Dandelion Chocolate in the Mission District

Check Out These Makers and Crafters in San Francisco This Holiday Season

San Francisco is full of talented creators, which makes for an utterly unique shopping experience for you.

The City by the Bay has been a nexus for creative souls since the rowdy days of the Gold Rush. San Francisco's diversity and edgy vibe have always allowed creative efforts to flourish, and today's makers and crafters reflect that continuing heritage.

If you're looking for a hand-crafted original purchased directly from the person whose imagination and skill gave it life, San Francisco has some amazing shopping experiences waiting for you. Visit the establishments listed here to dive into the world of the city's maker culture.

1750 Armstrong Ave.

Public Glass

Dedicated to introducing the public to the magical art of glass making, this nonprofit arts center offers you shopping, instruction and professional demonstrations. Public Glass has deep roots in the historic Bayview neighborhood, which is easy to reach via the Muni T-Third metro line. Buy extraordinary one-of-a-kind glass pieces from their on-site gallery, as well as online through their website. Take time to visit one of the serious soul-food restaurants along nearby Third Street and talk to locals about the activist history of that part of town. If someone on your holiday list loves learning new crafts, then you can also gift them an introductory class or workshop at Public Glass.

40 Rondel Pl.

Mission Workshop

Mission Workshop's founders wanted to produce their bags and backpacks in the Mission District, and they refurbished a warehouse to be their combination work space, storefront and shipping headquarters. Because they produce their handmade bags in small runs on-site, the Mission Workshop artisans are able to confidently offer you a lifetime guarantee. If you're shopping online, you can view videos that tell you everything you need to know about these best-of-the-best backpacks and bags. Better yet, visit their extraordinary workshop on bike-friendly Valencia Street and speak with the makers themselves. Their location is easy to reach, less than two blocks from BART's 16th Street Mission station.

740 Valencia St.

Dandelion Chocolate

Catch the outstanding views at Dolores Park, then walk a few short blocks to Dandelion Chocolate. Sitting at their maker bar, you can watch the whole beautiful artisan chocolate process, from green cocoa beans to the silky, gourmet-finished product. You can tour the factory for free to get tasty samples, and you can even sign up for chocolate-related classes. If you're shopping for a chocolate connoisseur, Dandelion offers an extraordinary tasting experience. Their selections include chocolate sourced from single locations, allowing customers to taste the differences between Madagascar, Dominican Republic, Tanzania and Venezuela.

3245 16th St.

Creativity Explored Studio Gallery

For 30 years, Creativity Explored has been supporting artists with developmental disabilities to create, display and sell professional-caliber artwork. The studio and gallery provide space for artists to engage with mentors, peers and art lovers while creating outstanding art pieces in many forms of media. In addition to the busy studio and gallery on 16th Street at Guerrero Street, Creativity Explored also maintains an online store and a diverse events calendar. Come to a dance party at the studio or an opening-night reception.

Various Locations

San Francisco Open Studios

Many artists who work in textiles, printmaking, apparel, jewelry, ceramics, photography, sculpture and fine art are busy working and can't keep their studios open all the time. The annual San Francisco Open Studios is an opportunity each year for you to visit more than 800 working artists in their studio spaces. This program is the largest and oldest of its kind in the country, another demonstration that San Francisco has always been a magnet for artists. Open Studios includes special events, artist workshops, exhibition openings and educational programs. Meet the local arts community as you search for that perfectly distinctive creation.

1743 Buchanan Mall

Paper Tree

If you're inspired by the paper craft of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, Paper Tree in Japantown offers free virtual classes led by award-winning origami expert Linda Mihara. Stop into the store on Japantown's Buchanan Mall to pick up your favorite origami paper designs and create animals, flowers, and other artistic creations. Classes are ideal for everyone from beginners to adults and even kids. 

Carol High
Carol High

Carol is a digital marketer creating media-rich content for global audiences covering travel, San Francisco and the Bay Area, food & drink, outdoor experiences, and cross-cultural storytelling. Her work is found in the San Mateo Daily Journal and The Skyline View (Skyline College). Before travel writing, her professional background included working internationally in business, nonprofits, and government. She lives in San Francisco with her family and regularly explores the parks in her city, especially untamed McLaren Park.

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