Big cities mean tons of options, which unfortunately can also mean too many options when you’re pressed to find the best. So to share the best local makers in San Francisco, we’ve assembled the A-team of insiders: some of our favorite Krrb members and resident influencers with knowledge on where to go and what to pick up. Let’s meet the team!
Danielle Poff is the stylish wedding photographer and professional thrifter behind Hello Mrs., a trendy California lifestyle blog. Check out the site as well as her Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration! (DP)
Alicia Bucks is the designer and metalsmith behind Black Fawn Jewelry, a San Francisco-based retailer of American-sourced original goods. Find your new favorite baubles by perusing Alicia’s Instagram. (AB)
1. What locally made products do you use?
JT: The SF Bay Area is lucky to have some of the best local products out there. I use Juniper Ridge and In Foire for scents, Leaves and Flowers for tea, and Case for Making has been making art supplies which I’m obsessed with.
DP: Meghan Bo Designs, Arrow Jewelry, Wakened Apparel, Bubba Leather Worx.
SR: There is so much talent here in the Bay Area and so many makers to choose from. I am always rotating stock to keep up with fresh creations and local trends. From a seasonal perspective, the ethically-sourced butterfly and moth jewelry from Hart Variations and the cowry shell “sunnies” from Tres Mercedes are a Springtime fave. A lot of our work accentuates natural elements…plants, organic fabrics, crystals and natural beauty products. These are always on trend.
AB: Of all the locally made goods available in SF, locally roasted coffee beans are definitely my everyday staple. I don’t know how I’d get by without my French press and beans on hand in the mornings. There are more amazing Bay Area-based coffee roasters than I can count on both hands, but I have to stay loyal to my Outer Sunset neighborhood and suggest Trouble and Andytown.
2. If you want to give someone a gift that truly says “San Francisco” what do you get them?
JT: When I visit my family in NJ I usually hop over to Josey Baker and grab some bread. My grandmother loves the rye loaf.
DP: I think just any boho piece of jewelry is a perfect statement of the San Francisco eclectic style.
SR: Many boutiques here source right from the SF Bay area, so if you are looking for local flavor it is best to shop the smaller stores and simply ask the shop gal or guy to tell you more about the artisans. If its a place filled with brands you can find everywhere from Portland to Brooklyn you’re not going to catch the local vibes. At Concept Forty-Seven we carry the goods of 70+ local makers. A favorite for out-of-state visitors are the watercolor prints of San Francisco and Oakland houses by artist Pamela Baron. Pam lives less than a mile away and works in the store sometimes, you can’t get anymore local than that.
AB: I can’t think of anything more San Francisco than a bottle of Fernet. It’s not technically made in SF, but it might as well be. If you’re unfamiliar, stop into any bar in SF and ask for one (ginger back recommended).
3. Where do you go to discover local makers?
JT: West Coast Craft is a great place to scout out local makers. I find a lot of the items I carry at my shop at WCC.
DP: On social media, mostly through Instagram.
SR: Fairs and festivals are great places to find local makers. Seasonal events like Patchwork, Renegade and West Coast Craft have events in San Francisco and Oakland with hundreds of artists and artisans, it’s almost overwhelming!
AB: We’re lucky enough to have what feels like a constant stream of craft fairs and indie markets. I love to browse the booths and meet the artists behind their crafts. Otherwise, there are a bunch of great shops nearby with an emphasis on locally made products, such as Gravel & Gold, Foggy Notion, Rare Device, Redemption, 3 Fish Studios, and General Store, to name a few.
4. We tend to find out about new local makers via social media; are there any feeds you follow that showcase local makers? Let us know so we can follow along!
JT: Freund von Freunden is an amazing place that connects makers and artists all over the world. I usually keep my eye on their blog for featured local places.
SR: I follow lots of individual creatives and other shops from around the world. It’s hard to narrow it down to a few.
AB: Not as many as I’d like, actually! SFetsy shares the work of Bay Area-based Etsy sellers, but other than that I haven’t found many San Francisco-specific accounts showcasing local makers. Sometimes I browse the #madeinsf tag on Instagram, but I hope to discover more curated feeds soon!
5. Living in a major city can leave you overwhelmed with shopping options- are there any mom and pop stores you’ve become loyal to rather than sticking to “the big guys?”
JT: Luckily we have mom and pop shops to cover everything from groceries (Guss’s Market), art supplies (Case for Making), letterpress printing (The Aesthetic Union), Film (Castro Theatre), and much more.
DP: I don’t live in actual SF, I live in the suburb Livermore. Some local stores I love are Drift Co., Prim Boutique, and Ella J Boutique in the East Bay, Blackwater (down in San Luis Obispo where I used to live), and also 12th Tribe.
SR: There are so many smaller stores to support in San Francisco and
Oakland. We are similar but each have our own flavor based on our individual personalities, backgrounds, and interests. That is what makes shopping small such a fun and unique experience, plus you come away with goods that are special to a place and made with love by people like you and me. I never intended on having a brick and mortar store. I initially sought my location as a production space for my natural beauty brand, Beija-Flor Naturals. What initially started as an organic beauty-focused concept store (hence the name “Concept Forty-Seven”) evolved into a curated shopping experience of quality local goods. Every small boutique owner has a similar story of how their space evolved and we are all STILL evolving! That’s the fun of supporting small retailers and makers versus generic big box chains, you are literally funding the dreams and creative ambitions of innovators and creators.
AB: My favorite is a tiny gift shop on Valencia called Currents. It seems like they may have just re-opened after a lease issue (many small businesses are being priced out of that area especially), but I’m hoping they’ll be able to stick around for another 15 years. They carry unique home goods, fragrances, and other gifts; they wrap everything for you in beautiful Japanese paper; and their sweet dog is usually lounging around the shop. Definitely show them some love next time you’re in the Mission.
6. Every city tends to have a different style in terms of design or style – what local designer would you say embodies the overall fashion sense of San Francisco?
JT: I would say OZMA for women and Tailor Stitch for men embodies fashion for San Francisco.
DP: This isn’t everyday style related, but being a wedding photographer, I adore Sarah Seven. Her wedding designs really capture boho meets classic elegance.
SR: As I mentioned, many of the designers and makers here utilize natural elements for their creations. Here in the Bay Area we are surrounded by the natural beauty of forest, mountains, beaches…so it makes sense! When I opened Concept Forty-Seven, this was very much in line with Beija-Flor Naturals, making San Francisco a perfect match for my creative businesses.
AB: That one’s a little tough for me, actually. People don’t seem to dress up much in SF compared to other big cities, and while I own lots of locally made jewelry (handmade by myself and friends nearby), and enjoy the work of many local artists in other mediums, I can’t say that I’m familiar with tons of SF-based fashion designers. One that does come to mind, though, is Benny Gold. They make cool, casual street wear with an emphasis on quality craftsmanship and a DIY work ethic. Totally in tune with the spirit of San Francisco. I’d love to see more local clothing lines pop up with similar values.