Founded in 2009 by Kelly Malone and David Knight, WorkshopSF has become an institution in San Francisco, offering affordable DIY classes for adults, taught by awesome local instructors, makers and artists. Our mission is to rescue you from the tractor beam of your laptop or smartphone, plunge your hands into the proverbial dirt alongside a few of your city neighbors, and turn up the creativity volume on that brain boombox of yours! Sewing, watercolor, block printing, candle making, dyeing, sketching… these are just a few of the many creative skills that we will arm you with at Workshop. We keep it lo-fi here, meaning that we utilize affordable, accessible tools and machinery, most of which could be acquired and kept at your home. Of course you could scour bookstores or the internet to seek out learning on your own…. But what fun is that? We create a fun, inclusive, hands-on learning experience, and will introduce you to a talented, local Bay Area instructor who will ensure you leave class with a new, creative skill and perhaps even a mantle-worthy DIY project of your own doing! We offer a variety of evening and weekend classes for the general public, and we are available during the day for private events and corporate / teambuilding offsites.
Our instructors are a top-notch gang of local makers and designers, all of whom have just a pinch of badass in them (it’s a job requirement). Many of our instructors are working artists or makers, or hope to get there one day. As such, we strive to pay very equitable rates for their talents, work with them on press & PR to gain exposure, and encourage and educate them on strategies to turn their craftsmanship into a career. So, not only are you learning from truly passionate people who just freakin’ love what they do, but you’re supporting them while they make the jump to running their own business full time. Some of our teachers have moved on to open locations at The Ferry Building, the Mission, the ‘Loin, even Oakland and Los Angeles! We’re so proud!
21 & Over
We love the kids, but we are designed to be an adult space and sometimes have materials or things that are not appropriate for kids or teens. We offer classes that are fun, educational and an alternative to going to a bar. We try to create an environment that is casual and comfortable for adults, but we don’t want to offend any parents, so we like to be upfront about the vibe and intention of our classes.
Co-founder, Creative Director, Teacher, DIY badass, Interior Designer, Artist & Event Planner
Kelly came up with the idea for WorkshopSF after growing up building things with her Dad in the garage, and making clothing with her Mom in her sewing room. After falling in love with everything DIY and never wanting to stick to one hobby, she wanted to open SF’s first DIY school where folks could try out new creative skills without a lot of commitment. Kelly won the Guardian’s Business Woman of the Year award in 2011 and has won awards from ReadyMade, Dwell and SF Weekly. She enjoys interior design with endless DIY projects from woodworking, plant project, upholstery, punch needle and even pickling the spoils from her garden.
Co-founder, Business Ops, Class & Event Development, low-key Woodworker and Printmaker
David, otherwise known as DK, grew up in North Carolina going to rock shows and falling for the DIY rock style of handmade show fliers, then later working for Mammoth / Atlantic Records, as well as the famous Cat’s Cradle music venue. After a few years in SF working primarily in sales, marketing, and business operations for a handful of smaller companies, DK desired to get back into the creative world, and teamed up with Kelly in 2009 to launch WorkshopSF. DK oversaw the business as it grew from a single room offering 10-15 monthly classes, to multiple locations hosting up to 80+ monthly classes and events, employing over 20+ instructors. When off the clock, DK can usually be found at shows checking out psych rock and metal, slaying pinball machines across town or sharpening his own DIY skills in woodworking, cyanotype + screen printing, and dyeing.