If you ever find yourself cruising on the Mission, you need to visit 31 RAX, a unique vintage-thrift shop/ creative studio space for the arts.
For owner Stephanie Madrinan, her passion for the arts started at an early age. A singer and a dancer from the time she was five, she used to cut up clothes and drapes to create costumes for her performances. “My music came first, the clothes came along with it.”
She graduated from the Notre Dame de Namur University in business management/ entrepreneurship, and then got a job in tech support for an engineering company. “I didn’t fit. It didn’t feel right.” It was a blessing in disguise when she got laid off, and decided to throw herself into the entertainment industry.
She moved to LA, enrolled in a music and dance company, and started styling her fellow dancers with the vintage and thrifted clothes she had collected. Her connections in the industry eventually led her to coordinate booking and events for Outkast, 112, and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
It was at a booking event for Big Boy when she had her epiphany. “We were at the Shoreline Amphitheater with the band and his management team, and that is the first time that I said I’m going to open my own store”.
“I want to do something different. I wanted to create a space to not only sell clothes, but also a multimedia space; I can’t do that anywhere else , so I’m going to create it myself.”
And that’s what she did… She wrote a business plan, found investors, secured a space, and within two weeks 31 RAX was born.
Getting the store off the ground was no easy feat, but being in the event industry for so long meant that she had a lot of people to help promote her store. “ I started doing events. I did speed dating, bingo, open mic nights, and that’s what got people in the door. My friends really help put 31 RAX on the map.”
And with a store filled with each piece personally handpicked by Stephanie, its hard not to find the appeal of 31 RAX “[When I pick clothes,] I don’t pick by size or what I need. I pick by what pops, is the fabric good. If I were on stage, what can I wear so that the person in the back of the audience can see me.”
Nine months later, her “baby” is going strong and expanding. With several local media outlets praising Stephanie for her unique vision, and it’s not stopping here. Stephanie plans to start altering and reconstructing vintage as well as offer styling services. She is also partnering up with local business in the community to host several events.
This July 21tst 31 RAX will be hosting Common Ground: A Space to Jam a reggae music and fashion event at the Delluva Café, and on July 26th 31 RAX will be participating in DAMSF, a multimedia event, at the DNA Lounge.
“I feel that this community can be something and I am here to flourish this community. The story that I have, I want to be able to help people. Inspire others to do what they want to do. Nowadays every job is temporary, so why not just do what you love. The store is drawing in a lot of like minded people who are also aspiring to do things within their own element. We can create a community that just does something different.”
So if you need a space to create your latest project, or just need a new shirt, head over to 31 RAX.
For more information for on 31 RAX or any of the events follow 31 RAX on twitter @31RAX , or email Steph at info@31RAX.com or just stop by at 3309 Mission Street SF, 94110.