The Fixers: Where to Get Your Stuff Repaired in Austin, Chicago, Portland, and San Francisco


How do you find a cobbler who really gets leather or a tailor who can replace the zipper on a favorite dress like it ain’t no thang? Inquire with the designers in town. Well, we went ahead and did the asking for you—so bookmark this business. —erica


Austin – Ace Custom Tailors / 700 S. Lamar Blvd.
“They’re old school and precise—and I can peek in Kick Pleat next door to see what’s new.” —Katie Kime

Chicago – The Alterationist / 804 N. Bishop St.
“The owner Mary is incredibly talented and sweet. She specializes in bridal alterations, but she makes anything fit perfectly.” —Laura Lombardi

Chicago – De Louice / 1755 W. North Ave. #102
“My husband has had great service from De Louice in Wicker Park for custom shirts. He had a simple classic white button down made to his measurements that will last and last.” —Sarah Fox of Cursive Design

Portland - John Blasioli /
“One of my favorite friends and designers in town, John is unmatched in his eye for tailoring and construction.” —Caesy Oney of Draught Dry Goods

San Francisco – Lora Dukler Couture / 3112 California St.
“In addition to doing exquisite custom work, Lora is one of the best in Northern California for altering wedding gowns and elaborate dresses of any kind. She’s expensive but more than worth it.” —Ryan DeBonville


Austin – Austin Shoe Hospital / multiple locations
“They are surgeons for shoes. Those designer shoes that are so old they’re becoming vintage but you have to hold on to? They make it possible.” —Katie Kime

Austin – Golden Slipper Modern Boot Repair / 1903 S. 1st St.
“I trust my vintage cowboy boots to Golden Slipper. They can repair handbags and luggage, too.” —Natalie Davis of Canoe

Chicago – Beehive Shoe Works / 35 N. Wells St.
“Winter in Chicago is very, very rough on shoes. Beehive has been able to take even my most beat-up pairs and make them look brand-new. Quick turnaround time is a major plus.” —Laura Lombardi

Oakland – Rockridge Keys Cut & Shoes Repair / 5100 Broadway
“I took my cork Dieppa Restrepos here. He took the time to carefully stain the new soles to perfectly match my shoes and added a complimentary repair to the toe of the shoes. There is also an amazing selection of neon custom keys to choose from.” Kindah Khalidy

Portland – Hollywood Shoe Repair / 4504 NE Sandy Blvd.
“They’re great problem-solvers.” —Caesy Oney of Draught Dry Goods

San Francisco – Anthony Shoe Services / 340 Kearny St.
“These guys will bring back your favorite Prada shoes from the dead, and they repair handbags, too!” —Ryan DeBonville


Portland – Plaza Cleaners / 803 NW 21st Ave.; 909 NW Everett
“Green dry-cleaning—I actually worked there part-time in college!” —Caesy Oney of Draught Dry Goods


Austin – Bead It / 2058 S. Lamar Blvd.
“For all of my costume-jewelry repair, I use Bead It. I take all of my mega-pieces here.” —Katie Kime

Portland - Simon Golub & Sons / 2820 SE 8th Ave. #2
“This is one of my favorite places in town, and I work with them often—super-sweet people who do great work.” —Caesy Oney of Draught Dry Goods

San Francisco – Balzan Jewelry Repair / 210 Post St. #306
“They do phenomenal work with costume and fine jewelry. It’s not inexpensive, but it’s completely worth it.” —Ryan DeBonville 

Click here for recs in L.A.! And here for ones in NYC!

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Kindah Khalidy’s Totally Sweet NorCal Candy Tour

Some sugary fixes that look as awesome as they taste.

