Monday, December 9, 2013

Getting Crafty at Brit+ Co & More SF Holiday Fun

Do you love crafty stuff and DIY projects? Well so did Brit Morin and she turned her little side hobby of how-tos into a start-up that has amassed some serious funding. She's living the ultimate crafter girl's dream with a big beautiful building right in the heart of San Francisco. Her headquarters house a gorgeous test kitchen, living rooms and cozy spots to hang with her young team that are bringing her vision to the masses.

Last Thursday I was invited up to San Francisco to visit Brit + Co. with my buddy Adrienne of The Rich Life (on a budget) and we checked out their digs. During the holiday season Brit+co. is running a pop-up Make Shop  at their darling offices on Sutter Street, near Union Square. The front garden entry ( I told you it was cute), is decorated with faux snow and benches piled with sweaters pillows and the like.

 Inside, hip employees wearing knit hats and cozy scarves are there to help you choose one of the $19 Brit Kits they sell. They were also selling cool handmade jewelry, scarves, towels and more like you might see  at Whole Foods. The atmosphere was festive with movie Elf playing on the wall, as they led us back to their bright kitchen.

Brit came from Texas, as a student intern at Apple and worked her way over to Google. Through her connections, she has gotten the support to for this venture, which is pretty huge for a 28 year old. Some are even calling her the Martha Stewart of the younger generation.

 Her website is filled with DIY projects and home and wardrobe fixes that are fun and quick. Some are her own, some from other sites. She even has an app available for your phone as well. It's very Martha,  with ideas for better living.

Brit and her team invited the Wilton company in to give a cookie decorating class. Hey, I actually learned a few things! Adrienne and I struggled a bit at first with the piping tubes, but got the hang of it after a bit. ( At no time did the free wine from the hotel social hour figure into this, I swear!) I didn't know you need to hold your fingers in an "okay" shape as you are bearing down on the cookie, to prevent the frosting from squeezing out the top.

We also learned to use their thicker frosting that comes in Wilton's Elmer glue-like bottles to line a cookie, then flood the center.. To make this pretty look you draw a circle in the center with green and then four teardrop shapes around it, then drag down with a toothpick to the edges until you get this effect.  It was actually easy and even my boys said they were cool before they snarfed them…

Brit herself got up to thank us for coming and then sat next to Adrienne and I. She seems nice and had issues with decorating her own cookies! We chatted with a few other folks and were sent home with a box of goodies from Wilton. I am definitely trying some of these techniques at home when my kids and I make our annual sugar cookies for the neighbors and family.

I have to say I am impressed with the offices and the concept this young woman has. I do think there is something about learning to make things on your own, not buy them. It builds a confidence and gives you a sense of accomplishment. You also appreciate when someone spent some time creating an item specially made for you. For me Pinterest and Etsy has been a treasure trove of these kind of ideas. Perhaps Brit+co. will be something of the same for those who want to create at home, but don't have the time or energy to find ideas and source materials.

 It definitely aimed at a younger professional crowd. They seem to have a need for it. We really don't have the same lives our grandmothers, but we can still preserve a little of the past traditions by taking pride in projects done by hand, even if they are small!


Adrienne and I decided to stay in the city another night since the Brit+Co. party was in the evening and we both have long drives home. This time we tried another Kimpton Hotel, The Sir Francis Drake. I hadn't been there in years and it has been totally overhauled and is classically pretty. We paid for our room, but were lucky to get a lovely one with a corner window on the 15th floor. Talk about a view! Wow. They absolutely have one of the best looking at one side toward the bay and the other over festive Union Square.

I also love their location on Powell Street where the cable car stop right in front of the hotel! You can also see then go up and down the hills from your hotel window. It's a pretty fab local and like the Hotel Monaco which is just 2 blocks away, it's close to everything you want to do in San Francisco.

When we got there, Adrienne suggested lunch at one of her favorite spots, Le Central. This French Bistro is a San Francisco institution. It's charming and filled with SF peeps. Willie Brown has lunch there daily and we caught him while we sipped champagne at the bar.

I love the asparagus soup and their goat cheese salad is to die for!! It's a very fun stop if you are near the Drake or in the Union Square vicinity. It's right across from the China Town gates. You can also just pop in for a cappuccino and people watch!

