Union Design Festival — Free to stroll 150 indepdendent designers!

I always have trouble buying things for some of my friends. Its not to say that I don’t know them — hell, I’ve known most of them for WAY TOO LONG, in fact — but that their interests are so hodgepodge that its hard to say what they would like for a gift. They’re usually independent and sufficient enough to have what they need, but what do they want?! By god, what can I get them that is cheap and amazing!?

A little tip: go to design festivals. Honestly, you will find the most amazing things you never knew existed! You also will be able to probably save on the product, as a lot of designers sell their products for less than you would pay online or in a store, and are often willing to haggle with you. Get those negotiating skills in line!

And even though I’m always looking for a way to save money, the best part is getting to know the person that made the product I am buying. I never have a lot of money to spend, but I always want it to go directly into the hand of the person responsible. Plus, you’ll have a great story to tell your friend once you give them the gift!

Now, while I’m still saving up for the next Indie Mart, I think I might check out the Union Design Festival in Hayes Valley today to get some goods. Just think of it this way: if you end up empty handed, you have the rest of the afternoon to explore quaint little Hayes Valley. God, I sound like a stroller mom. But you get the point.

What: Union Design Festival
Where: On Hayes Street, stringing through Hayes Valley
When: TODAY! 11 am — 5 pm
Why: Because you’re sick of making cards for your best friend but you want to get them something badass and affordable. And its FREE.

REMEMBER TO BRING CASH! As much as you want to put that t-shirt on plastic, I’m sure the vendor won’t indulge. Check out their website for a map and a list of designers.

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About the author

Monica Miller - The Intern

Ms. Miller was born in San Diego, CA to one lesbian mother and one righteous, cheap father. Currently, she is enrolled at San Francisco State University for a B.A. in Journalism and the approximate completion date is around 2015. She has worked for many papers in the Bay Area, including the Oakland Tribune and the San Mateo Country Times and is currently the city editor at one of the most underappreciated publications in SF, the Golden Gate [X]press. Though she may find bargains aplenty, it only stems from the necessity of never landing an actual job and working for hacks [like Stuart.] With intelligence, style, poise, bite, and honesty, she will rip your heart out; but not before writing some awesome, poignant shit. This year, she is looking forward to bigger and better things such as: trying to get paid for a gig, actually finding a date that isn't a loser or fucking crazy, not calling her parents when hungover and bringing you the best of the 7x7 everyday of the week. [By the way, I wasn't kidding about the date thing; if you love food, booze and shoegaze, get at me.]