If you’re searching for an excuse to make a candy run, just tell everyone you’re looking for some color inspiration—that’s what Kindah Khalidy does. And, boy, does she know where to get the good stuff. Check out her favorite local sweet spots—and the pieces in her hand-painted collection they inspired. —monica derevjanik



Cottage of Sweets, Carmel
“Cottage of Sweets isn’t in the Bay Area, but it’s my #1. It’s literally the teeniest, wood-shingled cottage, and it’s packed with candies you thought were extinct. I always recommend the made-in-house fudge and the interestingly shaped gummy candies. Jawbreakers are beautiful with the mix of primary colors splattered all over—I’m really into the mix of color and negative space, and I had fun mixing the two on a clutch.”
(Ocean Ave. between Monte Verde and Lincoln;



Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, Berkeley
“Powell’s has that Willy Wonka wonderland factor. It’s a large space fully stocked with lots of wicker baskets of hard-to-find classic candies. They even have most of my favorite Haribo gummies.”
(3206 College Ave., Berkeley;



Miette, Oakland
“Miette has four locations, and each is unique in its own way. I love this store because it displays its confections in such a way that one can appreciate them as art. Their macaroons are very good and are made without food coloring.”
(85 Webster St., Oakland;



Ici, Berkeley
“Ici is small and slightly feminine—and always has a line of customers running down the entire block. They have all these flavors of ice cream, sorbets, and ices…and then bonbons and other frozen treats. Their cones have a decent amount of chocolate inside, and you can get them in bouquet-like packages for takeout. I actually gifted one to my boyfriend once as a manly alternative to a bouquet of flowers.”
(2948 College Ave., Berkeley;

Wanna satisfy a sweet tooth? Kindah’s Cotton Candy Clutch is absolutely your fix.

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Ali Golden’s Temescal Alley Tour

A half dozen stellar spots in Oakland’s most happening ‘hood.

Imagine going to work everyday next door to all your friends, who happen to be cool, creative types you can look (across the alley) to for inspiration. Yah, that’s Ali Golden’s life, as her little corner of Oakland, the offbeat Temescal, gains attention for everything from killer clothes and jewelry to good eats and hip hair. There’s so much amazingness close by that there’s rarely a reason to leave. “The shop owners in the alley have a whiskey cocktail named after us at Pizzaiolo since we frequent the place so often!” Ali humble-brags. Here, the places that Ali frequents and you should, too. —carly pifer

Score the rockin’ silk top Ali made from her sweet set-up now!

Temescal Alley Barbershop: “I originally found my studio and discovered Temescal Alley through Brad at the Temescal Alley Barbershop. Everything just came together when I met Brad and was introduced to this great community of people. I don’t get my haircut at the barbershop, but my boyfriend does—and he loves it. And it is just a super nice space to hang out.”

Esqueleto: “Another great friend, Lauren Wolf of Esqueleto [Ed: And her own jewelry line, featured on this site!] moved from New York recently and opened this seriously great shop. Everything about it is perfect. Lauren is extremely supportive and such a good role model for me as a business girl and just a human being in general. We’ve done a few little collaborations and are planning on collaborating on a lookbook soon!”

Marisa Haskell: “Marisa Haskell, a jewelry designer, is like a sister to me. Originally, I moved in next door to her then-studio, and a few days later we had Brad saw out a permanent doorway in the wood wall that connected our studios. So, for a year, we basically shared a studio, and it was so lovely. Sadly, last month she out-grew her space and moved eight feet, directly across the way. We’re looking into purchasing walkie talkies.” 

Minds Eye Vintage: “Sarah Rainey and Maya Messoriano, who own Minds Eye Vintage, are two great friends of mine. I keep saying that, but it’s true in every case! Their shop is a perfectly designed, perfectly curated manifestation of their own rad personal styles.”

Crimson Horticultural Rarities: “The owners of Crimson Horticultural Rarities, Leigh Okies and Allison Futeral, are more great friends, and theirs was one of the first shops in the alley. It has grown into something very special. Their shop is full of great little plants and objects.”

Pizzaiolo: “These are the boys from Pizzaiolo taking a break in front of the vintage store—the owner, Charlie Hallowell, is on the left. Pizzaiolo is a restaurant that focuses on local, seasonal food, and the alley where my studio and store is located dead-ends into their backyard/garden/chicken-coop.”

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Ali Golden Gets Handsy With Her Line

Why not do as much as you can, while you can?

Ali’s studio and store, set in a former horse stable in Temescal Alley in Oakland.

