Sunday: Mission Indie Mart at the Independent

Mission Indie Mart
Sunday, March 8, 2009
The Independent
Better Than: Shopping corporate!

The line stretched down the block for most of the day as eager shoppers waited to spend some cash at the Mission Indie Mart. The event began almost two years ago as a monthly shopping event in founder Kelly Malone's back yard in the Mission district with a few local designers, vintage sellers and BBQ. It then expanded, taking over Mission Street's 12 Galaxies for a monthly party with booze, DJs, food and of course, even more local art and vintage. When the venue shut down, Malone moved to Thee Parkside. Taking advantage of the spectacular warm weather, vendors took over the parking lot, with a few squeezed inside. But then Malone moved to Western Addition and Indie Mart moved with her, now residing at the Independent once a month. Weather permitting, several vendors set up shop outside with the rest inside on the floor, the stage and upstairs.

Indie Mart takes a suggested $2 donation at the door to support different organizations each month. Last month, money went to women's cancer charities, and this time around it went to SF Women Against Rape. There's a DJ, an open bar and channeling the days of back yard Indie Mart -- BBQ. Sausages, hot dogs (both vegetarian and not), corn on the cob, the biggest pickles ever and a large assortment of condoments. It felt like summer!

These are just a few of the Indie Mart Highlights:

Kingdom Cake - Cupcakes by Chelsea Mead
Everyone loves cupcakes! These happen to be some of the most astoundingly gorgeous cupcakes I've ever seen in my entire life. They come in two sizes: mini or large. The big ones have heaps of frosting and glittery sprinkles. I've only sampled the smaller -- the red velvet being my flavor of choice. Whether you want one or not, it's worth it to stop and just look at these darling little baked goods.

Turk + Taylor - Designs by Andrew Soernsen and Mark Lee Morris
Turk + Taylor make great graphic t-shirts. An orange shirt with a print of a lobster bib on it and an old school hunting shirt with a fox hiding on the back are just the beginning. They print on nice soft shirts with even better prices. Their Indie Mart t-shirt prices start at $10 or $20 for some of the older prints. A great deal for a very cool shirt.
San Fran Psycho  - Live silkscreening and designs by Christian Routzen and Andy Olive
Part of what makes Indie Mart so exciting is knowing someone put time, effort and artistic talent into making all the goods. San Fran Psycho takes it one step further -- they actually silk screen at the event. For $2 you can get a silk screened t-shirt, $15 and they'll silk screen your clothes with one of their designs and $25 for a new silk screened American Apparel shirt. You pick out your clothes, your print and then watch as they make the shirt right before your eyes.

Gangs of San Francisco - Shirts by Laureano Faedi
These shirts have found the best stories in San Francisco history. Looking through the stories of our fine city, these shirts all represent things from the city's past. The Playland at the Beach shirt comes from the huge amusement park at Ocean Beach that closed Labor Day Weekend of 1972. The Ohlone Chiefs is from the Native Americans that inhabited the Mission before it was settled by Spanish Missionaries. These are just some of the great stories you can learn from these shirts! Faedi prints all the graphics onto American Apparel t-shirts by hand. $20 for a piece of history!

Critic's Notebook

Personal bias: I've been a big fan of Indie Mart since the backyard days.

By the way: The next Indie Mart is at the Independent on April 26!
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