What kind of shopper are you? Are you the devout local-only shopper, scouring pop-up sales and stores to find the latest artisan-made marvel? Or do you prefer to click the evening away at your computer, making purchases for your home and wardrobe while in your sweats and fuzzy socks?
According to Ferron Salniker of Bay Area Made, you don’t have to choose -you can be both! Salniker and her collaborator, furniture-maker Jason Lees, have created an internet hub for shoppers to find Bay Area artisans. It’s called bayareamade.us and is (according to this shopping writer) a feast for eyes wandering the internet looking for local style.
On Saturday, December 1, Bay Area Made will host a pop-up holiday market in Sonoma County’s own retail-slash-maker heaven, The Barlow in Sebastopol. The sale will feature numerous creations along with a chance for a little face-time with the artisans.
Salniker, who began this type of work as the first employee of San Francisco Made, says she’s always been drawn to products that “have a story behind them.” Such finds, she says, “fill the room in a different way for me.”
Fortunately for Salniker and those with a similar yearning for well-made products, locally made is trending in a serious way.
Salniker says we’re lucky to have so many artists in the Bay Area, but adds that in order for makers to sustain themselves, they need “a lot of resources and they need shoppers to find the value in shopping locally.”
“We have a skewed perspective of what things cost,” says Salniker, “because of fast fashion and fast food.” The $5 t-shirt, she says, has an impact on the laborer or the environment. She adds that our dollars go farther when they contribute to the local economy, especially in manufacturing, which often pays more than retail or food service.
Salniker praises the passion the Bay Area Made artists put into their work. “They’re changing our culture,” she says, “And we are, too, every time we shop locally made or buy from a local artist—we’re making a decision about what we value.”
The Bay Area Made Holiday Market at The Barlow on December 1 will feature some 40+ vendors, including fashion designers Ginger and Eight + Sand, jewelry by Zelma Rose and MGG Studio, home goods from Alice Tacheny Design and Woven Grey, culinary totes from Aplat and Millie Lottie and drinks from Spirit Works Distillery, Pax Wines, Woodfour Brewing and Golden State Cider.
Bay Area Made Holiday Sale, Saturday, December 1, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., The Barlow Event Venue, 6770 McKinley St., Suite 100, Sebastopol. For more information, visit bayareamade.us