Happy February! Here are a couple of shops you may not know exist, and big housing news. Let’s dive in.
Outsider Artshop offers a little bit of everything: Funky handmade clothes perfect for a rave. Sewing classes for kids (and boozy ones for adults). A vending machine of locally made stickers.
The store at 3292 22nd St., near Valencia Street, sells a mix of consignment clothes and art, which means some merchandise on display is made by other artists and designers. If the owner, Shannon Glasheen, sells something, profits are split between her and the artist. One day, artist Jeremy Novy strolled in, dropping off pieces featuring his renowned koi fish — he’d give the same rate as he does for Voss Gallery, he told her.
After he leaves, Glasheen stares back at me with wide, cat-lined eyes. “Do you know who that was?”
Most of the merchandise in Outsider Artshop is made by artists Glasheen admires, her friends, or herself.
“I was a born artist,” said Glasheen, who started sewing at 6, and fashioned her own colorful outfits throughout high school. Fashion “is the way to tell the world a little about who you are and what you like. I was always a super shy, quiet kid so I always did like how to express myself differently.”
Her style is anything but shy: Platform shoes, denim embroidered with flames. The clothes at Outsider Artshop have a similar style. Glasheen attended college and studied fashion marketing and design.
It’s Glasheen’s first shot at a store, and the 36-year-old artist, seamstress and designer finally feels it’s the right time. It didn’t make sense to try to open Outsider Artshop a decade ago. “I was too young. I was still in my twenties and broke. I had to get jobs for a while,” Glasheen said.
A notable gig was as a bike messenger; Glasheen doesn’t own a car, and would use a bike to sell her artwork. The bicycle still remains a central motif and material in Glasheen’s work. One bike handlebar bejeweled with microwave parts hangs on Outsider Art Shop’s wall, staring back at another encased in tiger print.
Fast forward to October, 2022. Glasheen toyed with opening a shop, and discovered a vacant storefront staring back at her just a few blocks from her house. The Mission resident couldn’t believe it. She said, “Now, I think I’m ready.” She signed the lease in November.
The store was growing, and Mary Hogue, owner of Mission Praxis, who Glasheen had known for years, dropped off three sewing machines.
Glasheen also started offering adult and kid sewing classes, and recently completed a weeklong camp for kids over winter break. “Teaching energizes me,” Glasheen gushed. Students can choose materials and patterns, and Glasheen readies them ahead of time. At one camp, the kids tried their hand at selling, and one student managed to make $12. Glasheen smiled. “They liked collecting little dollar bills.”
Outsider Artshop is located on 3292 22nd St. at Valencia Street. Private sewing lessons are $40 an hour. Adult wine and sewing classes are $90. Kids‘ sewing classes are $40, or $150 for a week, materials included.
Flowers and coffee at Marigold Café
Is it “wake up and smell the roses!” or, “wake up and smell the coffee!”? At Marigold Café, it’s both.
Just a corridor stands between the new-ish coffee shop Marigold Café and the four-year-old floral shop of the same name. The Café occupies a former garage at 2681 21st St. near York Street, and is decorated in desert hues of dusty rose, mustard yellow and olive green. On my visit, a potent, floral fragrance wafted in — perhaps today’s fresh bouquet? Nope. The culprit was the barista gently stirring rose syrup for a latte.
Though a café might appear a random add-on to a floral shop, owners Gena Banducci and Aubriana Casper said a coffee component was always in the cards. “Coffee and flowers just go together,” Casper said.
Each was inspired by a store in Bali that permitted customers to drink and browse simultaneously. “Flowers, for us, are such a habitual thing. To get it and enjoy them,” Banducci explained. “Same with coffee. It’s a way to slow down, take a breath, and enjoy yourself.”
But both didn’t realize their passion could be a career until years ago, when an Instagram ad seeking freelance florists arose. Banducci quit her barista job, Kasper denounced the corporate world. After receiving a taste of the work, Kasper couldn’t “believe this was someone’s career.”
“This is a job?” Banducci agreed.
“Literally,” Casper said. “This is a job?”
Yes, though “not one for the faint of heart,” Banducci said. As the pair freelanced floral arrangements for weddings in Mendocino or Napa, they learned the industry requires early mornings, late-night striking, heavy lifting, and a lot of dirt. It is, indeed, a job.
But they also learned how well they worked together.
That helped when they launched the floral shop, and then picked out designs for the cafe. The pandemic intervened, but the delay worked out. Banducci got married, Kasper welcomed children, and there was extra time to design their dream cafe.
They succeeded; the strongest trait at Marigold is indeed the dreamlike, “feminine” aesthetic that “transports you somewhere else.”
A vase of freshly cut flowers is spotlit on the café’s Romanesque balustrade, and a Sunday Times art and culture piece is prominently poised on the narrow bar. The cafe centers on a simple menu that uses Portland-based Heart Roasters beans. Even Banducci and Kasper wear jackets in pastel-like hues, blending into the color scheme.
Banducci said, “I think we got really lucky.”
Marigold Café operates Tuesday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s open Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Housing Element: Pipe dream, or achievable plan?
Dominating the Housing Twitter sphere: The Housing Element. San Francisco elected officials officially passed a “compliant” Housing Element last week, meaning their plan for 82,000 new units of housing was approved and deemed reasonable by the state.
This also meant San Francisco was saved from the looming “Builder’s Remedy,” which bestows near omnipotence to any developer who promises to build projects with at least 20 percent affordable housing, no matter how big, or 100-percent moderate-income housing. Berkeley might be vulnerable to a Builder’s Remedy for failing to add more housing in wealthier areas, according to the state. And, a fun fact circulating: Your fave, Steph Curry, is better known for three-pointers than blocks, but he and wife Ayesha requested that his wealthy hometown of Atherton not build housing adjoining his property (or, if they must, to invest in fencing, so they maintain privacy).
The town reluctantly passed the plan in spite of the Currys’ pleas, though it’s now up to the state to decide if the Housing Element is adequate. And now, online housing advocates can say they’ve dunked on Steph Curry.
But, just because San Francisco passed a Housing Element, will we be able to deliver it? Even though the state approval is supposed to indicate yes, houses aren’t built by plans or wishful thinking.
The city’s proposal calls some 46,000 affordable housing units will be built in eight years … which is hard to envision, given the city’s current development rates, high cost of construction, and limited federal funds. A serious solution would require finding new funding sources, fast. Guess that’s another problem for Gen Z to figure out. (Ugh wait, that’s me.)