“I’ve really tried to build my line and business the way I think it should exist, which is kind of out of the normal cycle of the fashion industry,” Ali Golden says of her namesake line of easy-fitting tunics and, more recently, rockin’ canvas bags. Here, a few of the ways that Ali gets her hands dirty. —carly pifer

“I do all my own pattern-drafting and sample-sewing. Making my own patterns is one of my favorite parts of the design process. It’s great because the turn-around time per style is super fast when I can do the fitting, fix the pattern, and re-sew the sample quickly. Then I can sell ‘first-draft’ samples in the store—there is very little time or materials wasted.”

“This kind of shows the process of how my prints come to life. I started using prints in my spring 2013 collection, and they have been hand-drawn and put into the computer—by me!—and then silk-screened. The above print was printed in two color-ways on two types of fabric.”

“Peter and Mai are the owners of the San Francisco factory that does my production, and I have a very close relationship with them. Before me, they didn’t have clients who did silk garments, so I got to teach them how to sew with silk!”

“I make all the bags in my line at the moment because it’s a nice excuse to sew and use my hands—I do all the cutting, sewing, and leatherwork with help from my dear assistant. It’s a labor-intensive process, but I love it! Originally, I was only going to be selling them directly, but some great stores showed interest—so I’ve started wholesaling them to a few good friends. At the moment, I’m working on finding a local production place to construct the bags because I can’t do it myself anymore!”

To see what Ali made just for Of a Kind, come back tomorrow! Getting on our email list is the best way to make sure you don’t miss out.

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Ali Golden

Ali Golden the designer is as straightforward as Ali Golden the line. With a background in graphic design and fine arts, she just sort of fell into the clothing world in 2011, discovering an attraction to flowy fabrics and clean lines. Of course it doesn’t hurt that she is an expert on the sewing machine, still making patterns and sewing her own samples, and is highly involved in every last aspect of her production, a rarity that totally shines through in her simple, thoughtful collection.

Meandering her way up the West Coast, Ali spent her childhood surfing and soaking up SoCal’s carefree vibes and now calls Oakland home. The offbeat neighborhood where her shop-meets-studio is located happens to be one of the coolest scenes in the city, with a vibe speaks to the sort of girl who would be drawn to her pieces. As Ali explains, that’s someone who “wants comfort foremost, but still wants to look good and unique. I like the idea of displaying my style with a lightness and a sense of humor—nothing too serious,” she says. Another key feature of her mostly silk label: “Almost everything is one size fits 0 to 10, so it literally is for everyone. It’s utilitarian and inspired by the notion of a uniform: anonymous with an edge.” —carly pifer

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Of a Kind

When Shara Lotfi, of the line that bears her last name, walked into an event we hosted last week at the amazing Esqueleto in Oakland wearing these here pants, we may have had a miniature meltdown. —erica

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Are You in SF? Oakland? Menlo Park? Palo Alto?

Well, all you Bay Area-ers, come out and see us tomorrow night and meet some way cool designers. We’re co-hosting a low-key little shindig at Lauren Wolf's aaaahh-mazing Oakland shop Esqueleto, and it’s a total come-one, come-all affair. So: COME. —erica

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Lauren Wolf’s Super-Talented Artist Friends

Beeswax-dipped drawings and bird-skull ceramics? Show us more.

The space!

Lauren Wolf’s Oakland boutique Esqueleto, which means skeleton in Spanish, sells jewelry—the work of a dozen designers, including herself, is up for grabs. But it also doubles as an art gallery. The ultra-rad shop, with its white walls, rams’ skulls, and Southwestern rugs, showcases a different on-the-verge artist every two months.  Here, Lauren shares some of Esqueleto’s illustrious alumni, including, adorably, her illustrator boyfriend. —raquel laneri

Speaking of rad, wait ‘til you see the sparkly earrings Lauren made for us. No need to wait, actually: Click here.

Afton Love
“Afton is a native Oakland person, and I met her through one of our jewelry clients. She’s just really starting on her career, and she’s excellent. She does drawings with graphite on tracing paper and then dips them in beeswax, so they have this really ethereal sort-of look, which is awesome. And she has these custom redwood frames build for her work. They’re really stunning pieces.”

