At Pollen + Wool, which opened for a sneak peak last week at 21 Throckmorton Ave. in downtown Mill Valley, creative energy abounds. The source of that creativity is owner Kristina de Pizzol, who draws inspiration from both the personal and the global: her Norwegian heritage, the powerful role that bees and pollen play in the history of our planet, the elemental fabric of wool itself.
Pollen + Wool’s tagline is “Gather. Made. Splendid. Live the Life You’ve Imagined,” with that last part coming from the words of Henry David Thoreau.
“This is meant to be a special place that centers on valuing what you think is important in life,” De Pizzol says. “It’s not an exclusive place. It’s a place where you’ll find things that are beautiful and unique. But it’s also a space where you can make things, hold events and is more of just a lifestyle.”
Now onto the what. Step inside the bright, gorgeous, 2,500-square foot space of Pollen + Wool and you’ll find a selection so eclectic that you’ll realize why we started with the inspiration rather than the inventory: A create-a-terrarium workspace. Andrew Goldsworthy-esque furniture and housewares. Gorgeous women’s clothing. A library. Reclaimed wood artwork. A teepee. Jewelry. An array of plants.
Pollen + Wool is De Pizzol’s latest creation. The Marin native spent the early part of her professional life in the San Francisco clothing design world, launching her own vintage-inspired clothing line called Delilah Crown, which was based on Green Street in North Beach for many years.
When she had children, De Pizzol decided that didn’t want to manage both her retail and wholesale businesses any longer, so she opened Gigi + Rose, named for her two young daughters, to focus on retail. The whimsical shop in Ghiradelli Square carries both women’s and children’s clothing and is “meant to be a happy place for you and your daughters,” she says. “It’s all about coming to the city and a mom and a daughter just having a nice day together.”
The success of the Gigi + Rose allowed De Pizzol in 2013 to open Jackson + Polk, a shop featuring men’s clothing, housewares, art, accessories, books and much more. Under the tagline, “We live by the City. We live by the sea. We love urban life. We love nature,” Jackson + Polk celebrates “what we love about San Francisco, with all of the makers and thinkers and wanting to have an intelligent, sometimes humorous conversation,” De Pizzol says. “I really just don’t want to ever underestimate the people who come into my stores. And I want to treat kids like they’re intelligent as well.”
De Pizzol says she chose Mill Valley for a variety of reasons. Her daughters go to school in Marin, and she’s always loved Mill Valley “because it has a heart – it has a physical center to its downtown. And I see this space as a creative gathering place where people can come and enjoy their time. And it’s a good fit for the town. People that choose to live in Mill Valley do so for a reason.”
The 411: Pollen + Wool is currently in “sneak peak” mode, and plans to host opening events in the coming weeks.