At Make Good, we don't normally think of our work, or the work of our artisans, as dirty. Truth be told though, the act of making is usually hard. It's often messy. It requires experimentation and perseverance. It's usually equal parts grit, ingenuity and creativity. Much of the work we do and that of our artisans has its roots in the days of old, when people made stuff for a living, often out of whatever they happen to have around. True craftsmanship evolved from this, people who became truly great at the things they made.
Recently Mike Rowe, creator and host of the television show Dirty Jobs, appeared before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to talk about the widening gap between those who work with their hands and the work that needs to be done. It's a remarkable talk he gave. The podcast OnBeing wrote a great post about it, check it out here.
That crisp Autumn air, the brilliant Fall colors, coats and scarves and hints of the first snow in the air... oh my, we love the Fall. Okay, so San Diego hasn't had a Fall like that since the end of the last ice age, but we still dig the Autumn season here in the land under the perfect sun. And the South Park Walkabout is a great way to kick it off.
We'll be debuting some great new handcrafted work by local artisans, some you've never seen before. And for those chilly San Diego nights when the temperature dips below 70, we'll have a good stock of amazing locally crafted products to keep you warm and toasty.
Stop by anytime between 6 and 10pm Saturday nights, October 4th, and say hello.
Ben & Jerry's is a kindred spirit, pursuing sustainable and locally-focused business practices, so we were quite honored to have been featured by Ben & Jerry's West Coast Truck Tour.
Make Good is proud to bring San Diego the incredible handcrafted baskets, jewelry and accessories of the Kumiai tribe of northern Baja, the original inhabitants of this land. They are, more than any others, the truest expression of “local,” and we’re honored to be the only location in the U.S. selling their remarkable work. Some 8,000+ years ago, the Kumeyaay (in Spanish, Kumiai) settled in this land. They numbered some 150,000 strong at the time the first non-natives began showing up in large numbers in the 18th and 19th centuries. In just a few years their numbers plummeted. Today, the Kumiai are limited to small bands on both sides of the border.
Our dear friend and popular Make Good artist, Juanita Banuelos, introduced us to the Kumiai of Baja, who live on an ever-shrinking piece of land just south of Tijuana. They are among the poorest and most persecuted people in North America, yet they are humble, loving and at one with the earth in ways few others are. Make Good has only a limited number of pieces of their work, so you better hurry to see these incredible examples of practical beauty made from available materials from their land.
The path of making, creating and handcrafting can be a tough one. Most of our artisans at Make Good hold down other jobs, making, creating and designing in their spare time. Others do this for a living. Both tend to be anything but easy paths. So we were inspired when coming across the story of Turquoise Mountain Arts. A collective of artisans working to revive the age-old, cultural practice of arts, crafts and making in Afghanistan, these Afghan artisans face hardship that's difficult for us to fully grasp.
This video tells the story of two of Afghanistan's most promising young jewelers, Storai and Saeeda, students of the Turquoise Mountain Institute in Kabul.
Founded by Turquoise Mountain, a charity focused on regenerating the Old City of Kabul and reviving the Afghan crafts industry, the Turquoise Mountain Institute provides students with an intensive three year training in jewelry making, woodworking, ceramics, miniature painting & calligraphy. Successful students graduate with an internationally recognized City & Guilds accreditation, and are given support to set up craft businesses of their own.
A friend of ours who works for surfwear brand Volcom gave us a heads-up on this very cool maker based in Orange County, RESQ/CO. The company, who handcrafts some of the coolest leashes and collars we've yet seen, was started by former Volcom Art Director Genny Davilia.
Having left the fast-paced life of the action sports industry after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Genny, with her trusty dog Moose by her side, got involved with animal rescue organizations. And in one of the more inspirational making-lemonade-when-life-gives-you-lemons stories we've heard, turned to her dog and good design—along with a desire for continued independence—to begin handcrafting these cool collars and leashes for dogs.
As our travels and connections take us out into the world further, we at Make Good continue to be inspired by stories of making that, well, remind us what it means to be more fully human. We've been gathering some good stories, and look forward to bringing more your way.
In the mean time, if you've got a dog or know someone who does, point your internet self to RESQ/CO and support the good work Genny is doing. We'll all be better for it.
We've been doing a little remodeling at Make Good, and would like to invite you for a little look-see. This Saturday night, February 1 starting at 6pm. Delights to drink and eat, along with some good company. Come by and say hello.
Citybeat magazine's Urban Scout just ran a feature on some of our favorite local makers at Make Good, husband and wife team Olivia and Leigh, from Tijuana, and David Atchison, from Ocean Beach. It warms our hearts (and fulfills one of deepest values) when our local makers get some much-deserved ink.
Olivia and Leigh work out of Tijuana. Their hand-woven, hand-dyed wool knitted home decor, bags, scarves and accessories are true statements of modern craftsmanship. We at Make Good have had a long-standing friendship with Olivia and Leigh, from our early encounters with them in Tijuana to our get-togethers here in San Diego. We're especially liking this quote in the article from Leigh:
"Luckily, most people nowadays not only appreciate the hand-made aspect of our products, but they can recognize it at first sight," Suarez says. "It is thanks to the culture of buying local, handmade goods and paying the right price for them that we are still in the market." — Leigh Suarez
David's hand-carved kitchen tools, utensils and accessories are also a big hit at Make Good. One of our deep values is up-cycling, and we're big fans of artisans who carefully source their materials.
"I often hear the sound of chain saws and see tree trimmers, and I'll stop and politely ask for a few pieces," Atchison says. "The tree would otherwise be mulched or taking to the landfill. By using local, reclaimed wood, I'm not only leaving the rain forests alone but I'm also making something that is unique to San Diego." — David Atchison
From where we're standing, we consider these artisans local heroes. They're making items that folks need, objects both of beauty and functionality. And they're making them from materials carefully source or created by hand. It's good for both the planet and our local economy, and we think that's pretty good.
We're in the home stretch folks, and if you're like us, you've got at few gifts yet to buy. Find the perfect gift for him, her or the little one, right now at Make Good. We've never had such a great selection under our roof, with an incredible array of unique gifts, all locally sourced, of course.
Saturday, open until 8pm
Sunday 11am - 7pm
Monday 11am - 7pm
Tuesday 11am - 7pm
News about Make Good
A blog about what's happening in and around Make Good, the art/handmade scene in San Diego and Tijuana, local artisans, and occasionally other things we care about.