Leah Nelson: Server, Bartender

Spotted: The Mission, SF

What are you up to today?
I'm just down in the city from up north. I live in Santa Rosa. So I came down to just go thrifting and shopping.

What's your occupation?
I'm a server and bartender. I started out serving at a restaurant about seven years ago, and I've been doing it ever since! Leaves a lot of time to be creative.

Do you work on projects outside of work?
I do — I do a lot of projects based around sewing — like this bag!

That's a really cute bag!

What other things do you like to do in the area?
I thrift a lot — that's a big hobby of mine. I like to go out to the beaches up in Sonoma County and wander around and take photos and stuff.

What are your favorite thrifting spots?
Anything I can find! Whatever has the cheapest stuff, and I'm always looking for new spots.

Leah Nelson

How did you start out sewing these bags?
This one was just for fun. I found this piece of fabric that was exactly this size — there's a fabric and craft store up by where I live and it's run by these little old ladies from the community center and they sell everything by the pound. I saw this piece and I was like, I'm going to make a bag out of it! Since then, I've made a bunch and sent them off to friends.

What's something that's been inspiring you lately?
Well, part of the reason why I came down here today is because I get really inspired just being in a city setting rather than being in a more country or suburban setting, because there's so much more going on and the visual stimulation is obviously like times a million. Everyone's doing their own thing on a different level.

What's been a recent challenge for you?
Well the job that I'm at right now is totally new and I've just been starting to bartend. I wanted to do that to step up my game in the service industry, I guess? But it was also something I've never done before and I was just bored from not being challenged at my job. I figured if I'm going to be in the service industry I want to be at the higher end of it if I can.

So far so good?
Yeah! It's feeling good. I'm getting more confident.

What's something that's caught your attention recently?
The first thing that comes to mind are the fires that have been happening up in Lake County. They've kind of been creeping closer and closer to where I live and affecting a lot of people that I know, which has been kind of a downer. It's really sad and intense. I've mostly heard of friends of friends being affected and having to leave their homes. It's just a reminder to be grateful and just be aware of what's happening.

Lastly, I wanted to ask you about your personal style. Where is this skirt from?
This skirt I found at a thrift store! I don't know how to describe my personal style — I guess I could say thrift-inspired. Just items that I feel are different or fun.

What has been one of your favorite thrift store scores as of late?
Just the other day I found a rabbit fur vest at a thrift store on the vintage rack and it was half off, so I was like, score! Now I gotta figure out how to wear this. I'm trying to start a fur collection but it all has to be thrifted and under $25.

If you like this article, please share it! Your clicks keep us alive!