As soon as my aunt Chris, Sparrow (my dog), and I set foot in Wonderland SF, we were greeted warmly by the vibrant proprietress Irene Hernandez-Feiks. Within five seconds of meeting Irene (pronounced “i-ree-ne”), I was completely enamored with her and her long red hair with platinum blonde bangs.
Pretty much as soon as we walked in to her Mission district store, she began pulling unique and beautiful items off the crowded racks. Leather harness dresses by Camelia Skikos; a soft, light backless sweater dress by Miranda Caroligne, a bright orange blazer by BLVD, several chunky rings by Adina Mills Design House and two necklaces (one large shark tooth — better than Givenchy’s we think — and a large crystal on a thick gold chain) made by Irene, herself, all went immediately into our yes pile.
Wonderland SF houses everything — from clothing to jewelry to pieces of art — all made by local designers! Every inch of the store is filled with fabulous clothes, jewelry, and paintings, cool gifts, and men’s apparel, too.
And nothing is break-the-bank expensive, although a lot of the clothes and jewelry look like they came straight off a couture runway.
Irene is so passionate about supporting local artists that she has been putting on a massive annual event called Chillin, which happens this year on June 15. The sole purpose of the event is to showcase local artists’ and designers’ work, she told us.
Irene started Chillin 15 years ago, and after producing the event for 12 years she decided to open her own boutique, which would only sell the work of local designers. Thus the birth of Wonderland SF.
After several long hours of playing dress-up in the store with Irene (and Sparrow, as Wonderland is a dog-friendly store), we left with several large bags filled with treats and treasures. Because WonderlandSF supports so many local designers, the inventory turns over quickly. We’re already planning our next trip to Wonderland, and you should too.