When I heard a new contemporary fine jewelry boutique had opened in the Mission, I was intrigued. The name, Love & Luxe, conjured images of an intoxicating mix of luxurious pieces made with love, to be loved.
The Mission is an area I love. For me, it represents so many of the elements that makes San Francisco unique. Its the ultimate mix of high-low with tech gurus worth a bajillion bucks roaming around alongside eternal Peter Pan syndrome sufferers that never got round to getting a job. Its visually striking as seen here and here, its an area I associate with some of my favourite restaurants in the city (Flour + Water, Foreign Cinema and Tartine), its the home of the hipsters in their American Apparel finery riding around on their fixies, and lots of sunshine.
So on a sunny afternoon, I made my way over to 1169 Valencia to see what Love & Luxe had to offer.
Its a refreshingly modern yet warm boutique and I was instantly smitten. From its pared down interior with an antique glass cabinet as the focal point that houses the majority of the pieces, to the reclaimed military cabinets mounted on the side walls, to the most gorgeous wood floors I've ever seen and the mesmerising watercolour prints that adorn the back wall. Betsy Barron is clearly a woman who knows her vision, knows her clientele and knows how to bring the two together.
Betsy is the lovely and charming owner who sources a unique mix of jewellery from local artisans with a few from further afield. Glamorous bohemian is the description that comes to mind. Every piece is luxurious in its own way, with excellent craftsmanship, unusual textures, interesting colours and designs resonating through the entire collection. Betsy makes her own jewelry and has a full studio behind the shop where she's often busy working away on more fabulous pieces for her collection.
Whether you're looking for a easy daytime pieces, to striking yet understated glamour, Love & Luxe has something for you.
I was instantly enamoured of the delicate Sethi Couture coloured diamond bands to wear every day, a spot-it-from-across-the-room Jade Mellor resin ring, or a simple pair of Elisa Bongfeldt textured studs, to an outsize pair of luxuriously handcrafted Betsy Barron hoops, to a striking handcut cuff by Ashley Buchanan. A surprising find in the boutique is the deliciously soft and utterly luxurious leather belts with bronze buckles by Samantha Grisdale.
Betsy Barron rings
Samantha Grisdale Belts
Chris Neff Rings
Betsy Barron Rings
Heidi Nahser Fink
The Studio's Workshop
Ellen Little Watercolour paintings on the wall.