May 27, 2015

Local Fashion Leader’s Battle Against Cancer

Anyone who’s rattled around the San Francisco independent fashion scene in recent years has no doubt experienced the D.I.Y.-driven, all-indie, uber-creative and, above all else, intensely fun projects of Kelly Malone, founder of Indie Mart shopping events and creative space Workshop. A stalwart supporter of the local, independent design scene, Malone now needs support of her own to fight an ongoing battle with cancer.

A survivor of previous cancer battles, Malone was diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer in April and lacks adequate health insurance to cover treatment costs. She headed back to the hospital this week for a new round of surgeries. You can read more details about Malone’s struggle in the latest Indie Mart post.

Since founding Indie Mart in 2007 in her Mission backyard, Malone has been hugely influential in helping the local creative, D.I.Y. and independent fashion movement thrive in San Francisco. Her events have low (only a $2 donation is often all that’s requested) admission, affordable vendor fees and almost no corporate sponsorship (PBR has been the major backer). But more than that, her events and Workshop space have given those who want to shop independent and local, learn new crafts and have a damn good time while doing it places to gather and more than ample good times.

Through the Help Kelly Kick Cancer for Good fundraising page, Malone hopes to raise $15,000 to cover the costs of treatment. If you’d like to contribute to the fund for this longtime cheerleader for all that’s local and indie, you can donate via Paypal.

More San Francisco fashion news

D.I.Y., Together: Workshop Opens

workshop-san-franciscoJust because you like to do-it-yourself shouldn’t have to mean doing it all by yourself. That’s the idea behind Workshop, a creative arts space opening on Saturday in San Francisco’s Western Addition from the founder of the widely-attended Indie Mart events.

“I wanted something really interactive. Indie Mart is really fun and people love to come out to it, but it’s not a place people can come on the regular,” Workshop co-owner and Indie Mart founder Kelly Malone tells us.

Inside the 800-square-foot space, what Malone dubs an “inspiration library” beckons artists and designers with a collection of books and reading materials meant to spark new ideas and projects. Ten sewing machines and screen-printing equipment are on hand for use in upcoming workshops, which will range from single sessions to multi-day classes on a wide variety of topics such as starting your own t-shirt line, container gardening, wine tasting for beer guzzlers and – Malone’s personal favorite – Rock ‘n Roll Sewing for Dudes.

“I wanted a place where even my completely craft challenged guy friends could come hang out,” says Malone.

To that end, beyond-the-crafty reasons to visit the space abound. There’s a ping pong table, a projector for movie nights and even a multipurpose bar for use during parties that doubles as a sewing storage unit and a place for turntables.

Almost everything in the place, save a few items scored from IKEA, was designed and built by Malone and her dad, a skilled carpenter, using reclaimed, recycled or donated materials. Chairs for use during group classes sit perched on a shelf when floor space is needed for events, while a sculpture incorporating over 1,000 recycled light bulbs offers a constant reminder that ah-ha moments are just waiting to happen.

To get in on the action in person, stop by the space on Saturday, Sept. 19, from 7 to 11 p.m. for an opening party featuring music and live silk-screening demonstrations, or visit the web site next week for a calendar of upcoming classes starting the week of Sept. 28.