A Peek Into San Diego’s Local Maker Movement

There is a growing community in San Diego with a shared craving:

Local goods, made with true heart and soul.

As artists and blossoming business owners flock to satisfy the desire for locally made creations, it is transforming the city into a flourishing epicenter of creativity.

This wave of makers has sparked a transition for how business is done. In addition to creating, these artisans are building a community that supports one another – a movement that may be a result of daily internet shopping.

Rather than using a virtual shopping cart, people are seeking those in-person connections.

There is a story behind every business, one we don’t experience behind a computer screen. Simply put, meeting artisans in-person makes purchases more meaningful.

From local jewelry artists to candle makers and beyond, there are tons of talented makers in San Diego.

Here, we highlight just a few of them.

Rais Case

A photo posted by RAIS CASE (@raiscase) on

Julie Ellis’ creative space in South Oceanside is best known for the beloved and recognizable Rais Case bags. A supporter of other local companies, Ellis has collaborated with like-minded brands like Sakura Bloom and Aura Candles to deliver awesome value for customers.

The Rais Case store itself is a haven of creativity; find enticing spots within like the DIY tables, which allow anyone to get hands-on and make their own keychains and luggage labels. This DIY style of crafting is a workshop concept that Ellis believes will continue to grow and thrive.

The stunning Rais Case bags – the true heart of the business – can be found in store, online at www.raiscase.com and at local pop up markets like The Maker’s Arcade and The Local Bazaar. (If you do visit the Rais Case space, also find Mr. B’s Necessities, 5 ing and Wild Habit.)

Mr. B’s Necessities

This local business, founded in 2012 by Shem Gott, creates 100% natural bath and body products in small, precise batches. Their sweet-smelling goods can be found in twenty stores locally, in addition to the Rais Case space.

Owner, Gott, can also be found at workshops that teach the healing art of aromatherapy through creating bath bombs and scrubs.

Craft + Foster

Candles are popular to begin with, but are that much better when made locally with soy and the divine scents that Craft + Foster has meticulously mastered. This company has been popping up everywhere with their Whiskey & Cola, Champagne Flush and Bourbon & Tobacco candles.

Launched only one year ago, they are now found in thirty local boutiques and monthly at local markets like San Diego Made market at The Lafayette Hotel, The Maker’s Arcade and The Local Bazaar. Find them online at www.craftandfoster.com.

Rebecca Eichten

Another artisan making a name for herself is Rebecca Eichten, who creates hand-painted, limited-edition prints, pillows and greeting cards. After the bold step of leaving her full time job last year, Eichten shared how she received valuable support and advice from other San Diego makers; she has not looked back since.

Explore her fabulous watercolor paintings of plants in over six local stores. Learn from Eichten, in-person, at one of her upcoming workshops at the Mint Studio, nestled in Carmel Valley.

Mint Studio

the mint studioThe previous mentions of Mint Studio twice in this article invites further details. Since its launch in 2016 by owner Jayme Sanders, Mint Studio has become the ultimate place for community and creativity to come together.

This creative event space and arena for DIY projects allows folks of all ages to try new skills, from painting to calligraphy. In addition to classes and workshops, there are after-school programs, camps and even a gift lounge. Whether you want to learn to watercolor or begin beading, there is something for everyone.

Love Tatum Jewelry

Speaking of accessories, let us introduce Love Tatum Jewelry, which utilizes gemstones and crystals to hand craft striking pieces of jewelry. Their distinctly stunning style is inspired by international beach life and the natural form of rare gemstones themselves.

Recently, Love Tatum had a pop up at West Elm, Mission Center Road in San Diego that was a huge success.

West Elm is a great example of a larger store showcasing local makers via pop up events. Because of the buzz generated, we suspect we’ll be seeing pop up events catch on with many more big-name stores.

The Epicenter For ‘Local’ Support

In a recent article by Yelp, San Diego was recognized as the top city in the country for support of the ‘shop local’ movement, largely due to its thriving maker community.

That makes San Diego an exciting place for makers and shoppers alike. Small boutiques featuring these goods continue to pop up and thrive, such as Stroll, All Ye Citizens, Often Wander, Sea + Wander and Make Good.

When you enter these small stores or makers markets, you step into a very personal experience that supports local dreams, right here, in your sweet city of San Diego.