Customers often say, FLAX is a "candy store for the creative." FLAX art & design is the Bay Area's oldest and well-loved retail art supply business. It has been serving the creative community since 1938 and is a family-owned business headed by Howard Flax, who represents the third generation (along with his brother Craig and their sister Leslie Flax Abel). FLAX has a long history supporting artists and the Bay Area arts community.
The SF-based Flax brothers grew close to their customers, becoming well-known for their generous support of struggling artists and the Bay Area arts scene. Their retail store soon drew nationwide attention for its incredible breadth of products, its helpful and knowledgeable staff, and its ability to inspire creativity through the inventive presentation of merchandise.
As the advent of desktop publishing forever changed the dynamics of the art supply industry in the 1980s, the company ventured into mail order to broaden its market. During this time Philip's three children joined the company, Craig, Howard and Leslie, beginning a period of more than twenty years when the four family members would work together to grow the company.
In its 78 years, FLAX has become an icon of creative inspiration and a Bay Area institution. Staffed by artists, designers, and musicians, the stores are visited regularly by residents and tourists alike. From established professionals and serious students to weekend dabblers and hobbyists, at FLAX you can awaken your inner Picasso with tools, supplies and gifts for every artistic passion and all age levels. We invite you to come in and let your imagination soar.