For California visitors who want to take home a one-of-a-kind piece of the state, look no further than San Francisco’s West Coast Craft (WCC). The biannual artisan festival showcases more than 250 of the most creative art, craft, and design vendors on the West Coast at San Francisco’s Fort Mason. If you typically spend hours perusing Etsy, Pinterest, and Instagram for unique home goods and gifts you can’t find anywhere else, this free craft fest is for you.
“The show has a real West Coast vibe and aesthetic, and it’s a real celebration of the West Coast lifestyle,” says Sarah Ewick, director of Partnerships and Artist Programs for WCC. “There’s nothing else like it in the country.”
Started in 2013 by a trio of artisans who wanted to blend fine crafts with high art, the most recent festival in June saw more than 20,000 attendees. West Coast Craft has become a hot-ticket festival due to its high-calibre vendors—each selected through a juried application process—and the range of offerings. Browsing through the festival, you'll find such items as handmade jewellery, totes made of reclaimed sails, gourmet baked goods, travel-inspired ceramics and much more. (Browse vendors on West Coast Craft's Instagram page.)
“People who live in California, and on the West Coast, [have] a strong interest in innovation and taking risks, and that goes hand in hand with our culture,” Ewick says. “We represent the creative community, which is a good reflection of what it means to live on the West Coast.”
In addition to the artists, West Coast Craft boasts some of San Francisco’s popular food vendors. Future lineups are still in the making, but past participants have included a cocktail bar by the mixologists from Bon Vivants (famous for their Bloody Marys), craft beer by Fort Point Beer Company, and fried chicken, tacos, and crepes by Kokio Republic, Tacolicious, and J-Shack, respectively. Always a presence in SF, local coffee roaster Blue Bottle Coffee is expected to be on hand.