Today we're excited to introduce our new San Francisco Chapter co-leader Erin Garcia. She's a talented women who runs both a handmade business and DIY workshop business. You might remember her from last year when she told us about her booth set up on the blog. She has a deep passion for supporting other makers and is possibly one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. Welcome Erin!*
Q: Introduce yourself. What do you make and how did you get started?
A: Hi, I'm Erin, Head Fish and Owner of Feed the Fish co. I make celebratory goods for the home and for party and lead DIY workshops.
I had been making handmade greeting cards for as long as I can remember. It wasn't until 2011, after some encouragement from friends and family who had been receiving my cards for years, that I started selling my craft. I had my first craft show in my front yard in Berkeley (landlady approved!).
After wonderful feedback from neighbors and passersby, I was hooked! My line of paper crafts has since changed and expanded, but some things are for certain -- each piece is truly one-of-a kind, and I wouldn't put it out for sale if I didn't want to keep it for myself! I've also realized that I love making and creating with others and have found myself teaching DIY workshops and planning crafty maker events more and more.
Q: Tell us about ways you've been working with makers already?
A: I am a supporter of handmade; I love shopping local and small for myself and for gift giving. I like to partner with local businesses and collaborate on creating fun DIY workshops for community events. I enjoy event planning and bringing the maker community together. I am part of the SF Etsy team and I also help with special events at Sticky Art Lab, including putting together their holiday show.
Q: Why are you excited to be the new co-leader of Academy of Handmade chapter in San Francisco?
A: I'm excited to help co-lead the SF Chapter to be able to bring makers together to grow their business and grow as makers. I want to help members reach their professional and personal goals, no matter how small or big.
Q: Share a little about what you love about the handmade community in the Bay Area.
A: The handmade community in the Bay Area is so diverse, and I'm always discovering new makers. Since my first craft show, I've learned that the maker community in the Bay Area is strong and supportive; the opportunity to create in this environment is inspiring.
Q: What's your favorite thing about San Francisco or the Bay Area?
A: I'm a SoCal girl at heart, but call the Bay Area my home. I love the people, the food, and the weather! I love the sense of community and how I can be a tourist in my own town. I have made and grown relationships with some of my closest friends here.
*After a year of service with us as the founding San Francisco leader, Rebecca Saylor, is taking a step back from the formal role but will remain as both an advisor for the chapter and for AHAS. We are forever indebted to her for taking on the role and being a chapter pioneer!