Love is in the urban air

The amount of talent in this city is mind-blowing. And nowhere is this more evident than here — a vibrant gathering of local artists and designers.


Several times a year, the Urban Air Market brings together local talent in the San Francisco Bay Area to showcase and sell their wares and promote all the really cool, responsible, and sustainable stuff they’re doing.

This time, it was located at a historic shipyard right in my hood. I had to check it out.


And I’m glad I did. After a leisurely and delicious brunch at Serpentine Restaurant (you must try the buckwheat pancakes – they even left my brutally honest Asian mother speechless), we made our way to the historic shipyard that served as an idyllic spot for the event.

We were greeted by a row of foodie-worthy trucks from Off the Grid that made my belly churn even after my brunch gluttony just moments before, as well as information on the development plans for Pier 70 (Note: I’m not entirely opposed to development. I’m definitely opposed to over development. There is a focus on highlighting the historic significance of the location, preserving its bones, and keeping it low-key. It’s still early, but I’m curious to see how it unfolds).

Aside from its great waterfront location, the rustic ambiance was perfect to bring just the right amount of San Francisco nostalgia to shoppers who came from as far away as Los Angeles.


Although most of the merchandise consisted of jewelry and clothing, there were a few home decor items worthy of mention. The first thing that caught my eye?


It’s made from milk containers. You know, the kind you find in your fridge and after consuming, toss into the recycling bin without knowing what happens to it in its afterlife.


The Workshop Residence hosts approximately 8 artists a year to produce incredibly beautiful and affordable pieces that explore the use of cutting edge, sustainable materials and inventive techniques.

They provide artists with a large studio/workshop, an adjacent apartment, living stipend, production budget, and a dedicated creative and logistical staff to facilitate their project. Not too shabby.

The recycled lamp project is by artist Agelio Batle and his family. Batle is a former biologist who exhibits in galleries and museums across the country, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. His entire family is in residence this summer to create stunning pieces like the milk container lamp. Agelio himself wasn’t at the booth, but his sons proudly represented.

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Moving right along…..those of you who know me personally will know how crazy I am about anything related to my dog. Naturally, these stood out.


Drip Module is a design incubator in San Francisco that was founded by former architects. I love the fact that they are aiming to bring together artists to promote local business and provide functional and beautiful designs for the home. The founders were inspired by the soothing aesthetics of frozen water droplets, hence, the name Drip Module.

What’s really cool is that their products are typically made with innovative techniques like laser cutting, 3D printing, and injection molding.

I’m digging the simplicity of these dishes.


Most of the merchants are clothing and jewelry designers, but there are a few that toy with home decor as well.


Hallie Gray is the owner of Graymarket. Working from her studio in Berkeley, Hallie collaborates with artists all over the world to bring beautifully designed textiles to her customers’ homes and closets. I’m in love with this llama decorative pillow.

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Currently, Hallie is working with a block-printer in Jaipur, India, an embroidery cooperative in Mumbai, India and an organization in rural Peru that helps create a market for the woven woolen products of local women weavers. She is committed to working only with cooperatives that pay their skilled workers fairly.


I’m also a big fan of Rebecca Saylor’s shop, Oodle Ba Doodle. Aside from the fact that I can’t stop saying the name, I find her merchandise over-the-top cute and whimsical, with just the right amount of quirky.


Best of all, she’s eco-friendly. She sews her pieces in her San Francisco studio with luxury fabrics reclaimed from the San Francisco Design Center. This is what hipster owls look like.


Cuteness abounds everywhere. Baby, you’re a star.

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The thing I love most about Rebecca is the fact that she is inspired by the women in her family (hot alert: girl power!). Being that my mom is the biggest artistic inspiration in my life, I’m always happy to meet others who are as equally inspired by their foremothers. Rebecca’s grandmother was a prolific quilter, and her mom was a tailor who, like my mom, was able to replicate any piece of clothing she would see at a shop while giving it her own twist.

I left the market feeling inspired and fulfilled in the idea that my city is filled with incredibly talented artists who are driven by their desire to explore their crazy imaginations through their designs and share them with the world.

Don’t fret if you missed it. You can always browse and shop the Web sites of these artists in the links I provided, or attend the next one in Hayes Valley on September 15.

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