September 21, 2014

New & Local: Bay Thread’s Production for Emerging Designers

Local designers, a new company for your radar comes from RevelationByMe co-creator Eloisa Serrano, who’s started Bay Thread, a company focused on helping designers produce garments in small batches. We got the insider scoop from Serrano on pattern making, quality control and passion for design. Read on for our interview and more about a local company focused on local production.

em>What motivated you to start Bay Threads?As an independent designer myself I faced challenges sourcing affordable pattern makers and found that manufacturing minimums were too high for emerging designers, and I saw a great need for services like pattern making, grading, sample making and manufacturing at lower minimums

How do you hope to help new designers? Bay Thread helps new designers and established designers with affordable pattern making, grading, sample making and manufacturing at competitive rates. We provide assistance from start to finish, as some clients need help starting with the design process all the way through the final production processes. With our low minimums, we give new designers a greater chance of taking their products to market and launching their collections

What do you find inspiring about independent fashion designers? The drive and passion that small designers have is something that everyone should have and apply to everyday life. It is inspiring how much drive they have, and it is amazing how much passion and effort is put into their products. I am also inspired by the creativity that is out there. All my clients are different and unique in their own ways, and it is great to be able to work with such creative individuals.

What services does to Bay Threads offer? We offer services in pattern making, grading, sample making and manufacturing. We can also assist you with design and sourcing for fabrics or trims.

What products can you help create? The majority of our clients are in the fashion apparel industry, but we also can help clients with home decor products, accessory products, children’s dolls and pet products. If you have a creative idea, it is easy to fill out one of our online forms for a free quote.

What are the biggest challenges facing independent designers? I think that large manufacturing minimums are the biggest challenge faced by independent designers today. In today’s economy it is difficult to produce, stock and sell 200 pieces of the same style. Bay Thread offers a solution of manufacturing in the U.S. at 15 pieces per style. These lower minimums give independent designers a chance to produce smaller orders for their customers. Instead of only launching a few styles, they can manufacture a more extensive product line.

What are the advantages of having apparel designs produced by a local manufacturer? Quality control and turn around times are important details when manufacturing your product. The manufacturing process is a complicated one and if problems arise, it is easier to solve them when the manufacture is nearby. When you work with a local manufacturer, turn around times are faster, ensuring deliver dates are met and you save money on shipping.

Any tips for new designers? Have a clear vision of what you want and be passionate about your products and ideas. Also when contracting any type of work, ask questions and ensure your vision is clear and understood by the service provider.

Bay Thread founder Eloisa Serrano

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Snap Judgment: Daughters of Simone Lola Custom Lace Wedding Gown

Our very-visual, (almost) chatter-free snap judgment of the day: Here comes the bride, all decked in lace thanks the custom-order Lola gown, $1,100, by San Francisco’s Daughters of Simone. Part of the label’s latest Vintage Inspired collection, the floor length crochet lace dress delivers retro style with a modern cut and can be customized to your liking.

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We Came, We Saw, We Shopped: City Dolls

Stepping into Space Gallery for the City Dolls trunk show to do a little holiday shopping was like stepping into an alternate universe, thanks to an art installation by Bunny Reiss and Monica Canilao (en route to the SF MOMA) composed of quilts, lace, branches and collected items ranging from dream catchers to paper cutouts. The overall effect: a gallery with a romantic, bohemian vibe. Oh, and sweet unique finds from local designers and artists.

An amazing art installation by Bunny Reiss and Monica Canilao was a centerpiece of the event.

Gathered at the Polk street space to spread holiday cheer and handcrafted gifts alongside chow provided by Whiskey Commons Street Food and spiked hot ciders were a number of California artists and designers, including Siri Hanson Jewelry, The Loin, Christine Mayrina Jewelry, K.M. Knits, Olivous Retro Jewelry, Stolen Sunday, Paulina Carcach Handbags, Black Pyramid Vintage, Anisa Esmail Jewelry, Phoenix the Fox, Amour Vert and Dear Mina Jewelry.

During our chat at the trunk show, City Dolls founder Kirsten Incorvaia told me she wanted to, “create a place for people to shop that wasn’t about the hectic holiday pressure… a fun and friendly environment unlike the impersonal malls” of the world. The event on Saturday night was the second-ever City Dolls trunk show.

Read on for a few of my favorite items at the show:

Christine Mayrina is a jewelry collector who sources her vintage and antique jewelry from a list of places that ranges from the American Southwest to Turkey for a collection with a bold, international vibe.

Statement necklaces, antique cocktail rings and belly-dancer bangles from the Christine Mayrina Jewelry collection.

