Tag Archives: North Park

We Are…Bearhead Factory

Erin Merriman is truly an artisan in her craft. She is the creator behind Bearhead Factory – an experimental line of handmade jewelry that transforms symbols from their collective mythology into wearable art objects. Her vivid imagination and organic way of looking at life translates into her jewelry. Her pieces are the epitome of beautiful statement pieces.


Where does the name “Bearhead Factory” come from?

“The name is actually now almost 10 years old! I had graduated from school, and was living in an old factory in Brooklyn, and just making tons of different kinds of art. I wanted a name that could be an umbrella or container for whatever I was working on. Around this time, I had a dream about a warrior woman wearing the most beautiful, intricate helmet made from the head of a grizzly bear. This dream woman at the time represented a fierceness of spirit that I was eager to harness/ channel into my business and life.”





What inspired you to start making  jewelry? 

“I grew up in a very small town with not much to do, so I spent most of high school fantasizing about moving to New York City. When I finally got to art school in Brooklyn, I was surprised to find I missed the solitude of my family’s 100 acre tree farm. I chose jewelry as my major because there where only 3 people in that department, and the idea of being left alone to explore a completely new craft excited me. Also, whenever I would see a painting or sculpture I liked growing up, my first thought was always “ How can I wear that?” I am always inspired by the way jewelry allows us to explore ideas we are interested in by wearing them on our bodies.”

What inspires you, in general?

Carl Jung, Star Trek The Next generation, Dreams, New Aged self help books, good conversation, vintage textiles, textures in general





Where do you make your work?

“A chance encounter with a local Armenian goldsmith lead to an unlikely friendship and an invite to share his studio in Downtown San Diego. This has given me access to so many tools I had only dreamed of owning, and also immersed me in a completely surreal work environment! Many a late night we have spent there together, me grinding metal, him chain smoking and watching Russian Christmas pageants on the big screen TV. He’s always trying to get me to stop working and have a shot of cognac with him.”




How did you end up in San Diego?

“My husband and I left Brooklyn for an  earthship in New Mexico, where I briefly considered becoming a homebirth midwife. Instead, we ended up having a homebirth! As soon as our son arrived, we realized how important it was to us both that he had an extended family. My husband is from San Diego, so we just packed up everything and moved here when our son was 8 weeks old. I thought we would just make it work for a couple of years and then choose our next adventure, but San Diego has shown up for us in really incredible ways, and I couldn’t be happier living here.”

What do you like about San Diego? What do you like about North Park?

“It feels like an unbelievable blessing to get to live walking distance from the ocean. The weather is mild all year, and the creative community in San Diego is very collaborative and welcoming. Most of our friends live in North Park, so that is my very favorite thing about the neighborhood, but there is also good yoga and vintage/ resale spots too.”


Where do you see your artistic endeavors taking you?

“I am getting ready to launch a new project. We will of course still make jewelry collections, but within a more conceptual context, including  lots of  exciting collaborations. There are so many stories about how to be an artist or run a business out there, but most of them feel isolating, limiting and outdated to me.  I am meeting a lot of amazing artists who are feeling the same way, and together we are writing a new story of how to engage creatively in life in an authentic way that leaves room for experimentation, mistakes, individuality and imperfection. Perfection is numbing- Messy is more fun!”

Bearhead Factory jewelry pieces are originally designed and hand made. You can shop some of her specialty pieces in store,and online. 


photos by: Chantal Pasag




We Are… Bottlecraft

BottlecraftWe are excited to feature Bottlecraft in our latest “We Are” series. Not only for our love of craft beer, BUT because it’s the second location owner Brian Jensen has opened up, and we couldn’t feel more proud that they are in our ‘hood!

BottlecraftHow/why was Bottlecraft born?
“I have always wanted to do something in the food/beverage industry, so after college I moved from San Diego to New York to go to culinary school. Over the span of about five years I immersed myself in every corner of that world; I didn’t know what I wanted to do but gave myself the space and time to chase down anything I was interested in to see if I could make a career out of it. During that time, one of the jobs I had was working at a neighborhood wine shop in Brooklyn. It was a cool, casual little shop run by a knowledgeable and passionate team. As a beer drinker, I was always at shops, looking for beer but I never really had the nice shopping experience I saw at wine shops. When I decided to do something on my own, that was on the top of my list to try to figure out.”

BottlecraftBottlecraftBottlecraftWhy did you choose to open up a location in North Park?
“There are so many great craft beer bars and beer lovers here in North Park, it was just a natural fit for Bottlecraft.”

What do you like about North Park?
“I personally love North Park because there’s a great mix of fun bars and great shops (like Pigment) with lots of good, creative energy.”

Bottlecraft Owner Brian Jensen“My goal is to create a place where anyone from the Bud drinker to a master brewer can come, try something new and learn something. It’s definitely a two way street, I learn so much from my customers. That’s the fun of it all in my opinion.

BottlecraftBottlecraftBottlecraft swag! You can get yours in store or online!

