Hygge, the Danish-born word turned international phenomenon, exploded sometime in 2016 and is still going strong this year. As explained in the New Yorker, hygge, pronounced “hoo-guh,” has no direct translation in English, though “cozy” comes close. It derives from a sixteenth-century Norwegian term, hugga, meaning “to comfort” or “to console,” which is related to the English word “hug.” Associated with relaxation, indulgence, and gratitude, hygge has been coined as “the Danish secret to happiness” and has since expanded to be the zen philosophy and comfort-centered craze that many are adopting into their own homes.
Hygge has become the subject of many books, articles and Instagram posts. Adding cozy socks, yummy warm-the-soul drinks, homemade meals and soft sweaters are all part of the hygge spirit.
While hugely appropriate in areas where wintertime packs a serious punch, San Francisco’s unique climate allows for the hygge festivities to go on well into March, and thankfully, there’s no shortage of local brands to supply the necessary components. Here’s how to embody the hygge lifestyle, while still shopping local.
The tea: Yerba Buena Tea Co.
While coffee is a morning staple regardless of trends, a steaming cup of freshly brewed tea is the true essence of hygge. This local tea company makes a dazzling array of black, green and herbal loose teas, from earthy Pu’erh to fragrant Citrus Hibiscus. Sold online in chic packages, the teas can be accompanied by the brand’s cute infuser and is best enjoyed from a Heath Ceramics mug.
The Store: March
Brimming with rustic kitchenware, artisanal candles and delicious preserves, March is a hygge-like wonderland, featuring products curated with Scandinavian precision and great taste. For a perfect hygge package, stock up on jars of blueberry jam, hand poured honey candles and linen napkins, and throw your friends an indoor picnic in the best traditions of coziness and hospitality.
3075 Sacramento St
The products: Etta & Billie
Warm baths and long showers, as well as self-care and pleasant fragrances, are all hygge must-haves, and this is where Bay Area’s sustainable and eco-friendly brand Etta+Bille comes in. Created by Alana Rivera, the beautifully designed products are packed with simple, natural ingredients and bring a bouquet of deliciousness to everyday routines; the bar soaps are sprinkled with poppy seed and coffee, and the lotions and scrubs? Equally luscious. That pampering solo evening you’ve been planning for weeks is on.
The pillows and throws: Happy French Gang
Hygge is unimaginable without comfy pillows and cozy throws. Happy French Gang, a small-batch local brand, excels at both, offering a very San Francisco version of hygge— think gentle dyes instead of heavy plaid and lighter materials for multi-seasonal use. The brand offers cotton throws, matching pillows, inviting bedspreads, blankets and more, as photogenic as they are comforting.
The sweaters: Micaela Greg
For a final hygge touch, one must own an incredibly cozy knit. Founded by San Francisco-based sisters, Marie and Karen Potesta, Micaela Greg makes the softest, warmest sweaters a hygge fan could wish for. On top of extreme comfort points, they also happen to be flattering and good looking. Bonus points! Along with textured sweaters in calm gray, blue and green hues, the brand also offers alpaca wool sweatpants, soft berets and oversized scarves for head-to-toe hygge.