I arrived on a Thursday night to my old home, San Francisco. The 7x7 miles by the bay that everyone has an opinion about. Few are from San Francisco and those that are aren't always able to stay. Many pass through and ride the waves that go in and out, like the freezing tide at Ocean Beach.
My time in the city was unique--I started out working in nightlife, taught art classes, wrote articles for monayyy, and eventually helped create a startup fashion company. I lived above a wine shop, lived above a vintage boutique, lived above a pop-up French restaurant and had uber cool friends in the clubs, sew shops, coffee shops. Little by little I met the friends that will last forever. (Ironically, when I moved to DC I made friends that then went on to move to SF - funny, huh?)
Some of my friends in the Bay Area have since moved away, like me, and some have stayed. While I was in town I stopped off to visit a few that have since moved into some really amazing studio spaces to continue working on their craft. Bayview, Glen Park, Oakland--I was all over. It was really, really great to catch up with people that continue to inspire me even though they are on the other side of the country.
I've spent countless hours in Clinton Park's old location in the heart of the mission and was beyond thrilled to visit Steven and his team at their new spot at Yosemite Place. Steven is one of those people that sees right to the soul--and if you click you really click. He's a true craftsman that will teach anyone that is willing to learn and he taught me a lot about patternmaking, jeans making (ok, I've only done that once), rivets, flatlock stitching, constructing a garment, and of course, denim denim denim. He makes beautiful things, and helps other people make beautiful things. His new space is filled with natural light and cones of thick thread, with stacks of gorgeous Japanese flannels and twills just waiting to be handled. I was in heaven.
Next I got to visit Rachel at InYo. We originally met at Clinton Park and bonded over a desire to create something people really want. People really want her InYo leggings! It's been really cool to see her growth over the past year. Despite the headaches that come along with clothing production, Rachel is the most up-beat, optimistic person I know. I can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve next...
This is Yosemite Place, it is huge. It houses artists, designers, developers, makers...there's a whole slew of people doing creative things in this place. The building is very industrial and I especially loved the concrete floors and the way the light flooded in through the loading dock. Oh loading docks, have I spent some time with you! (that was at the clothing company). Each floor is like a little maze. Follow the right path and you'll find something really interesting.
Across the street is a Trouble Coffee. Do not take pictures inside. Do linger and have a three hour conversation with the Barista.
I also got to catch up with Diana of DDCC, an active wear and lifestyle brand that creates clothes that will actually inspire you to work out. She gave me advice on an application I was working on and we talked about our past, our present and our futures. I really enjoy her outlook on life and it's always a pleasure to hang.
The next day I was able to spend some time with another friend, Lirany of Pretty Little Thing. Lirany creates stylish, whimsical jewelry for the artist at heart. She's one of my favorite people because she embodies everything that is great about the West Coast AND the East Coast. We had a deep conversation about life and agreed on a new year's resolution: this is the year of YOU. That means YOU. Go do it - whatever it is you want to do - your way.
Why all this Bay Area stuff? Because I love NorCal! While DC is where I live and hope to grow with a community of creatives, you can never have too many people in your life that inspire you to keep doing what you do.