We will be partnering up with Bottlecraft for this Thursday’s craft beer and fine cheese pairings. A book signing will be held with Janet Fletcher, author of the book Cheese & Beer, one of the first guides ever to be written about pairing the two delicious items together! Come join us at our new location (the corner of 30th and North Park Way) and meet Janet, along with Bottlecraft owner Brian Jensen!
Check out more info for this not to be missed event on our Facebook Events Page HERE.Beer-&-CheeseSMALL

BottlecraftNot only is Brian such an inspiring entrepreneur, he’s also a cool dude. If you live in the ‘hood, or are ever visiting San Diego, stop by either one of his locations and check out his labor of love:

Little Italy –  2161 India St
(between Hawthorn St & Ivy St)
San Diego, CA 92101

North Park – 3007 University Ave
(between 30th St & Ray St)
San Diego, CA 92104

Thank you Bottlecraft (and Brian!) for being such an awesome addition to the neighborhood!

Pigment’s Moving // Bigger & Better

Well, it has come time for Pigment to find a new bigger and better house for all its plants, gifts, cards, jewelry, art and more…… We have grown and grown more everyday since we first opened back in 2007. We are moving just a couple doors down from our current location to the corner of 30th street and North Park Way, in North Park. We wouldn’t be able to make this move without all of our very special supporters and customers over the years.


Here’s a little sneak peek for what’s in store (in store, ha ha, get it?) at the new space. Our soft opening is tomorrow, Saturday, May 18th. Come by and take a visit…..lots of new products and fun events to be held in the near future. Look out for more info on our GRAND OPENING in mid June.


Gettin’ all western on ya. 

Pigment_Sneak-Peak-1SMALL Pigment_Sneak-Peak-7SMALL

Lyla, Pigment Owners’ little girl, enjoying the new KIDS section. 


Beginning of the new Fermob display, also available online here

Pigment_Sneak-Peak-4SMALL Pigment_Sneak-Peak-3SMALL

We can’t wait for you to see the new location finished and ready for visitors. Thanks again for all the support from our community and customers!!

XO – Pigment

Visit Us at the New Location
3801 30th Street
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 501-6318

We Are…Splash Wine Bar

Our neighboring business, Splash wine bar, is not your typical wine bar. Owner Traci Smith had a gut feeling that her self-served wine bar concept was just what North Park needed. 5 years going strong and we couldn’t agree more.

Splash Wine Bar_North ParkWhen did you open Splash?  “Splash opened right during the economic crash – December of 2008.”

Why did you choose North Park as a location to open Splash? “Again, I chose the location and made the decision to open Splash prior to the crash, and North Park was an ‘up and coming’ neighborhood. I own a home in North Park and felt the community was really trending toward a thriving food and beverage community. Well it took much longer than anticipated for that to happen because all the growth stopped in ’08, but it has proven true in the last couple of years and I’m very happy with my choice to be in North Park. I wouldn’t want to be in any other community. Everyone has been so supportive.”

Splash Wine Bar_North ParkWhat do you enjoy most about North Park? “I love the eclectic mix and laid back vibe of North Park. At Splash we try hard to create a living room environment that is unpretentious and allows people to learn about and enjoy wine in a comfortable atmosphere. I think North Park also radiates that feeling. The community is very relaxed and all walks of life are embraced. I also love all that is available at my fingertips. Living and working in North Park often makes me feel like I really have little reason to ever leave North Park. I am in Balboa Park several times a week, there are great trails for running my dog, amazing dining and all varieties of shopping. I love supporting small, locally owned shops and I think North Park is such a great breeding ground for that grassroots type of living.”

Splash-Wine-Bar_wine+logo-13Splash Wine Bar_North ParkA Splash taste card, a place to jot down your favorite tastes, and an empty wine glass waiting to be filled

Splash Wine Bar_North Park Splash wine bar is not your typical wine bar. They got a fancy way to wine taste – Enomatic wine machines that are self-serve – pretty cool huh?

Splash-Wine bar_North ParkWhere did the name Splash come from? “Since I have the Enomatic wine machines that are self-serve, the state of California at the time, would only allow a one ounce pour to be self served. So it is literally just a “Splash” of wine that comes out of the machines. I wanted a one-word name that was catchy and descriptive of the concept. I came up with the name while on a run through Balboa Park with my good friend.”

Splash Wine Bar_North ParkSplash also offers some tasty eats for lunch, happy hour or during a night of wine tasting. (Left: “Splakers” – Splash’s version of seasoned Saltine Crackers paired with a raspberry Chipotle cream cheese. Right: classic Caprese Salad with house Balsamic vinegar reduction)

Splash Wine Bar_North ParkYummy flat breads. Left: The White Splash. Right: The Spring Splash (vegetarian).

What is your favorite thing about Pigment? “One thing??? Honestly, I was just in the other day and bought a magazine and some lotion, but I really could have spent the entire day in the shop. There is always something so interesting and fun and I truly have the most difficult time not wanting to buy everything. If I had to pick one thing it would probably be the great collection of books.”

Splash Wine Bar_North Park

If you’re ever in the neighborhood you should definitely check out Splash! We think you’d love it!

3043 University Ave San Diego, CA 92104 // (619) 296-0714