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Oliver Charles Union Street Pop-Up

Since October, we've been open on Union Street in San Francisco with sweaters, soap, and hearts filled with hope.
December 15, 2022
By Oliver Charles

Oliver Charles is a San Francisco company at its core, we may make the sweaters in Brooklyn, but our roots run deep in San Francisco.

From the beginning, we designed the sweater to be perfect for San Francisco’s less than perfect climate. One could even argue that San Francisco is one of the few, if not only, cities in the world with year-round sweater weather.

Of course, some folks may have a problem with this. I think it was Mark Twain that said, “the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

Not us; we love it!

There’s truly no better place to build a sweater company. That’s why we love hosting pop-ups throughout the city because when folks step through our doors, they are in search of a solution to a pressing problem.

Our current pop-up shop on Union Street is the 3rd we’ve hosted in the city since we started Oliver Charles, and I think everyone would agree that it’s been the best one yet.

As it comes to an end and the daunting tasking of breaking everything down starts to rear its ugly head, we can find some solace in reflecting on all it took to get us here.

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

The first step in the process of getting the store ready was obviously setting up our loom.

After nearly 2 years in storage, we were itching to set it back up and get to weaving. 

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Next, we had to nail the window display. After many, many iterations, we landed on what could be considered our rough draft.

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Eventually, we decided that the hanging sweater blocked too much light and kept folks from seeing inside.

So we returned to our roots for the next display and decided that hanging sweaters were the best bet. The only thing it was missing was a pop of color!

Our neon sign was the perfect splash of color while simultaneously acting as a sort of sweater beacon!

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

We’d run two pop-ups at this point and felt like we had a bit of a handle on how the inside of the store should look...

One thing we knew for sure was that building a tube tower was 100% necessary. 

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

The next step was going vertical and decorating the walls.

Lucky for us, we know more than a few artists from our yearly craft fair circuit.

Jamie Lovejoy was nice enough to give us this absolutely gorgeous painting as the centerpiece of the store.

Not only did it complement our sweaters, but also our treasure chest! Which was overflowing with sample sweaters, at least it was in the beginning.

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Before we knew it, the store was up and running, just beckoning folks to come in and peruse our selection of cozy yak wool and seaweed sweaters.

The cozy little store tucked away at 2120 Union Street played many roles in addition to being a safe haven for San Francisco’s sweater lovers…

It was a photo studio.

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

It was a proprietor of wonderful natural soaps and a destination for sustainable geometric jewelry.

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Most of all, it became a gathering place for friends and friends of friends.

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

So while we are sad to have to pack up shop, we know we’ll be back next year for another one. For a bigger one, dare we say a better one?

You’ll just have to wait and see…

If you believe that every good wardrobe starts with owning less and owning better, consider buying yourself an OLIVER CHARLES sweater.
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