Fog City Flea market fosters community


Amber Chia

The Fog City Flea market is opened every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Fridays from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Ferry Building Marketplace located in San Francisco, CA.

As Cierra Dinnen, a San Francisco resident, goes on her daily morning walk, she sees a sign that reads “Fog City Flea” pointing towards the iconic Ferry Building Marketplace. Intrigued and wishing to find shelter from the pouring rain, she walks into the market and is welcomed by many local small business stands.  

Open every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Fridays from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco, the Fog City Flea market was created to allow for a space where San Francisco merchants can sell their products. 

“Well, this is my first time here. I think, first of all, one of the things I love about flea markets is a lot of the people at the stalls own that company or it’s their crafts that they do at home, and I like supporting local artists in San Francisco,” Dinnen said. 

Upon walking in, the first booth to the right was Cloudy Dream Jewelry. The booth was ornamented with  Halloween decorations in the spirit of the upcoming holiday. On the table laid a variety of handmade Halloween-themed earrings and necklaces created out of polymer clay. 

“Usually, I have a kind of organized collection. So I started with pride stuff, and then I made some cottage core stuff, and so now it’s Halloween, and then obviously we’re getting into Christmas soon. So I do like themed collections every month or two inspired by the events going on,” Sierra Ferko, the founder of Cloudy Dream Jewelry, said. 

Ferko started creating jewelry in July of 2020 as a means to satisfy her boredom from quarantine. When she noticed that many of her friends and family started showing interest in her products, she turned her jewelry making into a business opportunity. She officially began her business in February of 2021 and hopes her products instill self-confidence within her customers. 

“I just want everyone to feel super confident when they walk out the door because sometimes when I get dressed, I don’t always feel super confident but throwing on a really cute pair of earrings just lightens my mood,” Ferko said. 

Similarly, Pauline Maccay, the owner of Handmade by PMaccay and another vendor at Fog City Flea market, hopes that her products will allow her customers to feel more confident. Furthermore, she hopes that her products will demystify certain styles of earrings being categorized as feminine. 

Cloudy Dream Jewelry focuses on instilling confidence within customers through handmade polymer jewelry. Follow Cloudy Dream Jewelry on Instagram (Amber Chia)

“I want everyone to be able to wear the earrings; I don’t want it to be gendered. I’m going to be posting more magazine features with models that aren’t just women to show this message,” Maccay said. “I know that earrings and jewelry are feminine things, but I’m trying to normalize it being for everybody.”

Maccay started her business in the summer of 2019. After seven years of sculpting, she decided to create her own jewelry out of polymer clay. As in Ferko’s case, many of Maccay’s friends and family members began to wonder where these jewelry pieces came from. 

“I am obsessed with earrings, so I just started making all these earrings out of clay. Then people started asking me where I bought them, and I told them I made it, and then it just started growing from there, and more people started finding out about it, and then it just turned into like a full-blown business,” Maccay said. 

These jewelry pieces soon became a way to represent the stories and impactful individuals from Maccay’s life. One of her earrings inspired by her grandma’s blue and white porcelain was featured in vogue earlier this year. 

“I created a pair of earrings that was inspired by the blue and white porcelain that my grandma collected when I was growing up. She always told me that I would get in trouble if I touched these since they are very fragile,” Maccay said. “That collection came out on Mother’s Day to pay tribute to my grandmother. It was also during the time where a lot of the Asian American attacks were happening, so I wanted to emphasize that we should really respect our elders.” 

Growing up as a Filipino American, Maccay felt that many designers she admired didn’t accurately represent her background. She hopes that her work will inspire others with a similar background to her to feel more included in the industry. 

Maccay’s inspiration for this pair of earrings came from her grandma’s blue and white porcelain. Follow Handmade by PMaccay on Instagram @handmadebypmaccay (Pauline Maccay)

“I am Filipino American, and when I was growing up, I didn’t have that many designers to look up to that were also Filipino American. I feel like if you’re in a group that’s not as represented, it’s easy to white-wash yourself, which is what I did. Bringing my story and culture in, I hope it will make a difference, and it will inspire others similar to me to do their thing,” Maccay said. 

The Fog City Flea market has developed into a place where local artists and merchants have developed a community atmosphere with each other and customers. Ultimately, Dinnen believes that this community aspect is pivotal in humans thriving within an environment. 

“I think that we thrive most on the community, and the communities around us are what sustains us and also makes us happy. So, if we all support one another, we will have a better life and a happier life,” Dinnen said.