| March 2012
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By Karen Topakian
Angela Clement Gomez and son Griffin are eager to show off Heroine, their new boutique for “ladies, moms, and babies.” Photo by Pamela Gerard
4100 24th St. at Castro Street
Babies have always had places to shop in Noe Valley. Now, with the birth of a maternity fashion boutique called Heroine, expectant moms are moving toward equal rights.
Angela Clement Gomez and husband Edwin Gomez unveiled their new addition in November, in the former home of Bespoke Cycles, at the corner of Castro and 24th streets.
“I’ve always dreamed of opening a boutique in San Francisco,” says Clement Gomez, a freelance photographer and graphic designer. “And when I became pregnant with our son Griffin, the type of shop became obvious to me.”
Painted white with accents in pistachio green, Heroine offers handpicked clothing and accessories for “ladies, moms, and babies,” says Clement Gomez. “They can be worn before, during, and after [pregnancy], or if you are not even a mom at all,” she says.
Browsers of all types will appreciate the wood floors and spacious aisles, which allow for easy steering of strollers and toddlers.
Lining the walls are tunics, wraps, and dresses, from casual to elegant. There is an array of designer denim, including skinny jeans from James Jeans, Maternal America, and Seraphine. “You can’t even tell they are made for expecting moms. They just look like awesome stylish jeans,” says Clement Gomez. Prices range from $100 to $175.
The shop also carries sexy nursing lingerie by Belabumbum ($23-$95) and sleep bras from One in the Oven ($50).
For infants and toddlers, such as 17-month-old Griffin, Heroine offers organic cotton onesies and T-shirts, including screen-printed designs by local artists Sweetpea & Pie. Other kidswear, like the black hoodies with tattoo-style hearts from Rock ’n’ Roll Babies ($34.99), have retro appeal.
Dads and moms may tussle over what Clement Gomez says is the store’s best-selling item: buffalo-leather and felt diaper bags that can double as laptop bags ($175-$300).
Clement Gomez and husband Edwin, who live eight blocks from their shop, couldn’t be happier with their Noe Valley location. “There are a lot of stylish ladies and moms here,” says Clement Gomez.
“One of the best things about being here in the store is seeing all of the adorable babies and kids. People come in and bring their dogs, too. We have treats for them. It’s such a wonderful neighborhood to be in.”
Heroine is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Fred Meyer and Dani Sheehan-Meyer offer an eclectic assortment of gifts at their Cliché Noe, many locally produced. Photo by Pamela Gerard
Cliché Noe Gift Store
4175 24th St. between Castro/Diamond
Fred Meyer and Dani Sheehan-Meyer say they opened the doors to Cliché Noe Gift Store on Friday, Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving, to “catch that little wave” of holiday shopping. Now they are looking forward to a spring gold rush.
The husband-and-wife team spent seven years researching the gift business and three months renovating the space Meyer’s family has owned for five generations at 4175 24th St. (The building is the birthplace of the Pioneer, the first car built in California, and more recently it sheltered the San Francisco Mystery Bookstore.)
Sheehan-Meyer describes the now light-filled shop as an “eclectic store for all ages,” offering everything from jewelry, greeting cards, picture frames, and baby shoes, to clocks, soaps, handbags, and men’s hats. Much of the selection has roots in California, she says.
In the gourmet food section, you can find Anette’s raspberry, amaretto, and port sauces from Napa ($9.90), and Corning’s balsamic, lemon olive, and garlic olive oils ($10) from Corning, Calif.
San Francisco born TOKYObay watches with brightly colored wrapped straps ($64-$70) decorate a table at the front of the store.
“We didn’t forget our tourists,” says Sheehan-Meyer, pointing out a set of cartes postales by Cavallini & Co. of South San Francisco ($12) that features a tin of vintage San Francisco scenes.
Local art also has a home at Cliché Noe. “We’re open to giving people an opportunity to showcase their talents,” says Sheehan-Meyer.
According to Sheehan-Meyer, the shop is the exclusive purveyor in Noe Valley of Minnetonka moccasins, for toddlers aged 6 months to 2-1/2 years ($19-$30).
Cliché Noe also sells Trollbeads, silver and handmade glass beads from Denmark ($31-$47), which are used to make “New Age charm bracelets,” says Sheehan-Meyer.
The Meyers carried an appreciation for wine-related items with them when they moved from Santa Rosa to San Francisco in August of last year. “We’re on a campaign for no more naked wine bottles,” laughs Sheehan-Meyer.
To that end, she stocks Just Sleeve It wine carriers ($30), including one covered in men’s shirtsleeves, replete with cuffs and buttons.
The Carlotta Clutch wine purse, which is adorned with fake pinto pony fur, has already sold out three times, Sheehan-Meyer says.
“When you come to shop in our store, we want you to have a unique shopping experience,” says Sheehan-Meyer. “If we can’t find it, we’ll get it for you.”
Cliché Noe Gifts is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.