colorway paintings look great in a series, but even one alone would light up an entryway and create a warm welcome for guests. Hand-shaped, graphically-glazed vessels are made by a local ceramicist and look terrific in small groupings, with or without flowers.
Deeply-hued towels and bath mats in shaggy, thirsty terry range from $12 to $72. And in the not-strictly-housewares department, egg & the Urban Mercantile also sell beautiful letter-pressed paper goods, jewelry, children's clothes, books, and nursery bedding.
Under the Urban Mercantile calling card Burch and Lin also take on interior decoration and consultation, product design and development, wholesale to other retailers, e-commerce, and artist
(Edited from this post originally published 04.27.06 - CB)