They might not be in the music industry, but the Mathews family – the driving force behind the massive, brilliantly re-envisioned adaptation of the Mill Valley Lumber Yard starting in 2012 – knows a hit when they see one.
The latest example of that happened in the past few months, when their daughter Macey Mathews, having been a regular shopper at the ultra-creative Tantrum retail shop on Clement Street in San Francisco’s Inner Richmond district, popped in on owners Amanda and Richard Weld to ask them if they’d be interested in opening a location at the Lumber Yard.
The Weld’s had not considered that as an option, particularly because their Tantrum shop kept them plenty busy. And as with many retail shops that were forced to completely reconfigure their sales channels during the worst of the pandemic – and even since then – their digital sales have been robust and dependable.
Despite that, their visit to check out the Mathews family’s vision changed their calibration.
“We’ve gotten solicitations from malls and the like and it never seemed like something that would be a good fit for us,” Amanda Weld says.
The Welds say that they were taken by the craftsmanship of what the Mathews’ had created, transforming those Lumber Co. buildings straddling the creek at 129 Miller.
“Walking around the property, you could feel the incredible care, the sound of the huge lumber trucks rolling through the old yard. “It almost feels as if Matt and his team built the place from scratch – it’s incredible,” Richard Weld says.
Tantrum opened at MVLY two months ago, taking over the space formerly occupied by Once Around, longtime Mill Valley resident Louise Dockstader’s go-to hub for all manner of DIY projects, which she bought Once Around from original owner Julie Stanton on Miller Ave. and had reopened it at 75 Throckmorton Ave. in November 2016.
So what makes Tantrum, the latest thrilling infusion of energy at MVLY, so unique?
Not surprisingly, it’s the duo who created it.
The north star for Amanda and Richard Weld is a combination of sophisticated and timeless playfulness, which has made their shop as much fun for grownups as for their children.
The couple’s rare combination of sophisticated style and timeless playfulness centers on the 1950s summer carnivals – the big top of yore, bright colors and bold graphics.
The Welds say that Tantrum’s unique character stems from a rare marriage of classic, mid-century style with the best of today’s handmade toys, all curated within the theme of a lively, old fashioned circus.
The product line spans well beyond the U.S., with patrons finding Danish mice, French dolls, German lights and organic threads, letter pressed cards, art supplies, party supplies and an array of children’s books. Weld wanted the shop to mirror her children’s circus themed birthday parties.
The Weld’s are both natives of Charleston, having met in high school and traveled in the same social circles. They went their separate ways in college but eventually returned to Charleston. Along the way, Amanda did children’s portraits and went to Savannah College of Art & Design as an illustration major, opening her first store in 2001. Richard has performed for years in a number of successful bands, and continues to do so. His band is called Commoner.
They moved to the Bay Area in 2008. Amanda and Richard run the stores, bringing a sense of joy and community.
There’s plenty more to learn about this incredibly fun, exciting space!
Here’s just a small list of the creative categories that Tantrum’s check: holidays, plush toys, dolls and dollhouses, puzzles and games, puzzles & games, arts, crafts & science, putty, books, clocks, rattles, lovies, kids’ accessories, party supplies, stationery, cards for every occasion, housewares, jewelry, stickers, holidays gifts and much more – including Tantrum loot and gift cards.