Who needs the Sopranos when there’s the San Francisco Craft Mafia? That’s right, we said craft mafia. You got a problem with that? We hope not, because this group is taking over the city, organizing crafters of all stripes, helping to build up a community and a movement that’s showing no signs of slowing down.
The first Craft Mafia was formed by three crafty business owners in Austin, Texas in 2003. The women came together to offer support and inspiration to one another, help set business goals, and to make sure they kept having fun in what can be a challenging lifestyle and occupation. They were so successful the group began to grow, with crafters all over the country asking if they could use the same name. Today there are 47 Craft Mafia’s -- lovingly labeled ‘famiglias’-- spread out across the US and Canada with the original Austin Craft Mafia still acting as the legal main entity, and Craft Mafia’s across the country as official chapters. The mafia’s work together and very distinctively on their own, meeting up at Craft Fairs all over the country and working hard to promote and support the DIY lifestyle in their individual communities.
We were invited to sit in on the SF Craft Mafia's monthly meeting at the Craft Gym this past Sunday (yes there’s a craft gym in the city and we promise that’s a story for another post). We walked in mid-meeting to a brainstorm on some upcoming events the group is planning. We felt privileged sitting at the table with these powerful women who play such a key role in the delicious underbelly of the SF craft world. We listened in as they hashed out ideas and figured out the best place to get unfrosted cupcakes for a cupcake decorating station at their next event. These are smart, lively women and listening to them gave us a sense of security-- we couldn't think of a better fitted group to take on the responsibility of making sure the craft scene in San Francisco continues to thrive and grow. One thing became abundantly clear as we sat there, these women provide a necessary anchor for crafters and artists seeking out help and resources in their own endeavors. With members including: Jamie Chan-Herrera, owner of MaryJane’s Attic, Barbe Saint John, a mixed media artist who runs Saints & Sinners, Andrea DeHart aka Crafty Bitch, Jane Logan and Jackie Ortega, owners of Craft Gym, Leslie Yang, the woman behind Feisty Elle, Jessica Neaves, creator of Future Momo Jewelry, Wendy of My Windup Bird, and Hope Meng, Melissa Alvarado, Melissa Roeters, the owners of Stitch Lounge, the group has a tremendous amount of experience and expertise to offer up.