We Wanna Be Friends With: Rena Tom of Makeshift Society

We Wanna Be Friends With: Rena Tom of Makeshift Society


Our city is chock-full of interesting people and wild personalities. Overwhelmed by the coolness? Every week we'll pick one standout local we'd love to be friends with to answer seven essential questions about their life in San Francisco.

Rena Tom is a total Renaissance woman. The former owner of one of our favorite SF boutiques Rare Device, she now works as a consultant for businesses and entrepreneurs looking to grow small-batch manufacturing and boutique retail. She's also the founder of Makeshift Society, a coworking space for creative freelancers (they call it the "clubhouse"–so cool!) and the Market Editor ofAnthology Magazine

We respect Rena's commitment to fostering partnerships among members of SF's design community, and couldn't be happier to connect with her for our We Wanna Be Friends With Q&A! 

1. What neighborhood do you currently call home? Would you ever move, or are you happy in your 'hood?

Technically I’m south of the Panhandle so saying I live in NoPa isn’t correct. Let’s say I have a great view of the DMV. But seriously, it's a super neighborhood, and now that the Mill and Bi-Rite are down the street, I don’t think I can ever leave.

2. What's your hands-down, absolute favorite thing to eat in SF?

What a question! I can’t answer that question. It’s a tie between a glazed buttermilk bar from Bob’s Donuts when they come out of the fryer, or a Meetinghouse biscuit from Joanna Karlinsky. Dough FTW either way.

3. What's your perfect night on the town?

I have a three-year-old so I know not of what you speak! But if I found a babysitter, I’d stroll down to Maven with my husband and grab the coveted seat by the fireplace upstairs. It’s dark and cozy, and they make lovely drinks.

4. When you need a low-key afternoon, where do you go for down time?

Clement Street. I’d put down some money at Green Apple Books, then head to Good Luck Dim Sum to wait (and wait) in line for a box of dumplings, and end up at Foggy Notion to shoot the breeze with Alissa.

5. What's your favorite place to go on a day trip from the city?

North on the coast, until I’m in the land of big trees and chainsaw carved bears, or south to Paso Robles to my friend’s walnut farm.

6. Quick-fire round:

Burrito or Burger?

Burger. 4505 Meats version, or if I’m feeling veggie, the one from KK Cafe on Divisadero.

Presidio or Golden Gate Park?

Golden Gate Park.

Bi-Rite or Mitchell's?

Bi-Rite brownie sundae! Mitchell’s I love but oh man, the parking.

Bike or MUNI?

I love my bike but the traffic on Oak freaks me out. Actually, walking is still my favorite way to see the city.

Fort Mason or Dolores Park?

Can I vote for Duboce Park instead?

The Independent or the Fillmore?

The Independent, my neighbor.

Baker Beach or Ocean Beach?

Ocean Beach.

7. Three words that describe your life in SF?

Creative. Delicious. Exhausting.


Want more Rena? You can hear her speak about Makeshift Society and freelance work at the TYPO Conference in April at YBCA! 

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