Of course we shopped! The holiday windows are wonderful right now. Union Square has ice-skating rink open. All the Kimpton hotels have a complimentary wine hour with hand-picked selections so we popped in the Drake's mezzanine and had some wine.

I loved the decor's nod to Sir Francis Drake and the Elizabethan age.

 After our Brit + Co. adventure, hit Scala's bistro in the hotel, for a late night bite. It's really quite fun and had a buzz about it.

In the morning, we walked back towards the square and The Daily Grill for breakfast. We did lunch here before. I highly recommend this restaurant if you are near the theatre and shopping area. The food is delicious and unique, and I love the cozy here. It's like a 1940's diner. The Greyhounds are very good  here-( but not for breakfast! :D )

I wanted to include these little tips on the off chance you get up to San Francisco during this holiday time. I think it's worth a trip with the family or as a couple.  Do not miss Macy's windows with their SPCA adoption animals, Gumps and also the Wilkes-Bashford's!

Macy's Tout Sweet Patisserie on the 3rd floor-  overlooking the Union Square.
A nice little spot to have a  cup of tea and rest your feet.

We bought gloves! It was sooo cold in San Francisco.
 I'm loving these leopard print with touch screen enabled finger tips from Macy's.

Hope you are getting to enjoy the holidays a little!

Stay warm if you are in the states. It's cold everywhere right now!

 I'm off to tackle more cards, shopping and life. . .


Buche de Noel cakes at Le Boulange, another stop I love on Sutter Street.
 (I stop there before I grab my car at the Sutter St garage usually. They have great ice tea and breads too.)


  1. Kim thanks so much for sharing! I really enjoyed your descriptive account of your fabulous San Francisco visit and LUCKY YOU for going to BRIT & CO...what a cool place- thanks for keeping me up to date and current!!!

  2. Sounds like a fun holiday getaway!

  3. Sounds like a fun holiday overnighter!

  4. I had SO much fun with you. And even though I am the least crafty and worst DIY-er I know, I still had fun. Though it was a little intimidating sitting right next to Brit herself. Eek!
    Can't wait to see you again - hopefully after the holidays. We have such fun together! xoxo

  5. Kim dear-I loved this post. Since I was with you and Adrienne in your last city jaunt I know exactly how the whole vibe went. Love the champagne with lunch and the whole scene. I can't believe it was 37 degrees in the city. That's so cold for SF! You two looked gorgeous and like you had so much fun. Looking forward to our next getaway.
    xx, Heather

  6. You do exciting stuff! My life is so dull!
    Fab post Kim xx

  7. Great post, Kim! Looks like you and Adrienne had a fabulous time. I love those Buche de Noel cakes you showed. They are too beautiful to eat, and yet I want to eat a slice from each one. Ha. XO, Jill

  8. I love the city during Christmas, it has got to be the prettiest time all year!! Love the post, I'll have to try out that Cafe! And Le Boulange, ahhh...for me it is weekly visit for a chai latte and almond crisont. Lovely pictures! ~ Tiffany |

  9. How wonderful to have turned a hobby into a business like this. You seem to have had so much fun there. I know it's something I would enjoy and as for the red and green biscuit - it's gorgeous and reminds me of a sprig of holly! Shopping, good food, Christmas windows - the perfect getaway and those gloves are not only glamorous but practical too!

  10. That is so so cool, so admiring of people who do that! Love all your pictures, isn't SF so pretty in the holidays. Almost bought some gloves in NY but thought will never wear them over this way - I was wrong!

  11. Hi Kim,
    i saw a snippet on Instagram of your trip with Adrienne so had to come check it out. Looks like fun...all of it!

  12. Oh, this looks like so much fun!! I love it! :)

    Feel free to visit my blog as well! You will find topics such as beauty, health, NYC fashion, personal growth and motivation between others! <3

    New Outfit Post: A Colorful Cold Day

  13. Looks so much fun and lots of creativity, Brit is beautiful with lots of talent. It must have been a fun visit for you Kim.

  14. Looks so much fun and so creative Kim. Brit is so beautiful and must be so talented.