Cassie McGettigan

San Francisco, California
I started Gravel & Gold at the beginning of 2008 with my two friends, Lisa and Nile. Our first spot was a 9’ x 12’ cinderblock bunker on the ground floor of a studio building. We plastered over our little box, installed one bookcase, one clothing rack, one desk with a jewelry case, and that was it. Vintage clothes, mostly from our closets, made up most of the inventory, stuff made by friends, and pillows made from fabric we’d collected over the years. We were open 3-4 days a week and we were always able to make rent, mostly thanks to stripey shirts, which we’ve always sold. If we were short, we’d have a party, and that would bring in enough dough to make it another month.

That fall, I quit my other job, moved up to Bolinas, and commuted in for my days keeping the shop open. The following summer, we signed for our current, much bigger spot on 21st Street. This one needed a lot more than just plaster. I moved back to the city and we re-opened in August 2009 with practically no inventory.  Tripp Carpenter’s big, beautiful table ran down the center of the space and held it all together, even if there was very little on top of it to sell.

Since then, the shop has grown to become a real shop. We’re open seven days a week. Our shelves and racks are full of clothing, books, ceramics, jewelry, and more, coming in from all over the place. Our own line Gravel & Gold Goods had its first release in the summer of 2011. I designed two textile prints, Panda Face and Boobs, which were printed by hand and made into clothing here in San Francisco. Like every experience we’ve had together so far, we made it up as we went along, tried our best, and were proud enough of what we had done to keep doing it.

The dream is to keep making things we're stoked to make, in an environment that we like. The dream is to have a studio upstairs and a shop downstairs and to work with friends. Right now, the studio is up the street, the shop is a block away, and there are lots and lots and lots of friends involved, keeping it going.