Electric Blanket

Fine Art * Vintage Living * Special Projects

Out with a bash or two

We spent the last ten days at 3075 in full celebration mode. Thank you to everyone who made it a joyous few weeks to close an awesome year. We're working on the online store, conjuring up projects and plans, and looking forward to seeing you again soon. <3 EB  


These walls are still ours, and we're set to make the most of them. Not even moving could stop us from showing Katrina Herman's work. Who's that you ask? You know those amazing ALL GOLD shirts you've been snatching up from the store? The custom made (for EB) meticulously drawn designs that you can't resist? That Katrina. 

So excited to celebrate her work, celebrate art, and celebrate the space for one last show. Ten days of Katrina. Come launch them with us at the gallery on Wednesday evening from 6-9. Next Wednesday, the 17th. That's how we roll. 

update: a few photos from the opening!

Living the Dream: Destination Unknown


  • Cecile, 6, who loved my brownies I put out in the first few weeks, asked me if I’d bake her a cake, and then visited every Wednesday to hug me, draw me on notecards, and ask many questions.


  • Alexa, Alexandra, and Miranda, all who walked in the door as customers and left with a job at the store, who will be friends forever. Mara, Katie and Ava who stepped in to shopkeep and save the days.


  • Morgan, Chrissy Lynn, Jonathan, and Cesar, Jenny and all of the other friends from the neighborhood who checked in on me throughout their workdays every week and became the lunch club, who created at the table and helped me with projects.


  • Ginger, Christina and Anya, Megan and Emily, Kristen and Kristen, Peter from Denmark and the countless friends who came to make things at the table and leave their loveliness behind.


  • Every writer and photographer who opened their eyes and saw every little detail and then took the time to write about it. Every smartphone holder who instagrammed the store with the sweetest comments…


When I think of the greatest part of the last eleven months, it’s the moments I’ve had with amazing people who are rich with creativity and who will be a part of that story forever. When long ago the psychic said that I would make something crazy one day to bring together a group of like minded people who shared a common creative experience, the ‘merry band of pranksters’, I had no idea what that meant. I get it now.  


The other great parts: curating, flea market shopping with friends at stupid hours in the morning and the breakfasts that followed, the hundreds of Coffee Stories left for coffee and the scores of stories submitted for the blanket installation; the answers to questions on the board; painting the windows, hanging art shows, filling the ceiling with space blankets with my brother just because; family dinners, beers, putting skeletons together, carving pumpkins, being surrounded by everyone I love at the soft opening party, watching people discover something they loved and couldn't live without, listening to those who stopped to tell me how the space affected them...


Eleven months ago I set out on a mission to have a creative life as an artist and a curator. I gave notice to my amazing job, signed paperwork for a personal loan, and signed a 12 month lease on a huge, light filled space five blocks from home. My goal was to give it a year and see what happened. Maybe I’d love it, maybe I’d hate it, but I’d do it. And with bulletproof determination, I completed each step to the fullest, each detail with my heart.


I learned quickly that giving your entire heart to a space, with an open door to the public, had consequences I hadn’t expected and didn’t love. Doing it all alone was exhausting and I found I had no time or energy for my own art. I became a full time business person, and I became a facilities manager constantly having to worry about toilet paper and paper towels and coffee filters and milk. I became a data entry slave who was always behind with inventory logs and spending spreadsheets. My time in the shop was spent talking all day, sometimes to people who just wanted someone to talk to and brought heaviness to the space. There were a million things to do and they weren’t the fun things.  


As I learned more, I talked to other shopkeepers. I learned what being in a different neighborhood might be like, both for foot traffic and for safety. I added more security but felt increasingly unsafe for a variety of reasons. I stressed about each of us being in the space on a quiet street alone, and I had anxiety about the coming darkness of the winter months. I looked at the list of art pieces I’ve been meaning to make for a year but haven’t touched. I thought of the next zine I’ve been meaning to work on with my brother but haven’t had five minutes for. I thought of why I wanted this space in the first place and the choices I had ahead. I realized that I’m in control of these things, and that no, it’s not burning out — it’s deciding that while I can keep proving I can do it, I don’t have to. I get to make decisions and then new decisions. I get to learn. I get to iterate.


