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Etxe (ech-ay) curates experiences that enlighten the soul and deepen human connection. This blog shares our adventures, focused on place, culture, community and creativity. 

Contact us if you are in need of: Curatorial Services, Creative Direction, Community Engagement, Creative Placemaking, Pop-Ups or Experience Design. We can also connect you to the creative makers/doers/shakers in Washington DC and beyond. 

Gift Local for a Local: San Francisco, Bay Area

Local Gift Guide San Francisco Alright, it is holiday season. Which means everyone is making their gift guides. I personally think the best gift is time spent with the people you love--but here's a gift guide I spent time making for you.

Everything on this list is made by local designers, found in local stores, and/or made in SF/Oakland. Obviously buying local is better, but there is the question of where to buy. Online? In store? Direct from designer? The fact is, buying direct from the designer gives the designer the biggest cut (then there's the issue of who is actually doing the labor, so I'll just assume every designer is either making it herself or paying fair wages).

On the other hand, it is extremely community-building to actually go into your local store and buy the gift. Most designers are pricing their direct-to-consumer similar to the retail price, so everyone still basically gets the same kind of cut, but you are also supporting the local shop owner's business. Also, when you buy through the local store, the shop owner knows people want that designer's work, which means more exposure and more likely the store owner will buy product wholesale and not just sell on consignment. So, your choice.

I had a freak out moment yesterday when the jacket I wanted to buy from the small gift store across the street from my house said Made in China. After much deliberation, putting it on hold, looking around for similar things at local stores, and coming back, I bought it knowing at least some of my money will go to the local shop and designer. It's hard to vote with your money, but we have to do it. There are few well-made, locally made, fairly paid labor-made, clothing companies with interesting garments for women in SF...but that's another story. Which is why there are no clothes on the list--also, no one wants to gift the wrong size and it's worse receiving the wrong size.

Alright, enough economics and chit chat, here are the goods:

Now, where to buy is also a choice.

1. Nail polish is important. How can you show up on New Year's Eve not wearing Floss Gloss' Selena Corpus Crystalina? Buy it at Curator (which also does made well-made, interesting clothing, so shop for yourself, too). $8

2 & 3. These Flotsam & Jetsam Studs in sterling silver and this Snake Band in 18K yellow gold by Sarah Swell are just amazing. $300, $675

4. Ooops--made in England...but for the (succulent) plant lovers out there, this Nickel Mister is perfect. Buy it at Paxton Gate. $30

5. This Horizontal Bar Necklace by Pretty Little Thing Jewelry will go with anything in her wardrobe, and she'll know you have good taste! $68

6. Everyone needs a Carissa Potter San Francisco Map. Done. $20

7. What's better than one issue of ZYZZYVA? A year subscription! $40

8. I don't care if you ride the Google bus, hate the Google bus, or don't know what the Google bus is (which probably means you don't live in San Francisco), Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas by Rebecca Solnit is gold. She also just came out with Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas. Buy both at Adobe Books. $27

9. The Weekend Almanac is perfect for cozy winter weekends. Buy at Press Works on Paper. $15

10. Who would not be ecstatic to open this on Christmas day? This Tango in the Night necklace by Megan Stacy of Salty Fox right here, in the city. $298

11. This is the kind of perfume you can give without anyone thinking you thought they were stinky. Bourbon All-Natural Perfume by  L'Aromatica Perfume. $30

12. The San Francisco Mini Wallet is the only way to carry that darn Clipper Card. Or your ID. Or your Sidewalk Juice frequent juice drinker card. Buy at The Parish Trust. Yes, this is my thing--and love it. If you keep buying them, I can make more in different colors/hides! $80

13. Just make sure her ears are pierced before you wrap these gorgeous Aurora earrings by Marisa Haskell. $98