Warm, cozy, inviting, sounds like I’m describing your friend’s place, right? Well that’s exactly how we felt when we walked into Isso San Francisco at 3789 24th Street. Isso’s motto is “made, found or designed in the Bay area.” With the creative talent pooled solely from resources close to home, it’s no wonder this store makes you feel all fuzzy inside.
Marie Biscarra, the super sweet owner greets us with a smile while Stevie Wonder and Sade play in the background. “Even the music is mixed by local DJs,” she tells us. Marie and the co-owner prefer to keep the money they spend and make purely local by supporting their friends and SF artists instead of faceless factories. This proves that San Francisco has some great local talent because this store rocks.
About Isso San Francisco
Isso has been open for two years now and carries new designs like the Isso brand plaid pencil skirt, reworked vintage items like the gold chain and pearl necklaces, and true vintage pieces like the peek a boo toe kitten heeled turquoise snake heels. The Isso brand, designed by Marie and the other co-owner, makes your basics with a twist; a simple yellow knit top with three diagonal seams across the chest and our favorite the backless, halter, hooded sweatshirt. Yes, I said sweatshirt. It has been a best seller lately and a must have item for 2010.
Around the store there were local fragrances, hand made feather hair picks, and a smokin’ hot fuchsia halter jumpsuit. Meoooow. There was a mint condition baby blue suitcase situated next to a trunk full of screen printed tees and tanks from local designer Nopal. An old dressing table housed the vintage heels and sequined clutches, while a wooden shelving unit held crocheted skull caps with flowers. I walked away with a pair of miniature gold-coated paper crane earrings with gold hearts dangling from them. At $45 it was a steal for something that intricate and beautiful made on such a small level. The price range for all items at Isso is $40 up to $250 for some of the jackets.
About Marie, the co-owner
Marie Biscarra is a Fashion Merchandising graduate from Skyline College. She started by working in retail for years and slowly working her way into doing visual displays and merchandising for the stores. She had a lot of on the job training that she felt was instrumental to her success today. She believes education is that of an ongoing education through life experiences.
Advice for us students
“Owning a boutique is A LOT of hard work. Whatever you do, to be successful at it requires a lot of hard work.” Many people want to be buyers but they should know that buying requires a lot of long hours, fun, and hard work. Being a buyer is not as glamorous as people think it is. It requires planning and forecasting which some people don’t realize. You need to learn visuals early on, and add on to your skills as you see fit.
In terms of being a business owner, there are many perks such as getting up everyday and doing everything you do with love and doing it because you love doing it. Not many people get to say that about their ‘job’. She gets to design clothing for her and her friends’ tastes and not a sterile stamped corporate vision. However, the flipside is that you determine your own paycheck and your own benefits. There is no glass ceiling in your own business, but there is also no soft padding to fall upon either.
We love Isso San Francisco because of the unique pieces they carry, the warm, cozy feeling we get inside the boutique, and because we supporting great local talent. Online ordering is coming very soon, but until then, get your bootie over to 3789 24th Street, San Francisco and check it out for yourself.
By Mindy Trisko