It’s month eleven of the lease and I have the chance to pause and think, and to use what I’ve learned to make what I create even better. I decided this weekend that I won’t renew the lease which expires at the end of this month, that the space I want lives somewhere else. I started to rush to find its new home, and then I realized it doesn’t have to be rushed. It can live online with Electric Bridal until I figure out how it’s meant to exist next. And in the meantime I will work with all of the creative friends and artists I’ve envied in these last eleven months. I’ll get to collaborate.


In the next few weeks we’ll be lightening our load in effort to reduce the need for storage and ensure that V2 is filled with fresh things. We hope to see you for sales in our final few weeks of hoorah’s at 3075.  You’ll see more and more online, as well as changes to our website so that shopping EB is still easy and beautiful. And then we’ll keep you posted along the way about what the future holds. It’s going to be amazing.


Opening Electric Blanket was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I will always be grateful for everyone who has made it what it is, which is an oasis in a desert, the 'creative clubhouse' I dreamed of.

With love to everyone who has helped be a part of the incredible and irreplaceable highlights,

Jillian for Electric Blanket.

Behind the Scenes: The Electric Bridal Studio Shoot

In a week of big announcements, this morning we launched our Bridal website electricbridal.com. We're super excited about getting to work with glamorous and unique dresses that we think are perfect for our kind of wedding- the incredibly fun ELECTRIC kind. 

Putting the collection and the site together was an incredible experience, and we're super grateful for the team who made it possible. I've listed where you can find the pros at the end of the post, so check them out! 

Here are some behind the scene polaroids (with a totally crap pack of Impossible film!) of our first shoot in the studio, a crazy and full-on day that ended super happily with beer and fried food and friends. I'll also post some photos from the style/ fashion shoot which came a few weeks later soon! 

Super super thanks to our team of incredible women who helped launch Electric Bridal: 

Chrissy Lynn Photo, a good friend of Electric Blanket who I was dying to collaborate with spent all day slaving in the studio, working some serious magic while keeping it fun. She also entertained my need to spend all day talking about wedding dresses for months <3.  

Natali Truax who used to divide her life between perfecting hair and photographing/ filming weddings came out of retirement for hair, which was awesome because she can do *anything* with hair amazingly. She also stuck around to do like, everything else that was going on that day.

Marsha Litvinova didn't flinch when I told her I wanted crazy wild eyes and didn't get too mad at me when the makeup was instantly ruined by my eyes which refused to stop tearing... Also a woman who can do anything you ask for and be lovely while doing it...

My good friend Elizabeth of Lowe House Creative who woke up, trekked into the city and then stood on a ladder all morning pulling tulle and then dressing and undressing models, yelling at me, and telling everyone what to do. I knew that her experience in the wedding industry and cleaning up chaos would be invaluable, and this proves to be true daily.

All but one of our gorgeous models are our very own employees, and they're through and through the best. I'm so grateful for them every day, and now I get to look at their faces constantly. Thank you for being troopers. 

And last but not least, thanks to my always supportive boyfriend and close friends who constantly kept me in check, reviewed the site a thousand times, and listened to months of babbling excitement mixed with stress about putting it all together. I love you! 





Much Ado About Fun Things

So much has been happening at the store that we've fallen behind on blogging. Here are some photos from the fun, starting with: 

Time Kills, an exhibition of collages by Alexandra Jane Williams: 

Playing in the store with friends: 

And the opening of the next new art exhibition, Dream State by Amanda Dyson:

Creative Clubhouse, STYLE.

San Francisco's Best of the Bay 2014

"Here," I said, as I passed Alexandra the mail on Saturday afternoon. See if you can find the shop in here. We might be in it. "

Whatever Alexandra said out loud was lost on me, because then she turned the magazine around and under the huge letters that spell STYLE is a full page photo of me in the gallery in a 1950s petticoat and my great aunt's stone martens next to mannequin legs in the gallery, my gallery. GASP!



It's a photo my dear friend Maddie of Eyes And Hart Photography took of me before the store officially opened. Maddie agreed to take photos of me and my "shop cat" who was so scared he never wanted to come back to the store (seriously) in the space with dresses and art, just for fun. One of me on the gallery became the homepage image, and one of my hands holding the coffee cup is now on the Coffee Project page. The photo wasn't properly attributed to her because of how I had poorly shared it in a gallery, sadly, especially because it's such a fantastic signature Maddie photo. So I'm letting Everyone know this work is Maddie's! MADDIE all. HART AND SOL.