Dear Mina, a handmade jewelry line by Mina Caragay, is both modern and primitive, hard and soft, solid and fluid. Her pieces are made with crystals, semi-precious stones, rock specimens, metals and textiles, and fun touches like skull beads and arrowheads happily marry the sophisticated with the quirky.

Jewelry by Dear Mina

Shop or design your own purse with a visit to Paulina Carcach, who has has been personally designing unique and handcrafted handbags since 2008. In luxuriously soft leather with thoughtful details, her bags are affordable and well-made. You can design your own bag on her website and get inspiration from bags in her shop and from previous collections.

Gorgeous handcrafted leather bags by Paulina Carcach (photograph courtesy Paulina Carcach)

Inspired by nature, Siri Hanson's whimsical jewelry line.

Siri Hanson Jewelry is a San Francisco local who creates her handmade pieces from such various materials as clay, rolled bits of magazine paper, metal work, and strips of leather reclaimed from a pair of gloves found at an estate sale. In addition to her line of funky jewelry, she also had on display some handmade ceramic Christmas tree ornaments.

Photography by Alexandra Naughton

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Alexandra is a San Francisco writer with a passion for style and creativity. You can find her on Twitter @theTsaritsa

Six Local & Stunning Holiday Party Dresses

Need a holiday party dress? A fun little number for your next big night out? The perfect sparkly, festive, fun thing to don on New Year’s? We’ve picked six party dresses we’d wear in snap. All hail from independent San Francisco sources and are available for sale over the webby-web.

Don the Celeste dress by Kirribilla in black lace with scooped back, gathered bell sleeves, and a statement bow, and you’re sure to turn heads at your next event:

The front is sophisticated, with sleeves and a defined waist.

The back has a big bow for added drama

Make a statement with sequin-covered shoulders and a bombshell silhouette with the Vintage 80′s Trophy Dress from Gravel Ghost Vintage. P.S. the back is open, and the shoulders are padded for even more head-turning impact.

Embellished shoulders and a knee-grazing length stand out in this vintage 80's number from Gravel Ghost Vintage.

Sometimes, when you know you’re about to get loose, you want to dress loose. Amour Vert’s Wendy dress (you knew we were going to throw in an animal print option, le duh) is sassy, eco-friendly and will also let you dance to your heart’s content. We’re thinking big heels and a fitted, cropped jacket would round out this holiday look.

The Wendy dress will let you dance, eat and flounce around the party to your heart's content, thanks to its free-flowing shape and empire styling.

Brighten up the room in this red Alyssa Nicole Cut-Out dress with open shoulders, a gathered skirt and scoop neck. Plus, it comes fully lined and is handmade:

This party dress is made-to-order by a local designer.

The fun and versatile Monaco dress by Eliza Parker is a dressy way to do comfortable stretch jersey. The neckline is also begging for an amazing statement necklace from one of your favorite local jewelry designers.

The Monoco dress by Eliza Parker has a flattering neckline, three-quarter sleeves and also comes in black and burgundy.

Ruffle some feathers (in the best way possible) with the Sierra dress from LHC Couture. With its sweetheart neckline, body-hugging fit and real feather detail, we think it’s festive done with an avant-garde twist. Also, the styling possibilities are fairly endless. We can see this one dressed up with sparkling accessories and soft makeup for the girlie girls or paired with dark tights, huge heels and smoky eyes for a result that’s much more glam-goth.

You'll flock to the Sierra dress by LHC Couture. Hip-level feathers are do avant-garde in a festive way.

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Alexandra is a San Francisco writer with a passion for style and creativity. You can find her on Twitter @theTsaritsa

Earth with Edge: Sarah Swell Fall Collection



If you think earthy can’t be edgy, then you clearly haven’t met Sarah Swell. For fall, Oakland jewelry designer Sarah Greenberg has launched a collection where fossils, one-of-a-kind crystals and conflict-free diamonds mingle with chunky brass, bullet forms and mixed metals. The result: a striking balance of tough girl charm and sweet, starry-eyed appeal.

The collection ($117 and up) includes the perfect-for-stacking, hand-carved Ridgeback ring, bullet-shaped rings and necklaces and fossil pendants, available in a choice of metals (silver, brass and patina brass, among them) and with or without diamonds. If making a statement is on your list, one-of-a-kind Crystalline Slice rings featuring crystal from Uruguay or the silver Fishbone bracelet should do the trick, and then some.

Select fall pieces are available in Greenberg’s online shop, and you can more styles available online at The Marin Store or in person at San Francisco boutiques such as Collage Gallery in Potrero Hill and Gallery of Jewels on Union St.

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Phot0graphy courtesy of Sarah Greenberg