Chances are, that if you live in San Francisco and hang out in Hayes Valley, you have seen Carrie Caillouette’s amazing rolling store. I’ve been memorized by her spunky attitude, quirky wit and eye for beautiful treasures. With a history in working in home furnishings she decided to start her store in an old Volkswagen Vanagon “Doka” which my own husband has serious car envy over. Everything Carrie sells is thoughtful and carefully chosen and displayed in a way that just makes you want to jump aboard and drive off in to the sunset. Don’t dismay, if you don’t live in SF, you can shop online. Here’s a bit about the gal behind the truck.
1. Favorite Bloom?
The common name is Indian Paintbrush but it is actually a wildflower called Castilleja and it is the color of red lipstick. This flower is native to the Americas and it grew wild all over a family property that we had when I was growing up. My great grandparents built a knotty pine cabin out of a kit they ordered in the 20’s. We used to go to this cabin and hike, sleepover, and play as a kid. My brothers and I would pick the wild red Castilleja, catch tadpoles and play horseshoes till dark.
2. Whether big or small, what was the last trip you took?
I just went to New York on a pleasure trip but I also got to meet up with some of my amazing artist partners. It was amazing walking on the streets of Manhattan, alone on a Saturday in the freezing snow. I was catching the flakes on my tongue like a child. It reminded me to try to see and feel things as if it is the first time as much as possible. This is very difficult to do!
3. What brought you to SF? Will you ever leave?
My husband went to Stanford and in college, I used to visit him often. Eventually we just decided we loved the bay area and wanted to make it our home. I’ve lived in Sydney, Australia and I loved it there, I’d move back, sure. But I don’t know if I could really be torn away from San Francisco. We have such a good quality of life here.
4. What is the one thing about your current life that would inspire the younger version of you?
I think it would surprise the younger version of me that I run my retail store out of my truck. It’s just still really surprising to me sometimes! I think it’s weirder than I could have imagined as a younger lady, and also pretty clever.
5. What do you collect, and what do you think it says about you?
I collect MANY things, old buttons (a collection started by my great grandmother), miniature things, enamelware, coffee table books, Tarahumara baskets, decorative wood carved corks for bottles, cookbooks, textiles from all over the world. I think my collections indicate that I value natural elements, handmade things, and objects with history. Collectors usually draw inspiration from things around them and their possessions. That is definitely true for me. I look to the things around me to make me feel alive, remind me of my passions, travels and affinities.
Thank you, Carrie!
Photo: Ashley Batz