Aside from this huge and amazing photo that I wasn't expecting to see, San Francisco Magazine wrote this gorgeous little writeup on the space:


CONCEPT SHOP Is Electric Blanket a vintage shop? A gallery? An antique store? A coffee cart? The brainchild of artist Jillian West, it's gleefully, defiantly all those things. West started with a honed collection of retro dresses, heels, and men's button-downs, then topped it off with flea market finds from her travels through Amsterdam, Berlin, and Paris, including hardcover books and antique glassware. She fabricated the shop's furniture herself, from the hairdresser's station turned coffee cart to the barn-wood table. The coffee, by L.A.'s Handsome Coffee, is both a pick-me-up and a social lure. "I wanted a reason for people to come hang out at the bar," West says. The attached gallery showcases her vintage-inspired collage art and crowdsourced installation pieces. This summer, Electric Blanket kicks off a performance series featuring readings, storytelling events, music, and film screenings. 


To say that I'm honored, or that I'm shocked we're here in the Best of the Bay issue of our city's magazine five months after opening - is a massive understatement. This is pretty much the highlight of this shopkeeper's career, and one I thought would take years to achieve, if ever. 


SO, YAY, and thanks San Francisco Magazine for noticing this colorful art project...

"...gleefully, defiantly all those things."


We Finally Sent A Newsletter. In Case You Haven't Subscribed...

This is how it went:


Five Months since the opening, a year since the Electric Blanket seed was planted. 


A year ago this week I registered some domains, I set up a website, I became an overly determined madwoman. Six months or so later, I opened the door to Electric Blanket. I had no idea what to expect. Would EVERYTHING sell? Would NOTHING sell? Would I turn out to be a terrible sales person since I've spent my whole career in polar opposite industries? 

There were things I learned that I didn't expect, mostly about time management and being an emotionally invested perfectionist- mainly, that if you try to open a store and a gallery with your own art and curation from scratch and run it and make it perfect all by yourself and all at once, you're likely to quickly run yourself into the ground and hate everyone and everything, especially your shop. So, a few months in I took a step back, brought on a tiny team of awesome people to help out a few days a week, and attained some perspective about how the store could be steadily more amazing, if not perfect at once. So, since the Grand Opening this January:

 colored glass now for sale

colored glass now for sale

 a blanket of coffee stories

a blanket of coffee stories

 so many awesome local zines

so many awesome local zines


We Made Things

We yarn bombed the windows! Someone eloquently wrote about this on an instagram post, that there was symbolism in making something constraining (bars) beautiful and open through art. So many people in the community stopped to thank me for making the neighborhood prettier, and others just shouted from across the street about what an awesome project it was.  

We started an installation of coffee project stories on the ceiling in the shop. It's a little blanket now, but eventually be a big flowing blanket of story. Some are also in log form on our Coffee Project page. 

We found more/ NEW THINGS to curate such as:

  • Colored glassware that's now for sale 
  • local zines and cards
  • Sunglasses by AJ Morgan
  • Vintage baby clothes 
  • Tees by All Gold SF, one designed exclusively for Electric Blanket!

We went live with an Etsy shop (Women's only for now, as Men's tend to fly off the racks before we can photograph them).

ART! Most of my work is coming down on June 27th. This means that if you've seen a piece you love but it was out of your price range, they're now 50% off. Yep, that basically means the price of the custom frame. But I want them to have loving homes that appreciate them and I can't hoard them because I want to make more, so come have another look before they're gone. 

We hosted the launch celebration for Episoda, a great little magazine, and had a family dinner hosted by Megan Yip that was oh so good. Baby steps into events, as the above has kept me more than busy. 

We made a press page on our website to keep up with all of the amazing press about the store. YAY.

And then there's THE FUTURE...


An exhibition! TIME KILLS by Alexandra Jane Williams opens on Friday June 27th at 6pm. Come celebrate and check out her wonderful collages.  

More events. We finally have someone coming in to help with events, because this has mostly fallen into the "can't do everything on my own" basket. Katie is rad and on it, so hold tight. Soon. 

The Gentlewoman & Fantastic Man will be in store this autumn.

