Owner of Workshop
, Workspace, Indie Mart, and Kelly Malone Design
How did you get into woodworking and how long have you been doing it?
"I had a vintage store on Divisadero four years ago that I built and it just turned something on in my head. Then, I started designing spaces out of wood in my head all the time. I helped build out the store Shotwell and there was no turning back."
What do you really love about it?
"I love walking around salvage yards, like Building REsources and Urban Ore
. Something about recycled wood turns on all my creativity. You may see an old gross piece of wood on the side of the road, where as I flip a U-turn, grab it, and run home to make it into something."
What are some recent projects you've done?
"The Toad Hollow
office, Workspace, The Bold Italic
, Workshop, Shotwell, and the Gangs of San Francisco
store. The Camp DIY we built out at Treasure Island Music Festival was a collaboration with all my creative crushes, which was amazing being able to curate that and just get creative with materials."
Is there a specific project that you'd consider a favorite?
"I’m working on building and designing Speakeasy Brewery's taproom, which opens in January. It was months of brainstorming and is made of almost all recycled materials. It’s a fun theme to build a mock speakeasy. I just covered a wall with wood shipping pallets that I’m in love with."
Any advice for those just starting out?
"Take the time to learn safety and how to use saws. The scariest thing for me was learning to use a table saw and I get scared of my circular saw. It’s a lot easier if you have a pro show you until you’re comfortable. We started offering super-basic tool-shop classes at Workshop, and I’m really happy to launch more classes next year. Everyone should own hand tools, a drill, and a jigsaw."
It's pretty badass to be a tool-toting lady, especially in a male-dominated industry. Do you anything to feel a little bit girlier on the job?
"I work with mostly guys, drive a van, and spend most of my time in a denim work apron — it’s not the most feminine, but it does make me feel like a badass. I feel like a badass when I can make a guy I like a coffee table or show them how to build something. My favorite girl secret is if I leave work and go to a bar, I put sawdust in my hair to thicken it and then my hair smells like wood."