Founder: Lorn Dittfield
Opening Date: October 2002
Address: 555 Hayes Street in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood
Phone: (415) 701-7767
What’s It All About: After a career in advertising, founder Lorn Dittfeld realized that "furniture and interior design were my preoccupation, and I wanted to make them my occupation." He opened Propeller to focus on emerging North American artists, designers and manufacturers, dedicated to the idea of moving design forward. The name is deeply symbolic as well. "As an object, a propellor is a perfect example of form following function, and yet they’re absolutely gorgeous examples of shape and form in design," says Dittfeld. "It’s incredibly timeless as well—propellers now look the same as they did a century ago."
Philosophy: "We focus on, first and foremost, smaller and more independent designers. I begun to use the phrase, ‘they’re local to somewhere,’ to describe the designers we carry. A company like IZM, based in Canada, it’s a small shop that has a personal signature. Furniture designed and built by someone with a stake in your happiness."
Best Question a Customer Has Asked in the Last Month: "There are a lot of questions, so I encourage people to speak their minds."
View our slideshow to see some of the store’s favorite pieces.
During the course of his career writing about music and design, Patrick Sisson has made Stefan Sagmeister late for a date and was scolded by Gil Scott-Heron for asking too many questions. His work has appeared in Pitchfork, Nothing Major, Wax Poetics, Stop Smiling and Chicago Magazine.