Dogpatch remains a center for textile companies

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Dogpatch has a long history as a textile center. Esprit – formerly Esprit des Corp – launched in the late 1970s, was headquartered on Minnesota’s 900 block for the next 30 years. The company pioneered a building approach that evolved into the style dominant in the neighborhood, consisting of luxury warehouse-converted structures that featured Douglas fir flooring, a collection of ornate Amish quilts on display and a nature-adventure atmosphere.

Esprit has drawn other fashion retailers to Dogpatch, its influence continuing to reverberate through a new wave of textile, footwear and apparel companies that manufacture, are headquartered and have opened outlets in the piece.

Left: Handmade clogs by Bryr Studios. Right: Bryr Studios founder Isobel Schofield. Photos: Kara Brodgesell, courtesy of Bryr Studios

Bryr Studios, which produces handmade clogs inspired by the West Coast lifestyle, has occupied retail and manufacturing space in the American Industrial Center (AIC) since 2012. Isobel Schofield, the founder of Bryr , originally planned to start a working studio but was encouraged by the AIC. owner, Greg Markoulis, to also open a point of sale. The de Markoulis family had operated a clog factory out of the structure during the heyday of Esprit.

The store largely closed after San Francisco’s pandemic-induced shelter-in-place order was imposed, offering customers access only by appointment. The brand has grown so much over the past two years through social media and word of mouth that Isobel plans to reopen this fall in a larger retail and manufacturing space at AIC, at the corner of 22nd and Illinois streets. .

“Dogpatch and the 22nd Street corridor from Picinno to the end of Pier 70 will continue to increasingly become a center for the City,” Isobel said. “We are thrilled to open our location on the bay side of the American Industrial Building as Pier 70 continues to grow and become an exciting location!”

Left: Eileen Mockus, CEO of Coyuchi. Right: Coyuchi organic bedding. Photos: Courtesy of Coyuchi

Coyuchi moved its headquarters six years ago to elevated office space near the Minnesota Street project at 24th and Tennessee streets. The company manufactures organic bedding, towels, clothing and home textiles. He chose Dogpatch so he could have a single space for his head office, photo studio and show floor.

Coyuchi primarily sells online, through wholesalers, retailers like Nordstrom and Anthropolgie, and at an outlet in Point Reyes. Company staff have mostly returned to the office after working remotely during the height of the pandemic.

Eileen Mockus, CEO of Coyuchi, started her career at Patagonia and knew Dogpatch from when she was a fabric buyer at Esprit. She moved the company’s offices to the community in 2016.

“At the time, Philz and Minnesota Street Project had just opened in the area, and we believed the neighborhood would continue to be a great location for businesses and our offices,” she said. “It was before all the activity taking place today! It’s great to see what’s happening today with more residential buildings, the third street corridor, and the arts and creative community that continues to grow.

Left: A Short Story box filled with designer clothes. Right: Short Story founder Isabella Sun. Photos: Courtesy of Short Story

Short Story, a personal styling service for petite women, moved its headquarters and distribution center to Dogpatch during the pandemic. Located at Mariposa and Minnesota streets, the company occupies multi-purpose space for corporate offices and custom-style box packaging for monthly deliveries.

Isabella Sun, founder and CEO of Short Story, started the business from her apartment in 2019. Her business model was simple: she would try on tons of small-size clothes from retailers, buy pieces that weren’t frumpy or getting old and selling out to his girlfriends.

“Petite clothing was invented for smaller women but quickly became the section for little old ladies,” she said. “It is unacceptable that petite women have to choose between the old ladies or children’s sections for their clothing.”

Short Story boxes include clothing from major brands and the company’s own lines, created and designed through customer feedback. Clients start by taking Short Story’s style quiz. Then the company’s experts organize boxes of fitted outfits. A few days later, a Short Story coral box comes with items to try at home. Customers keep what they like, return what they don’t.

“We are excited to move into our next phase in our space at Dogpatch,” Isabella said. “We needed more space for clothing packaging, photo shoots and in the future we want to open a pop-up shop in the front. With this space we have the opportunity to support our current customers and continue to grow.”

With today’s supply chain and manufacturing challenges, locating close to customers may be a prudent strategy. The Esprit name lives on in Dogpatch with Esprit Park, and its legacy continues through the next generation of textile companies.

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