Rare Device

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The storefront is filled with lovely, approachable designed items for your home, yourself, and your family. Every object in the store has its own story, and has been chosen because it is either handmade, well-designed, useful, beautiful or all of the above. The aesthetic is modern and whimsical while remaining warm and inviting. Influences range from the natural world to the interaction between humans and things, be it their clothes or what they choose to use in their homes. Many of the wares are locally produced, handmade creations. There are also a wide variety of internationally created items, from such far flung places as Japan, Sweden, Canada, and the Philippines.

The gallery within the storefront hosts monthly art shows and community events, including book signings, workshops, our monthly kids’ event, and trunk shows. For our gallery and in the shop, what we look for to showcase are independent artists with great talent who are trying to say something bold in the world. I love being able to give them a platform to showcase their creativity. I am so grateful to be surrounded by such inspiring artists and designers. Even our employees all have art and design backgrounds, and surprise me daily with their creative takes with their work.

Particular favorite projects of mine are those that combine community with artistic expression, like the Round Robin project we showcased in Spring of 2012, because there was a whole group of people coming together around a unique idea. It was also exciting to get to host temporary pop-ups from local food innovators, like Le Dix Sept. Rare Device is all about bringing people together around beauty and inspiring ideas. [1]


600 Divisadero St.

Contact Information

(415) 863-3969 press@raredevice.net


Rena Tom and Lisa Congdon

Dates of Operation


Type of Space


Community Served

local bay area artists

Additional Information and Resources

new owner is Giselle Gyalzen http://raredevice.net/pages/about-us

About this Article

This article was originally created as part of SOMArts Cultural Center's Making a Scene: 50 Years of Alternative Bay Area Spaces. To learn how to add or edit content please visit the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism's online History Collection Lab.


  1. http://raredevice.net/pages/about-us6-29-2015