Will You Be My Electric Blanket Zine Issue 2 will be out sometime soon. I know, so behind. 

We'll potentially have new coffee in soon, since Handsome was bought by Blue Bottle. Stay tuned.

And more, because I'm still a madwoman. Keep up to date by following our Twitter (@electricblanket) and Instagram/Facebook (@electricblanketsf) accounts. 

Jillian/ Electric Blanket


PS: If you'd like to subscribe to our email list, do so at the bottom of our contact page. We promise it won't get annoying. It took us five months to write the first email!

Spring at the store: a launch, a dinner, some friends from afar.

Spring came and left us and I took some photos that I never found time to scan and upload and then get out. It was a crazy few months and I learned what seemed like a whole bachelors degree in shopkeeping. So before it becomes autumn, I figure it's time to catch up a bit. 

In April we hosted the celebration of Episoda Magazine, the CCA senior project of Dylan Rupert. Collaborating with artists and writers from around the country, Dylan made the slickest, most professional little magazine in town. As she explained the project to me, all I could think was: 1. This is exactly what Electric Blanket is about, and exactly what we want to be a part of and 2. Holy motivated, I rarely meet people this together. Dylan continued to impress, and the launch celebration was a success. We're excited to have some issues stocked in the store (in the fridge, in fact).

And a few weeks later, we had our first official non-takeaway mishmash of friends family dinner, hosted by Megan Yip. Megan seriously cooked seven courses for 10 people. Like, by herself. Alone. In a kitchen. And then she delivered it all to the store despite city parking challenges. And the most insane part was that she was HAPPY and cool and not even a little bit stressed for a second. The food was amazing, better than any restaurant, and there was rarely a moment when the room wasn't filled with laughter. It was exactly how our first real family dinner should have been. We're super grateful to Megan and look forward to more following her journeys as a pastry student

And last, Life. The store was filled with life this spring. There was rarely a quiet moment, hence why you haven't heard from me. We've made a trillion shop friends from all around the world. Our bright colors have spilled out onto the street and people have noticed. We've had unreal press without even asking for it. It's been a whirlwind of fun. To close, here are some photos of a quick visit from some Australian and Danish friends in the shop. And you can expect more updates soon. Very soon!


This could be a post about how in the last five months I've had no time at all- not even five seconds to organize the events I wanted to, or make art like I planned to, or delve into the many projects I intended to- because running a shop is practically impossible as a solo owner, or at least it's seemed that way. It's thrilling, it's exactly where I'm supposed to be, but it's a time manipulator, because hours turn into days into weeks into months and somehow, I still never got that last blog post out or managed to figure out how to find more time for events. BUT! BUT... this is actually a post about ALEXANDRA JANE WILLIAMS and her magnificent art which will be adorning our walls starting June 27th. SO EXCITING. 

Alexandra strolled into the store a few (months?) ago and after chatting, we swapped zines (hers is actually a book I'll write more about later)- and in short, I fell in love with her work and knew it was just exactly what we needed next. It reminded me of my work but also totally different, which felt like the perfect transition. The only thing that makes taking my work off the wall ok is knowing that hers will be taking its place.  

COME, visit, explore. Join us on June 27th at 6pm to celebrate the launch of Alexandra's exhibition, TIME KILLS.  A bit more about the exhibition and Alexandra are below.

Time Kills


For me, making collages is a way of passing time.  It’s a form of documentation in some ways, but more than that, it is a spontaneous arrangement of elements within a deliberate act of creating.  I enjoy the physical act of cutting out small shapes and images, as well as the process of looking through material and finding themes that emerge.  I tend to go through a lot of paper goods at once and cut out whatever seems compelling, then I sort the images by their content and begin arranging them into their new forms.  I try not to overthink the final product too much, but rather go with what feels right in the moment.  The time spent on each work ranges from 20  minutes to a few hours, but most were completed on the day they were started.  I enjoy looking at old things, particularly paper and materials that age well such as wood and leather. Time destroys these things (as with most things), but in the process they take on many, often beautiful, forms. 

Alexandra Jane Williams is a bookbinder, artist and general maker of things based out of San Francisco.  She works doing print production for Chronicle Books and is the Volunteer Coordinator at the American Bookbinder’s Museum.   

WHAT IS THIS? One Month Later.

