I like furniture, art and people.
For the past six years, I've been a small business owner of an eclectic furniture, art and gift shop in San Francisco: Poetica Art and Antiques. It's been such a great experience working with my fellow merchants on Sacramento St. and meeting neighbors in Presidio Heights and our surrounding neighborhoods. On occasion, I share why I'm so energized when I help others - especially in the realm of health, healing and home. This is not required reading - but if you want to know more please read on!
My family background:
My father is 2nd generation Japanese American (Nisei.) He had 3 siblings and is from Kent, Washington. My mother is from a family of 12. She was born and raised in a small town Savannah, Tennessee. My mother and her sister Mary left Savannah as young women and moved to Oklahoma City. My parents met when my dad, a young Army lieutenant was stationed at Fort Sills, OK. He met my mom at a drive-in restaurant. Three weeks later they got married. They just celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary.
Our family moved about every four years when I was growing up. My mother is a creative person who enjoys working on her home and making things. When we moved she always encouraged me to make my room special - to make it my own.
I was one of those kids who didn't know exactly what I wanted to do as a career or where I wanted to go to college when I was a senior in high school. What I did know: I loved working with interesting and knowledgeable people (women especially) and I was drawn to people who loved their work. I was a sensitive person and academics were not my strongest suit. I worked during the school year and summers trying on different part time jobs: bistro, flower shop, antique store, interior design studio, art gallery and working with local nonprofits. I started school at U.T. Arlington, transfered to DeAnza College in Cupertino and then transferred to U.C.S.C. where I graduated with a B.A. in Art History (Porter College 93'.) I continued to work in the fields of retail furniture and art and volunteered to community causes as I was able.
Between 1994 and 2010 I worked with Kate Strasburg and Bay Area graphic designer and teacher, Sam Smidt. Our mission was to create comforting and meaningful environments for patients, family members, staff of hospice, palliative care centers and hospitals. Kate and I were co-directors and Sam came on board originally to help us with our business cards. Soon after meeting with Sam he became integral to the work. - his talent with graphic design became the vessel - he would hand design each page.
We created resource newsletters that became their own phenomenon. All in all 50 individual issues were made over 10 years. They continue to help people and thankfully Kate Strasburg continues to send them out to anyone who requests them. The newsletters are rich in meaningful, content and creativity; each issue shares stories acknowledging the suffering encountered in life and illness and inspiring stories of how people have dealt with the toughest times in life - in the simplest of ways. You can find the website and materials at this address: healingenvironments.com.
Maitri and the Jefferson Award:
In 2006, I received a Jefferson Award for the design and furniture contributions I made to Maitri Compassionate Care in S.F (through my work at Healing Environments.) The work and care happening within this facility taught me so much - far beyond design and furniture it boiled down to the importance of compassion and care. Not letting people die alone was the original mission. Over the years the mission has expanded to help make Maitri 's services and housing available for people who get stronger and live longer. Remarkable and rewarding experiences during this time helped shape who I am today. Here is Maitri's website.
In 2011, I opened this store. I was in a career transition post-Healing Environments and post-Interim Executive Director of Maitri. My son was in 6th grade and commented to me that he appreciated the good work I was doing but he didn't get to see me as much. I move through life encouraging people I meet to LIVE. LIFE. NOW. I decided to heed my own advice and take a leap of faith by starting my own business. Having a 'brick and mortar' shop in a charming neighborhood in a great city is pretty awesome.
I'm committed to community volunteering for special projects and causes. I've served on boards and volunteered for the past 20 years continuously. Groups and organizations include: Presidio Heights Neighborhood Association (PHAN), Sacramento Street Merchants Assoc., NERT- (Earthquake Emergency Preparedness), a member of the SFPD Richmond Police Station Community Advisory Board (CPAB) plus I had a 10 year role with the Maitri Board of Directors. My personal agenda is to create a safe, prosperous, connected commercial district and strengthen our community.
Today, I'm a proud mom of a senior in high school. And dog mom to Huckleberry aka "Huck." Huckleberry is a six year old Shih-poo known for his adorable underbite. Don't underestimate him - he's our local security guard, neighborhood ambassador and shop dog all in one. He puts people at ease and has frequent visitors in human and dog form throughout the week.
If you have a special request please let me know. Call, email or stop by!
Traci Teraoka Owner Poetica Art and Antiques