SFMade Week puts local products in spotlight

Want to see how a guitar is made or build your own sex toy? It can be done during SFMade Week, starting May 9.

The fifth annual event is presented by SFMade, a nonprofit supporting manufacturers in The City.

“Our goal is to help businesses start, grow and stay in San Francisco and create jobs for the local economy,” says SFMade Senior Director Janet Lees.

The organization, which was established in 2010 with about 50 members, today has about 650 member companies, most making consumer products, including clothing and apparel, food and beverages, and home and garden items.

Member benefits include business advice, educational workshops, assistance in finding affordable real estate (which is becoming more and more difficult) and use of the SFMade logo, signifying that the product was produced within San Francisco’s city limits.

“There’s something for everybody,” Lee says of SFMade Week, the organization’s big annual promotion, which runs through May 15.

Some 40 events, including factory tours, pop up sales and workshops and classes, are offered. “For really small brands, visibility is a huge issue,” says Lees, noting that the week introduces thousands of people to local businesses and products.

Lees points to the popular Dogpatch Wine and Beer Walk, at 6 p.m. May 10 (with visits to Sutton Cellars, Magnolia Pub, Harmonic Brewing, Triple Voodoo Brewing and Cellars 33 Winery), or a tour of Blackbird Guitars, which makes travel-friendly musical instruments with natural fibers and resins, at 3 p.m. May 13 at 2180 Folsom St.

Then there’s the vibrator workshop (it’s so “brilliant,” Lees says) at CRAVE, which she calls a “very classy” company. At the Build-A-Vibe Workshop + Tour, participants can make their own Duet, the company’s flagship product, at 3 p.m. May 12 at 1234 Folsom St.,; the company also offers a tour at 3 p.m. May 11.

The week’s biggest event is “Ramp It Up!,” a fundraiser on May 11 at Anchor Brewing serving food, drinks, gift bags, T-shirts and the chance to network with SFMade businesses.

Ramp It Up!
Presented by SFMade
Where: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Anchor Brewing, 1705 Mariposa St., S.F
Tickets: $48
Contact: www.sfmade.org
Note: SF Made Week runs May 9-15, offering tours, sales and classes at dozens of San Francisco businesses.

Leslie Katz

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