The morning that I met Alissa Anderson in front of her boutique, Foggy Notion, the Inner Richmond was shrouded in a thick layer of fog. But I forgot about the gray as soon as she unlocked the doors and I followed her inside the shop. Suddenly, I was surrounded by an array of beautiful objects of all shapes and hues. Color and design are both important to Alissa, and that’s immediately apparent in her store.
Alissa is more than a business owner – she’s an artist. You may already know Alissa for her various accomplishments, including playing cello and flute in Vetiver, and taking memorable photographs that have graced the album covers of Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom, as well in publications and on gallery walls. Alissa is also a serious craftmaker. For ten years, she made and sold awesome recycled vinyl wallets crafted from tennis racket covers under the moniker Mittenmaker, via Etsy and in select shops and craft fairs. These days, she sells them at Foggy Notion.
She makes more than wallets. Alissa showed me a shelf stocked with soap pumps, which she assembled from blue glass mason jars found at estate sales and on Craigslist, and sturdy handmade bags made from recycled materials, which she crafts on a small table behind the counter.
Then there’s her minimalist recycled brass jewelry pieces. Often, they originate as items that she makes for herself. If she likes them enough, she recreates them to sell at the store. She also has jewelry collections from other artists –those silver hoops with long, thin crystals especially caught my eye.
Aside from her own wares, Foggy Notion carries goods made from other makers, many of them local and most from organic or recycled items. These adorable air plants, by Keith Aderholdt from the Outer Sunset, are tiny enough to fit on any windowsill or desk.
I noticed (read: drooled over) these beautiful bags made from Pendleton wool fabric. Alissa told me that since Pendleton brand accessories are assembled in China (the fabric itself is made in the US), she gets these gems from an artist named Ginny Vyvyan in Wisconsin.
Although it’s right around the corner from Green Apple Books, Foggy Notion on 6th Avenue isn’t visible from Clement Street, which means that a lot of Alissa’s business is from people in the neighborhood. It's kind of like a secret little shop for area locals, but like a juicy secret, Foggy Notion is too good not to share.
The second annual CelemenTime Microhood celebration on Thursday, December 6 is the perfect opportunity meet Alissa and check out her shop and the surrounding Clement Street neighborhood. And to double the celebration motivation, December also marks Foggy Notion's first anniversary.
On the night of the microhood party, the shop will be hosting a Heritage Mercantile pop-up and Satellite Republic, a Georgian food cart. Hell yeah! I'm definitely going to be getting Christmas presents for my favorite people next Thursday at Foggy Notion – I call dibs on the light green Ginny Vyvyan Pendleton bag!