Showroom Crush: Galit Chay of BaBooAuthor:Michelle Konstantinovsky
1. What was the inspiration for starting BaBoo?
BaBoo is inspired by a decided interior taste that represents a well traveled, affluent lifestyle that San Francisco, is (was) really missing. The world style stayed in New York City (or maybe Los Angeles, and SF was always going too far with the locality — I felt it was too narrow for me. But, San Francisco and the Bay Area are full of individuals who have a true appreciation of art and style, so I knew it was a perfect place to bring BaBoo. We are based on handcrafted goods and specialty pieces, with a strong connection to the maker/designer and his/her’s origin. The aim was to create an environment and atmosphere of a home away from home that’s outside of the mainstream but still “can-do,” and that inspires all the senses — sight: special and whimsical, smell: special home fragrances, taste: we always have complementary chocolates from all over the world, touch: the natural materials, and sound: world music at the shop.
2. What is the process for finding unique and exclusive pieces for the store?
Travel, lots of travel (which I love very much), picking beauties that catch my eye, purchasing, contacting the designer (most of the time meeting him/her) and starting to work. I rarely go to tradeshows.
3. Why is it so important for you to implement strict environmentally friendly standards?
We are part of the environment and our products should be too.
4. What are some of your favorite recent finds and what makes them so special?
Our new swing by svvving, Poland is the most exciting recently. This special swing for adults takes us back to childhood without feeling apologetic about it, and it’s indoor. It’s so well crafted, handmade, and very specific in 19 different colors/materials. They really love their product and don’t want to transfer it to mass production or high volume, and we appreciate it.
While visiting Tokyo, Japan. I found few products that I loved ( lots of appreciation for the Japanese design) one of them was a very well crafted coasters from special linen with minimalist decoration by TomoTake. It took me a year+ to get any reaction from them to my desire to present them here…but finally we did, and recently I added them to our collection.
Now, after visiting Italy this April, I found this exquisite home fragrances local maker, with a wonderful scents, that I am trying to bring over — Essenzialmente Laura.
5. What are some of your favorite travel destinations and why?
Personally, with my family, I love, love, love an islands/beach vacation (doing nothing all day) — Cat Island, Bahamas, and the Islands in Thailand.
But when I travel and work, which I do at least twice a year, then it’s:
Rome and Milan, Italy
Tel Aviv, Israel
New York, US ( of course!!!!)
And Charleston, South Carolina
Hoping to visit soon: Seoul and Dublin, Ireland.
6. What is a particular art piece in your own home that holds a lot of meaning to you?
I have two drawings of urban Tel Aviv, Israel (my hometown) that combine the old and new of my roots – always connecting me to my natural habitat — and two small ceramic faces that I found in a very small village in Scotland in 2003. I keep them very safe, since I love them so much, and can’t find the artist, yet.
7. What is your idea of a perfect Sunday?
My Family, my dogs, relaxing at home, and planning the next trip.
8. Salty or sweet?
9. Ocean or mountains?
Ocean, Beach, Sea!
9. Netflix or night out?
10. Pancakes or waffles?
11. Punk rock or hip hop?
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