I've been drafting this post in my head for approximately four weeks now, though I feel no closer to the goal of articulating what it's all been like. Simply put, it's impossible to accurately sum up four days, nevermind four weeks, of a new space, a new career, a whole new world. So instead, here's a top 7. 



The Top 7 Lessons/ Surprises/ Takeaways of Month One (in no particular order)

1. People: The best part of my previous job was always people. Fortunately, this is still the case. While Electric Blanket is on an otherwise industrial street, the area is teeming with creative folk in secret creative spaces. Within a few days it became apparent that this space and this space were meant to be. Some long afternoons and late nights around the table with new and old friends kicked the month off exactly how we had hoped. 

2. People: Yes, I meant it twice, because while 75% of the people I meet in the store every day are amazing, 25% leave me in shock. I quickly learned about the vulnerability and exposure associated with materializing your wildest dreams and putting them out in the open, and then having people storm in with haste, violently shift through racks, and then abruptly ask you where you're getting your money from, where you buy your inventory, how much you're paying for rent, to stock their stuff that has no relevance and then insult you because they can. We'll consider this part and parcel now. 

3. People vs My Vision: For the first two weeks, almost every person who walked in the door took one step and then asked in exactly these words every time: "WHAT IS THIS?" It seemed so obvious to me, but a lot of people didn't really get it. I looked around, discussed with J & K, did some reflecting. Yes, a large barn table in the center of the room would probably throw people off. I made more signage. People stopped asking the question, and the people who really get it started finding us.  It's an exciting and ultimately very fulfilling experiment in expectations and discovery. 

4. Press! Within the first month, we found beautiful words about the store in Tweets and photos on Instagram, on Pinterest and Facebook, and then stories on Daily Candy, the blog of design firm Techne Collecitve, and a surprise until I read it, The Daily Secret. This week the phone rang with more interest and yesterday an awesome photographer spent the morning with the store and found every detail I thought no one would notice.  So much yay.

5. Events are on people's minds. I wanted a few weeks to settle in and not rush towards the next phase since we got to this point so quickly, but it's getting closer and we're starting to plan. The area seems hungry for some fun. We're working on it. 

6. Doing work you love truly doesn't feel like work, and for that we're grateful.   

7. The future is bright. I'm so excited for the year ahead. The roller coaster of emotions that found their way into my insides in the first few weeks have slowed, and I'm getting the hang of this thing, which means I can get back to focusing on how to make it even more amazing. We've been adding bits to the physical space (photos below!) and the website (photos, the Coffee Project), changing questions on the board, and creating more every day.  


Has it been everything I've ever dreamed of? Honestly, I still feel like I'm dreaming, and the reality of it all hasn't registered yet. We'll see what month two of this new world brings. 








If my blinking eyes could act as shutters and print out all of the fantastic moments of the day, and if my ears could translate the sounds Ben & Kristen created, you'd know just how beautiful opening day was. Instead here are a few quick shots to sum up a few of those moments. I was too busy absorbing the rest for myself. Thanks to everyone who came to celebrate!


Starting January 12th 2014, Electric Blanket is officially open for business. That means you can stop by and have a cup of Handsome Coffee while browsing around at some art and beautifully curated vintage clothing, sit at our large beautiful windows, pick up a zine and say hello to a skeleton or taxidermy antelope. 

Please come join us for the opening of the store on Sunday, January 12th. We'll be there all day with champagne and treats and maybe even a bit of live music if we can convince Kristen and Ben to sing the song they made for the store! And if you can't make it, we'll be open 11-7 Tues- Sun after the 12th.

Spread the word! 


The Artheaval - Photos from (soft) Opening Night

It started out with an art competition in Western Australia about six years ago when I entered a collage called "Fragments of".  I won a prize, gained a bit of confidence, and decided to approach a store in Perth who agreed to hang my art. A few pieces sold and I was overjoyed to see them clustered on the wall. We moved to San Francisco and I tried again, this time at a vintage store. My new friends came to flood the store for an opening I'll never forget. There was another show in another vintage shop, another in a local shop, one in our office at Twitter, and then last year in a store called Merch. Despite having a full time career plus running a full time photography business, I somehow always made time to make and show art on the side. It was fabulous and the openings were each a night to remember forever with those same friends, plus new friends along the way. But this was something all together different. 