Michele Quan
“Right now we have Michele Quan’s work up. She’s a Brooklyn-based ceramicist. One of my friends had told me about her, and then Michele and I both happened to be at the same trade show in New York. A lot of her ceramics are skulls—bird skulls and that type of thing—which fit with our shop name. So it really made sense. And it’s been really well-received so far.”

Patrick Dunaway
“The first person we featured was my boyfriend. The gallery idea was originally something that we had together. He does pen-and-ink drawings, all original. We have known each other since first grade—we did not date the whole time, though! We were always friends and in touch, but we didn’t really end up reconnecting until he moved to New York when I lived there. When that happened, we decided to give it a shot, and now we’re here in Oakland. So, we obviously featured him first. And he’s come and gone with some shows since then.”

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Lauren Wolf

Lauren Wolf has always had a decisive personality. “My mom says that when I was little she’d never buy me clothes or anything because I was always so opinionated,” says the 32-year-old Oakland-based designer. So when a friend told her about an artist community in San Miguel, Mexico, that offered silversmithing classes, Lauren didn’t think twice about abandoning a career in advertising to head south of the border in 2002. “I had studied journalism and anthropology in school,” she says. “But as soon as I heard about learning jewelry-making in Mexico, it wasn’t even a question: I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

It’s that same uncompromising self-assuredness that makes Lauren’s designs for her eponymous label, which she launched two years after taking the jewelry plunge, so badass: spikey silver stingray necklaces, gold bear-claw pendants, studs made with precious black pearls or unpolished ruby. Some of her boldness also comes from years spent honing her craft—after an intense six months in Mexico, she moved to New York City to further her studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology and did eight years in the city before moving to Oakland, where she now also owns a boutique.

Lately, Lauren’s expanded her business to include custom work, which means she has had to learn to curb her more stubborn tendencies. “It’s kind of daunting to create outside your normal box,” she says. But the intrepid designer who mixes diamonds with anaconda bones has always relished a challenge. “It always ends up much better than you think.” —raquel laneri

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Lauren Wolf Takes Us On a Tour of Oakland’s Coolest Neighborhood

Get yourself to Temescal ASAP, everybody.

In 2010, Lauren Wolf and her boyfriend moved from New York City to Oakland, California. And though the designer behind the gritty-but-elegant jewelry line loved her old neighborhood in Brooklyn, she immediately fell for Temescal—so hard that she decided to open a shop, Esqueleto, there. “It’s sort of hidden,” she says, “but it’s a real community.” Here, six of her favorite local haunts. —raquel laneri

Crimson Horticulture Rarities
“Our store’s in a unique space: It’s an alley of old horse stables that have been converted into commercial retail spaces. This horticulture store is just a stone’s throw away from us, and they do a lot of our plants.” (

Ali Golden
“Ali Golden is an Oakland-based ready-to-wear designer, and she basically hand-makes all her clothing in her store here. She does really contemporary basics, and they’re awesome. She just started a handbag collection, so I bought a bag—black and white striped canvas with brown leather handles. She’s also making a black silk top for me now.” (

“Esqueleto’s alleyway connect back to this place called Pizzaiolo. It has been in the neighborhood for about eight years. It’s all local food. The chef who owns and runs the place used to work at Chez Panisse, so it’s really high-quality food and a really interesting menu. Get the pizza, obviously.” (

Mind’s Eye Vintage
“The owners are great girls. They stock the shop based on themes—last month was baseball, so they had a bunch of vintage Oakland A’s pieces. Now they have a ton of vintage bathing suits.“ (

Doña Thomas
“This is a sort of upscale Mexican restaurant, and the food is very traditional—I should know, I lived in Mexico! When you walk in you feel like you’re in old-world Mexico: high ceilings, bright colors, tables covered in that plastic floral print. We like to go there for margaritas.” (

Pacific Ring
“I love the boxing gym. They offer Muay Thai boxing, an all-over strength conditioning boxing, and it’s really intense. Pacific Rim has been around for a really long time. Before work, I either do boxing here, or I go for a hike in the Oakland Hills, which is just 10 minutes from our house.” (

Now’s your chance to score Lauren’s equally cool edition: These druzy earrings could hang in Oakland or *anywhere*.

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