Sausalito is Marin’s leading tourist-oriented retail destination. While towns like Tiburon and Mill Valley have one or two stores that cater to visitors, the downtown Sausalito area is bursting at the seams with a cornucopia of gift shops, leisurewear boutiques and art galleries.
Walking around Sausalito, you can’t help but be impressed by the sheer variety of merchandise that people must feel compelled to purchase while on their vacations. Sausalito caters to every taste, from the arty (retro sports photographs at the Mark Reuben Gallery) to the artsy (glass guitar sculptures at Petris Gallery) and the artistic (porcelain figurines, everywhere). And while many of the goods on offer can be generously described as hideous, you have to admire the manner in which they are displayed: Sausalito provides an excellent lesson in the art of shop window dressing.
In order to grab the attention of the wandering tourist, it seems the most important tactic is to make eye contact. To do this you will need a multitude of assistants, preferably small, cute, humorous or simply gorgeous. Arrange these assistants in your shop widow in small coordinated groups and in no time the store will be swamped by Germans, Canadians, Taiwanese and the like.
Today’s photo essay pays tribute to the window display artists of Sausalito, and the little armies of people, creatures and things that stare back at you from inside almost every store.