If you've been using that awesome crafty google map of San Francisco you have Leslie Yang to thank. Leslie is a member of the San Francisco Craft Mafia, and runs Feisty Elle where she sells her sassy handmade accessories. Craftwork recently talked to Leslie about running a small business in San Francisco, the community here, and some of her favorite local crafty spots.
How long have you been running Feisty Elle?
I started Feisty Elle in September 2005 while living in Oakland. Feisty L was going to be my DJ name! I was going to be a breaks and hip hop DJ but alas, my heart was was more into felting wool than scratching out beats. Besides, I'm feisty and so are a lot of awesome women I know. Thus, Feisty Elle.
What inspired you to start your business?
Around that time I was really into all these crafty online forums, like Get Crafty the Glitter boards on Super Naturale, Craftster, and later the Switchboards. Each forum was developing and sustaining a great community of women who were not only just learning handcrafts from each other, but were starting to see that what they could make could really be a business. I saw other female-run businesses starting up and I thought to myself, I need to see how this goes for me.
Can you talk about some challenges and benefits to having a crafty biz in SF?
I'll start with the benefits. I've met so many talented, fantastic women in the Bay Area who make and sell such gorgeous things. I love being around creative people and having a business puts me in constant contact with these people. I've learned so much and continue to get a lot out of the relationships I have with other creative, crafty business owners. Plus, like my crafty map says, SF is a craft mecca; folks here are so creative, it's impossible not to be inspired.