We love our dealers at Newport Cottages and we want everyone else know how special they are. We are starting a new feature on our blog, On the Road. Our first stop on our journey is Sprout of San Francisco. This city is known for it’s Golden Gate Bridge, Winding Roads and Ferries. Suzanne Price is the owner and founder of Sprout San Francisco. We recently interviewed her so we could learn more about Sprout and the city they call home.
What inspired you to open your own children’s store?
I was learning about organic and natural products and also about the chemicals that are in most of the things we surround ourselves with every day, and I became extremely concerned. I really changed my lifestyle and became very cautious about the products I was buying. Then, when my husband and I started to consider having kids, I started to wonder where I would shop now that I was so cautious. I began researching where to go to buy organic baby products and found out that the options were limited. That is when I decided there should be a store where a new parent can go and know that everything is safe for their child. Since that didn’t exist, I decided to create it.
Why children’s furnishings?
A new child spends so much of their time in their room, it is important for their room to be a healthy environment. So much children’s furniture is made with MDF that emits formaldehyde and paint that emits VOCs. We want to provide furniture made of solid wood and low VOC paints so that we don’t have to worry about the crib a new baby is sleeping in and what he is breathing into his lungs.
What is your design philosophy? What inspires you?
We say that the feel of Sprout is nostalgic. We believe that children are happy with simple things, like blocks and dolls, and don’t need toys that light up or play music. This carries over to design for me. I like things to be simple. This can mean classic in a traditional sense or modern with simple lines, but I don’t like a lot of frills.
What makes your store and you unique?
If you shop at our store, you know that I have vetted every single product we sell to make sure that it doesn’t contain anything that could possibly be harmful to your child. This seems obvious, but many mainstream children’s products on the market today do contain chemicals that some would consider harmful. At our store, you do not need to worry about that.
What is your favorite aspect about owning your own business?
Flexibility. This is a blessing and a curse, because it never really turns off, but there is tremendous upside as it relates to my children. I set my own schedule and hardly ever miss a doctor’s appointment or parent-teacher conference. I feel really lucky about that.
What is your favorite Newport Cottages piece or collection and why?
My daughter has the platform bed and it’s the space saver for her tiny bedroom. Without a headboard or footboard, it fits well in a small space and can act more like a daybed. And with built in storage, I am able to store all her bedding and pajamas in the drawers. However, if I had the room, I’d get her the Juliette Daybed. I just love it’s classic girly look.
About Your City
The weather. I love that we can be outside all year long. This is so helpful with a two and four year old with a lot of energy. I also love how easy it is to leave the city and go somewhere beautiful, like Napa or Point Reyes, even just for a day.
What are some family friendly places that you love to frequent?
We spend a lot of time at local farmers markets, explaining to our kids that real food comes from farms, not supermarkets. There is an amazing one every Saturday at the Ferry Building that we love. We also love to take long walks with the kids and our dog on Crissy Field, where you can walk for miles with no cars around and have views of the Golden Gate Bridge the whole way.
What is your favorite restaurant and or must see place?
Greens at Fort Mason is a vegetarian restaurant that even meat lovers love and they grow most of their own food at their farm in Marin.
In terms of a must see place, I really don’t think any of the major tourist destinations would be it. I think people should just explore the adorable San Francisco neighborhoods. Union Street, where Sprout is, has a ton of cute restaurants and boutiques and it’s also only 5 blocks from the water. Come visit!
Along with Sprout San Francisco Flagship store, they have locations in New York, Chicago and their newest store in Mill Valley, California.