Based on the scenic coast of California, Amy Mautz brings a literal lifetime of retail experience to her boutique Conifer. She grew up at tradeshows and went on to work with New York’s Built by Wendy before opening her own shop back home on the west coast in 2010. Now focusing full time on her online store, it seems Amy has that work-life balance thing down. Add to that her amazing eye for creative designers like Uzi, Ace & Jig and Lauren Manoogian. So of course we had to ask for all her secrets.
YOU’VE ALWAYS BEEN IN RETAIL. TELL US ABOUT THAT. I worked as a disgruntled teen at my mom’s store, The Arrangement, in Portland, OR. She has been in business for 35 years! I grew up going to the gift shows in San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles, so I have known the process of owning a store since I was young. I sewed in high school, went to school for interior design, then went back to pattern-making school in San Francisco, and then went off to New York. In New York, I worked for Built by Wendy in her stores and as her Sales Director. I moved back to San Francisco in 2008 to open her 4th store. After it closed, I freelanced for a bit and then spotted an available space in Mill Valley, CA. I ended up opening Conifer in San Francisco instead and was open for four years. We closed the brick and mortar in 2014 and shifted our focus to our online store. I have always loved design, clothing, vintage, textiles, interior design, and supporting independent emerging designers. I’m drawn to creative people, what they make, and their processes.