Billowby.com, a mail-order retailer of vaporizers and other smoking accessories, is currently moving into 514 Frederick, a storefront formerly occupied by Pitch Salon. According to Esther LeNoir, the company’s creative director, Billowby plans to use the space as an office and photo studio for five to eight employees.
“We’re using the downstairs area as our creative shoot space to create how-to videos and reviews of our products, so the fact that it’s soundproofed is really nice,” said LeNoir. Currently, employees are painting before laying a new hardwood floor and adding lighting fixtures.
Based in San Francisco, Billowby has been in business for about five months, shipping orders from a fulfillment center in Los Angeles. "Billowby isn’t like a traditional head shop,” said LeNoir. “Our online presence has a really clear interface, and we also have a leg of our company that’s going to be more informative about our products.”
LeNoir said she and CEO David Matthews chose the location because it’s close to their apartment. “We live in the Cole Valley/Upper Haight neighborhood, so we wanted to stay close to this area. We just love the spot, and we fell in love with this space. It still has a quirky charm to that we’re looking to restore.”
LeNoir is transforming Billowby’s front window into an employee lounge. “We’re going to add a built-in couch and a nook space where people can read or work during the day,”she said.
Curtis Loomey, owner of Pitch Salon, said the new tenant is making optimal use of his old location. “I think office space will be good, since no one has to know it’s there.” Since moving to 18th & Mission, his salon has seen a significant increase in walk-in customers. “We got a lot of Cole Valley and not Haight Street people, who would probably prefer a business like that," said Loomey.