Aside from the art itself being entirely different, this opening was in my gallery. Crazy! I opened the doors for the first time to my closest friends and exposed the insides, all that has grown from my year and my imagination, to warm the space with the faces of those who mean the most and who have been a part of the journey. I could only compare it to being at your own wedding- when the fruits of detailed labor to perfect something uniquely curated come together and you're so excited, all of your loved ones are in the same place, it's a moment in time that means more than words, and you want to savor every second- but it's all flashing so fast and you really need more hours to say hi and absorb and celebrate with everyone… 

Fortunately Sherese agreed to take these photos so I could reflect back on anything I missed and get to see it all again through a different set of eyes. Thank you so much, Sherese! And thank you from the very gory core of the bottom of my heart to everyone who came to be a part of the night with me. Extra thank yous to those who came early to help and got stuck with chores, who listened to me in the weeks and months leading up to the night, who were my sounding boards and my muses. Not only are you fun, but you're pretty priceless. 

And for everyone else, COME CELEBRATE the grand opening of Electric Blanket on JANUARY 12!  More on that in a few. 

POP UP! + Special Things & a Grand Opening Date

Ok I know. I'm way behind. A whole world has happened since I last posted, and I haven't been very good at communicating. It turns out that I am ok at putting together a store and making furniture appear from wood planks though, so it's not a total loss. 

Things to know:

Electric Blanket is open this weekend as a popup shop!  


On December 14 and 15 from 11-4 we'll be serving some amazing coffee and opening our doors to get a taste of what this whole gallery/shop ownership thing is about.

Why only pop-up?

Because it's crazy! Moving your desk from a comfortable and secure office to a very public and open space you build from your imagination is kind of scary, and I've found that baby steps are advisable. So, say hi and visit to get a taste, and then we'll GRAND OPEN on Sunday, January 12!  Save the date and then come play. 

2013-11-29 13.19.45-1.jpg


Next news, COFFEE! 

More on this soon, but oh my god guys, COFFEE!  

We went to Los Angeles a few weeks ago to meet with the most professional of coffee people at Handsome Coffee Roasters and swooned. We learned about where the beans come from, saw the beautiful vintage machine they're roasted on, tasted a variety of beans to choose what we like, and then received our first shipment in time for opening the Artheaval exhibition. So last: 





On Friday night our dearest friends and the Electric Blanket family came together for the opening of the Artheaval, an exhibition of my collages as a body of work. The extent of my feelings around this are substantial and require a separate post, so for now, I'll just say: THANK YOU MADLY to everyone who was a part of the night. Most of you know how important it was for me to end this year with those pieces on a wall, so to have it happen and have you each there with me, to see them on these walls …well, it's pretty unexplainable. The last few weeks (months? year?) have been surreal, which is appropriate given the project. Photos coming soon.



So: Come visit this weekend if you're around town. If not, celebrate with us at the Grand Opening on January 12th and all Tuesdays through Sundays 11-7 thereafter (closed Mondays for now) . Have a cup of coffee, leave a story, see some art, and be a part of the beauty and the magic. And maybe leave with something unique and special. 


The First Family Dinner + Napoleon

S named the skeleton (hereby known as Napoleon) and no, he has nothing to do with Halloween. 

This week was the first week of self employment, the first week I can officially call myself a Curator, a shop/gallery owner, and a full time artist. From one dream job to another, it was the best (most un-terrifying) week I could have imagined. And while I planned to have the first thrown-together family dinner with picnic blankets on the floor, I learned that having full days to focus meant I was able to get my huge table and even some furniture by day three. Napoleon arrived just in time, and some of my closest friends came to bless the space with their love and support over Thai takeaway and drinks.

Get ready. If week one was any indication, the future is going to be magical. And yes, you too will be invited to play soon.  


save the date - the artheaval




Once upon a time I said, "I must show this art, and it has to be by the end of the year." That thought quickly exploded into the notion that I had to open my own space (see first blog post) and suddenly it's all real. The art is in the process of being framed, the space is on its way to becoming a gallery, and I have a date with a neon sign factory next week. So, it's time for you to save the date. 

Friday, December 6th, that is. Save it!


All content © Jillian West/ Electric Blanket LLC, 2016.    Please don't steal.