Succulence is a creative partnership between Ken and Amy Shelf and the rest of the world. Many people, past and present, have contributed to shaping the store into its current form, and many more people will hopefully continue to shape it into something that is always growing and changing.
Succulence was born when the Shelves (Ken and Amy) were shepherding their video store, Four Star Video, into eternity and wondering how to fill their space at 402 Cortland. Their good friend and mentor, Darcy Lee (of the wonderful neighborhood store, Heartfelt suggested they sell succulent plants in their back patio. After Amy came up with the idea to name the store after the richness of life, their philosophy collided with their venture to form succulence: life and garden.
Ken is the lead cultivator at Succulence. Ken’s plant art began decades ago with creative vegetable gardening and continues with his exploration of the disintegration and reintegration of nature with itself. In his endless quest for interesting planting vessels, he has planted teapots, popcorn poppers, electrical boxes, watering cans, shoes, bicycle rims, bird-feeders, sea shells, grain mill belts, coal cans, potato and onion baskets, and a metal Hoosier flour bin for his wife’s 40th birthday. Ken also plays drums, dances and howls in the moonlight.
Amy Shelf is an artist, a singer (with Conspiracy of Venus), a collagist, a mom, a lawyer, a pickler, a jammer and many other things. She spends her work days building estate plans, and her nights are spent working on projects and developing the vision for Succulence. Utilizing resources is very important to her, and to that end she keeps the business as reality-based as possible.
Ken and Amy have lived in Bernal Heights since the late 90’s and are raising their two kids here as well.