Angela Tafoya, San Francisco Editor, Refinery29

Angela Tafoya is the reigning queen of San Francisco's burgeoning fashion scene. As the local editor for Refinery29, her job is to know about everything cool before anyone else does, and then make sure we all hear about it in a fun engaging way. This style maven sees S.F. as THE PLACE to start for new fashion-focused folks. Her advice is to build it here and expand with your cult following in tow. Today, Lisa Says Gah has the privilege of bringing you this beauty's amazing style and insight - all tied up in the pretty package of her one-of-a-kind eclectic home. Enjoy! 

LSG: Your home is beautiful and SO unique! What is the history behind this alternative living space? How did you find it?

Thank you! We actually heard about the space through friends who were relocating to New York. It was previously Gallery Hijinx and has had many lives before that — including a plant store. We took out the removable walls and added a few things to make it super liveable — like more shelving. Apparently, the space survived the 1906 quake, so it’s definitely super old and has little charming features like the farmhouse sink. We love it. Being ground level is a little interesting but we wouldn’t have it any other way! 

LSG: What’s the best part(s) of living in the Mission?

I love the Mission for its amazing, colorful murals and unique architecture. But, it’s also nice having so many great cafes, restaurants, and shops all within walking distance. Walking around my neighborhood is one of my favorite ways to unwind; I feel like I discover new things each day. 

LSG: When did you make the leap to San Francisco? What was your initial take then, versus now?

I moved about six years ago. I lived in the East Bay before moving to S.F. Coming from LA and growing up in the Central Valley, the warm days were definitely something I missed. At first, when I moved I didn’t realize the Bay had such a small, but impactful, fashion/design scene, so coming from a city with so much going on, I was a little confused on where or how to find it. But, now, I’ve not only accepted the mild weather, but also realized just how active the style hub is and I feel like it’s just getting larger and stronger.

LSG: What’s with the S.F. fashion scene? Why do we get such a bad rap?

Well, obviously it’s much smaller, and there is much more of a focus on how things are made, who you’re buying from, and the narrative the brand tells. I think S.F.’ers approach shopping a little differently in this sense. As for the whole “bad style” thing, I think it stems from the Bay Area’s love for comfort and for the fact it is such an active city.

LSG: Refinery29 is arguably San Francisco's most influential resource for all things fashion/lifestyle. From an insider's perspective, how do you see the future of fashion here?

Like I mentioned above, I think it’s definitely getting savvier. There has been such an influx of people from other cities moving here, generating ideas, starting cool companies. I think this definitely impacts the level of style and taste around the city.

LSG: You primarily work from home. How do you structure your day to avoid over or under working?  

What’s great about my position is the fact it’s so broken up with shoots, meetings, writing etc. I typically start my days at 7:30 a.m., write my first post or work on stories for the next day, and then later in the afternoon schedule shoots and meetings. I think one thing that really helped me organize my days, was setting up a designated space. Even though I work from home, I still wake and up and go to my desk whenever I’m working. It gets me in work mode versus lounging on the sofa or working from bed. I do think it’s important to have a routine. Before I start work, I wake up about a half hour early to make coffee, get dressed, and then I kind of break up the hours of my day, and keep a to-do list. I prepare this every night before I start work the next day. Obviously, this doesn’t always happen, but when I take the time to make sure it does, I’m SO much more productive.

LSG: Do you have to carve out time to relax and recoup? 

I do have to remind myself to step away at times. Information moves so fast, and being constantly connected makes it easy to always be working. I feel lucky to live in a city that values work-life balance though. And, one of the greatest things about S.F. is the proximity to nature. It really helps me relax. 

LSG: What is the last book you read and loved? 

Okay, I will admit it that it was #GIRLBOSS! It was a great, quick read and definitely full of surprising tips and career information. 

Interview by Olivia La Roche