Tis the Season, Tenderloin Shopping Opportunities


With the holidays upon us, it’s easy to fall into the trap of purchasing the usual knickknacks. Here are several opportunities to gift authentic items in and around the Tenderloin while connecting with and supporting local businesses, artists, and makers:

Hospitality House’s Community Arts Program (CAP) Holiday Sale, Dec 1

The sale kicks off on December 1st with an opening celebration from 6-8pm. More than 20 artists will represented with work sold right off the wall. All artwork is priced under $100, and proceeds go directly to artists. CAP also has unique greeting cards designed by CAP artists, packs of 8 for $10 with envelopes.

December 1st 6-8pm at the CAP 1009 Market Street, with art sales continuing through December. Find more info on the event page here.


Tenderloin Museum Holiday Bazar, Dec 7

From the event page:  The holidays are nigh, which means the return of the Tenderloin Museum’s Holiday Bazaar! Ten local artist-vendors will bring pop up shops to the Museum for a festive marketplace flush with neighborhood wares. Forget the old chestnuts and stereotypical stocking stuffers--enliven your gift game while supporting the arts. From hand-tooled leather belts to intricately-latticed metalworks to cherry-picked vintage duds, there will be a plethora of unique gifts for sale. This year’s seasonal celebration coincides with the opening reception for Holly Coley’s solo exhibition in the TL Museum gallery, Tender Life: Graphic and Ceramic Memories of Tenderloin Living, 1999-2004. 

December 7th, 6-9pm, at the Tenderloin Museum (398 Eddy Street)

Find more info on the event page here.


Asian Art Museum presents, Poppies Pop-Up Shop at #StickyQuestions, Dec 3

Part of the ongoing program at the Art/Lit Living Innovation Zone (that awesome dragon sculpture designed right here in the Tenderloin by high school students from Youth Art Exchange) a uniquely blended event combining holiday shopping pop-up with a maker fair, no purchasing necessary to walk away with something.

Here’s a little more from the event page:

#StickyQuestions is thrilled to be partnering with The Poppies, A Pop-Up Shop, for a unique holiday boutique and maker space just in time for the holidays. On Sunday, December 3, artists, artisans, mystics, and makers will take over Fulton Street at Larkin in front of the Asian Art Museum. Neighbors will be invited to check out the wares of local Tenderloin / SOMA / San Francisco artists including glassware, paintings, digital photography, illustration, sound installations, and more. 

Don't have $$ to spend for the holiday craze? Well then, The Poppies Pop Up @ #StickyQuestions has you covered! In addition to artist vendors, The Poppies will feature interactive art-making stations, including a button and zine making station hosted by Crystal Mason, Trayvon Smith, Chazorae Bell, and the Art Speak Interns AND booths by Academy of Art University MFA Students. At these maker tables, neighbors will be encouraged to make things to give away rather than keep. 

Sunday December 3rd 11am-3pm, Art/Lit LIZ (Fulton at Larkin)

More info on the event page here


City Hall Popup Shop for the Holidays, Dec 6

From the event page:  Join Mayor Lee, Square, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and the SF Chamber of Commerce for a-one-of-a-kind pop-up holiday gift shop at City Hall. All items for sale are produced right here in San Francisco, by some of the most talented makers and artists. If you are looking for a unique holiday gift, or you just want to treat yourself to something special – then come and shop from over 40 local makers, artisans and merchants from every supervisorial district in San Francisco.

December 6th, 11am to 6pm, City Hall

More info on the event page here.


SF First Thursday Art Walk, Dec 6th, ongoing

While it’s not technically a holiday shopping experience, the first Thursday art walk presents an excellent opportunity to connect with artists, support their work, the neighborhood and thriving arts community along Lower Polk and the Tenderloin.

December 6th 6-10pm, at participating venues throughout Lower Polk and the Tenderloin. Every first Thursday, check out the walking map, current exhibits, artist info and more on the event website here.

UN Plaza Gift Gallery, Ongoing

Lastly, the ongoing UN Plaza Gift Gallery market can be found in UN Plaza weekly on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9am to 5pm.