“‘SF Girl by Bay‘ was just a Gmail or Yahoo account name, so I just used that,” Victoria Smith explained to us of her now popular moniker. “If I had known it were going to stick…”
Running a blog full time wasn’t Victoria’s original plan. How did it begin? She was working in San Francisco in advertising at the time for Levi’s. Someone approached her knowing that she had a real knack for design and encouraged her to submit photos of her home to Apartment Therapy. “I got kind of buzzed and took photos,” she admitted to us with a laugh.
Those photos ended up generating a lot of buzz of their own, driving a significant amount of traffic to her blog. From there, she began working as a part-time editor for Apartment Therapy and landed an additional feature in Sunset Magazine.
In 2006 she began selling her brightly colored “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters, giving her business an extra edge. A couple of years later, she mustered up the courage to leave the advertising world and commit to blogging full time.
A day in Victoria’s life includes a morning scroll through emails on her phone before taking her dog to the nearby park. She then settles in at home or Makeshift Society to comb through the rest of her emails and work on blog posts for the following day (or later in the week, if she’s ahead of schedule). Of course, there are any number of other meetings and outings. She finds that her life often intersects art, making her job that much easier.
When she’s actively seeking inspiration, especially for her own home, Victoria makes a point of visiting the monthly Alameda Flea Market. “I was always a trash collector, scouring alleys as a kid and making forts,” she told us of her interest in collecting. When it came to decorating her much-photographed home, she started by buying one nice piece (the black leather sofa). From there, she filled the space with flea market finds.
“Decorating is a pretty personal thing,” Victoria told us, “I’m not fond of cookie cutter homes.” Although we agree with her, we’ll be taking some design inspiration with us from our visit to make it our own back at home.
Victoria is wearing the Owen in Matte Black.
Photos by Nick Fay