A Better Debut

The days are getting shorter.  The rainy season is actually upon us.  The warmth must be savored --so why not share the body heat?  Move around, even when it gets dark all too early.  Music helps the movement, so we are told; forced festivity isn’t exactly our forte, so we call this our debut.  

On Friday, December 18th we will have an un-holiday party --we will debut ourselves along with an exhibition upon our walls of the work of neighbor, friend, and artist Tyler Eash.  Entitled "Waterfall, waterfall," the exhibit is only the beginning of Better's artistic inclinations, though it is a very strong start. There will be music to accompany whimsical wigs and opulent OSB paintings, and it will be good... and hopefully, a little bit warm.

Tyler Eash -  American Classic

Tyler Eash - American Classic

The event will run from Six to Whenever.  Bring a friend, a sweater, and a taste for Dumplings (The King is right around the corner for anyone feeling peckish that still carries cash) and make merry... or something. The mood will be bright, and the tunes dark. Perfect.

Tyler Eash - Constellation: to the Right

Tyler Eash - Constellation: to the Right

All Black Friday

When we decided to open a brick and mortar storefront, we wanted to showcase the work created by us and our friends, while also having a space to create our own work.  We dreamed of an open and inviting place where interested makers could come play --where craftspeople could ply their trades while making new friends alongside new works.

We simply needed a space of our own that we would readily share.

But then something wonderful --and unexpected --happened.  We didn’t account for the multitude of accomplished friends who would be so receptive to sharing their wares with us.  All in all, it’s a good problem to have: the tyranny of too many choices allows us to exercise the verb form of select.  With art, fashion and objects from an array of talented young creators, we are launching our online shop.

We encourage you to click through and acquaint yourself with (a number of) the options we have available.  You’ll have to act quickly, though; almost everything we stock is one of a kind or exceptionally limited in stock.

Girls (E)gon(e) Schiele

While we shoot in the back gallery, we have been working with local models and photographers. As we experiment, explore, and try things on for size, we’re getting increasingly obtuse, and very Schiele [and we have no regrets]. 

We invite others to come shoot in the Better; for Living gallery / studio to realize whatever aesthetic they wish to create.  The light is warm, the walls are clean, and the space is ready.

Model - Logan Link [Look]

Stylist - Danielle Gaito - Better [in house]

Photographer - Giffen Clark Ott - Better [in house]

Article No. Abroad

Hard work is… well, hard work is hard. It tires body and mind while constantly reminding one that the journey is hardly over –in fact it’s barely begun.  We hail the risk-taking entrepreneurs who spend every waking hour (and often dreaming ones, too) as our compatriots in frantic, though calculated, action.

Today we illuminate the hard work and accomplishments of our friends and collaborators at Article No. in their recent trip to Japan and China, where they work intimately with reputable production shops to create “elevated basics” that are sought after across the world, and worn by celebrities and sneaker-heads alike.

article number better for living

Hypebeast just featured Article No.’s clean, beautifully lit AW15 lookbook to overwhelming (but totally expected) excitement. Here on the Better Blog we are letting you in on the breakneck process going into building an effortlessly cool brand:



Article No. Abroad, as outlined by Ant de Padovane

article no. abroad

Day 1:  Arrived in Tokyo and went straight to our meetings, grabbed some drinks –this was our only real moment to chill, and it was more meeting and networking than relaxation.

Day 2:  Met with our distributor, who took us to all our top tier accounts to make intros. Was cool to see the shoes in store s and on mannequins, and the staff knew our faces. Big in Japan 😜

better for living article number

Day 3-8: China.  Every day for the next 5 days was get up at 6am, breakfast , then head to the factory for 14/15 hours to bang out work, finalize aw16 samples, visit the marketplace, concept and finalize materials and stories, trims and details, fix uppers patterns… Definitely all work and no play.

Back to Tokyo for a dinner with United Arrows / pre-Halloween party at Womb –then straight to the airport at 5am to LA.

Just another week in the world of one of the hottest new shoe labels: hard work done right.

All Work and No Play Makes You Better

When you work hard and do things with passion, long days go by quickly. 18 hour days are nothing to cringe at --they become the status quo. You start to wish you could be five of yourself at once, just to do all the things. Delegating isn’t an option when you are relentlessly meticulous –the only option is to work, and work well.

So we do. We work --with others who work as tirelessly and passionately as we do. From dedicated friends in the design field to creative collaborators in fashion, we surround ourselves with the inspired and industrious.

Doing it Ourselves, Together

Take the time necessary to do things right. Don’t rush. Never work anxiously, nor angrily –it shows in the final product. Resist the urge to compromise. Work well, whether alone or with others.  These are simple rules for creating, yet the hardest to follow.

Collaboration cannot be forced; it must be natural if it is to work well and convey quality.  Collective making, doing, and scheming are experiments in participation and reciprocity, this is why we are constantly seeking talented artisans to work with to make Better …well, better.  

We desire a balance –between artisan and artist, material and craft, whimsy and utility, being-there and becoming-something. Craftspeople, artists, artisans, and n’philes from all disciplines are invited and encouraged to approach us with either their ideas, aspirations, and plans for projects. We are excited by work.

Friends See Friends Naked

We are nothing if not products of process.  Nothing exists in static… everything is changing all of the time.  There is no perfect –no best –only better than before.  Ceaselessly self improving, we are cautious to show anything unfinished; however, we also know that nothing is finished until it is over...

...and we are just starting to grow.

In recognition of this beginning, Better is going to show our bones. Better; for Living is revealing itself to the public for the spectacle of the season: Halloween. Because nothing says scary like a black clad boutique… a skeletal select shop. So come see what’s under our black facade as we host an open house. It’s Better(:) Naked! This Friday, October 30th, 17-22 o’clock Friday. 3425 Balboa Street, SF CA 94121. You can come un/costumed. Also naked.

Do Better for Yourself

Through the act of making for ourselves and others, as well as appreciating those things made for us, we have come to believe that commodities invested –whether it is time, money, materials, or patience –for pieces made deliberately, constructed well, and accommodating of (ab)use are well worth it. Things done well take time and require work; we know this to be true. In this spirit, we stock limited release and custom wares that will work for you as much as you have worked for them.

It takes time to remodel, renovate, and reimagine. We welcome those who take that time.

In a culture of frantically fast and disposable materialism, we have grown weary. We have learned and lived an important truth: if you are to do something, do it right and without compromise; when you do, you have the privilege of living with your decision, rather than the burden of needing make another.

On Getting Better

better for living construction

Becoming Better doesn’t come easily; it’s an involved process that takes time, work, and prodigious planning. Better; for Living is a select shop that carries  unique art and objects that emphasize quality of wear and form. Collaborating with talented contemporary creators, Better; for Living facilitates the ever-changing environment of artisanship without the ego of the artist, focusing upon materiality over materialism.


Conceived of, designed, and built by Danielle Gaito and Giffen Clark Ott, Better is not simply a boutique, but an ever-changing exhibition of process –one that is meant to be shared.  We thrive upon creative collaboration –together we become Better. While we are firmly grounded in utility and quality of craft, Better is about balance, process, and a beauty that isn’t overwrought.



While we are under construction, we welcome you to come by 3425 Balboa Street, San Francisco to meet those working to make retail Better, and give us a follow at betterforliving.