Shops We Love: Fiat Lux.
Posted on February 26, 2014
Just like betsy & iya, Fiat Lux is a retail shop and jewelry line. The brick & mortar is located in the geographical heart of the Barbary Coast and carries a selection of wares by designers from San Francisco and beyond; a few blocks away is the Fiat Lux studio where the house line of jewelry is handmade. Betsy first met Marie during a train trip through southern California. At the time, Marie was managing a different shop; when she and her partner Alexei opened Fiat Lux, Betsy and Will made a stop during another trip to see if it would be a fit for betsy & iya jewelry. If this post isn't enough of a "spoiler alert" on how all that turned out, you might need to reread the title &/or visit the link referenced in this paragraph.
Collective "awwww"! Marie & Alexei, photo courtesy of Marie. As with most of our stockists outside Portland, I rely on social media to give me an idea of what it's like to make a visit. Fiat Lux does a great job providing fans near & far with glimpses into shop life, styling inspiration (the photo below is captioned "No such thing as overkill"- SOULMATES!!!), and a healthy dose of humor (who doesn't need a Goat Hammer?).
courtesy of @fiatluxsf Instagram To say we're happy to be part of such a rad shop is an understatement. I asked Marie some questions to help us get to know more about her, her shop, and her weirdly wonderful city.
When & why did you open Fiat Lux? We’ve been selling our craft for three years now in this location. Fiat Lux was started out of a desire to move away from disposable culture and give people things that are made by human hands. We like to think that we are offering pieces that are important enough to become modern heirlooms.
What are some of your favorite things about San Francisco? I like that it’s weird. My midwestern mom was visiting years ago and we were on the street and a guy in a pink tutu walked past and I didn’t even notice. My mom said I had been living in SF too long. I never want to leave.
Describe your personal style: I wear conventional, clean-cut designer clothing with things that are unexpected. I think life should be full of off-guard surprises that make us laugh a little. I'd say that my personal style is kind of Goop meets Björk.
Favorite Local Restaurant: Bar Tartine is really killing it right now. We get a little spoiled in SF with great food so when you come across a place that takes your breath away, you get hooked! I could definitely get hooked on this. Photo courtesy of Bar Tartine's Facebook
Best Stress Reliever: Swimming. Alexei and I have been sneaking into a hotel for lunch & a dip for 3 years running. Relaxing & exhilarating. I'll never grow up!
Favorite Hobbies: Swimming! Treasure hunting. Showing off those mad treasure hunting skills at the Tuscon Gem show
What inspires your buying for the shop? We try to look for things that have symbolism, which feels meaningful. Right now the shop is chock full of geometric symbols.
Most rewarding part of your job? Supplying someone with something that they will cherish for the rest of their lives. And meeting people that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Hardest part of your job? Accounting. Snoozecore!
Why do you like carrying betsy & iya jewelry in your shop? Everyone loves betsy & iya! The design is on point, the price is fantastic, the findings are all handmade and I really love the people who make it. (Editor's note: *blushing*)
Favorite b&i piece? That's so hard! I have new favorites all the time, but I always come back to the Desert Varnish earrings.
There are a lot of similarities between betsy & iya and Fiat Lux that I find particularly awesome. We both have a retail space AND a production studio. We both approach buying for our respective shops with an emphasis on handmade goods with stories behind them. We both love what we do and have a whole heck of a lotta fun doing it (see below). Miss Cleo vibes: the Fiat Lux crew after winning "Best Bay Area Jewelry Shop" in 2013
I can't wait for the day when I get to make an actual visit to Fiat Lux to swap mani tips with Marie (they always look SO GOOD. I'm thinking some shellac action is going on there..), spend the money I'd budgeted for dinner on jewelry (as Carrie Bradshaw said of buying Vogue over food.. I feel like it feeds me more), and hopefully locate the model used in their 2013 lookbook shoot below and swap hair tips.
Until then, join me in following Fiat Lux on all my favorite social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,& blog. Hugs & snugs, Anna ***Song of the Moment: I Won't Back Down by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers***