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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nine Bay Area Artisans Who Make Etsy Worthwhile

Posted By on Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 10:00 AM

  • Lace and Sparrow

Etsy is one-stop shopping at its weirdest. If your wish list includes trolls made out of Play-Doh, shabby-chic furniture, beads, caramel corn, custom-sewn underwear, vegan lip balm, and a wedding dress, Etsy has you covered. The website allows anyone to upload their handiwork and offer it for sale, producing such a vast range of products that it's easy to get overwhelmed. Lucky for you, we've completed a highly (which is to say sort of) scientific study of Bay Area-based Etsy shops, and are now ready to present you with their craftiest creations, ranked from slightly bizarre to completely buyable.

  • Lace and Sparrow

Lace and Sparrow

This is one of those peculiar items that could exist only on Etsy. In case it isn't immediately apparent, it's an embroidery pattern of Martha Stewart's face, surrounded by Venus flytraps. The artist's own description says it all:

Martha Martha Martha. There is no one else like her. She's at once a sweetly crafty homemaker ideal and ruthless, cutthroat mastermind of a global empire. I read somewhere that she also raises carnivorous plants, and now in my mind she has a garden of ginormous flesh-hungry plants that put Seymour and Audrey II to shame. The woman can do anything and look both fantastic and secretly evil at the same time. Amazing!

If Martha Stewart isn't your flavor, Lace and Sparrow also sells a pattern for Tim Gunn's face. He's not surrounded by carnivorous plants, though, so whatever.


  • Jen Lorang


Alchemilla is stuffed with intricate jewelry and prints. Some items are pretty while some are pretty weird, but they're all intriguing. Should you have a taste for the ornate and macabre, help yourself to a menstrual or apocalypse calendar.


  • Delilah Burlesque

Delilah Burlesque

If you've ever seen a burlesque performance and gone away wondering where on Earth tasseled pasties come from, now you have an answer. (You're welcome.) Delilah Burlesque is a treasure chest of all the bits and pieces you'd need to perform your own burlesque routine. Even if splashing around in a giant martini glass isn't your thing, the fascinators alone make this shop worth a peek.

click to enlarge HEATHERED
  • Heathered


Heathered is not only created here, it also features lots of San Francisco-inspired goodies. How much more local-friendly could you get? The wallets and passport cases are all crafted from old maps, diagrams, and other detritus, giving you something besides your phone to look at while you're one the bus.


  • Drywell


Drywell specializes in "quality meat art," which sounds much more disgusting than it actually is. The illustrations include butchery diagrams overlaid with city maps and cuts of meat accompanied by innuendo-laced captions.


  • Black Licorice Boutique

Black Licorice Boutique

Although most of the handmade clothing on Etsy looks more like a craft project than couture, Black Licorice Boutique is an exception. The vintage-inspired dresses are well made and surprisingly cheap. Best of all, the boutique boasts an amazing five-day handling time on custom dress orders.

click to enlarge NOTEIFY
  • Noteify


If you forgot to send Christmas cards this year, you could probably still do it and blame their tardiness on our floundering U.S. Postal Service. Or you could make a New Year's resolution to write more snail mail and delete your Facebook account. Either way, Noteify's cards are the cutest, with lots of San Francisco graphics to rep your city.


  • Jen Oaks

Jen Oaks

We love Jen Oaks' art so much that we featured it on the Exhibitionist a few months ago. But our crush on her hasn't faded. Her curvy ladies are as fabulous as ever, and if you missed Oaks at the Alternative Press Expo, Zinefest, or any of the other events where her artwork is a regular feature, you can still find everything online.


click to enlarge ETTA + BILLIE
  • Etta + Billie

Etta + Billie

Etta + Billie speaks San Franciscan: Its bath and body products are organic, fair trade, natural, and made in small batches. They're also pretty and smell nice, but any old soap can do that. This is special, San Francisco soap! If you simply can't wait for your products to ship to you, you can also find Etta + Billie's wares at Paxton Gate and Stript Wax Bar.

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About The Author

Kate Conger

Kate Conger has written for SF Weekly since 2011.


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