Support Oakland Small Business! More Unique and Thoughtful Holiday Gift Ideas

In our last installment of Shop Small Oakland! we highlight the “other” small businesses that make this city so great. As we can’t feature all of the wonderful mom and pop shops, we welcome you to add to our ever-growing list. From hair salons to hardware stores, and of course some very special nonprofit organizations, our community needs us now more than ever. Consider a gift card from one of our favorite vendors below or a donation made in a loved one’s name. It truly takes a village, and in our beloved city, we take pride in lifting each other up and supporting small, sustainable, and accessible business. There IS light at the end of the tunnel, and if anyone can reach it, it’s us. Happy holidays and best wishes to you and your families, near and far.

Donate on behalf of your loved ones!

Operation Dignity: Operation Dignity has served Unhoused Oakland residents for 26 years, the majority of whom are Veterans. From their website, “Since 1993, Operation Dignity has worked to house and serve the most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness in Alameda County, including veterans and people living in encampments.” Now more than ever, due to COVID-19, homeless individuals are one of the most vulnerable populations in our community. Please consider a donation to this very worthy organization.

Youth Radio: From their website, “SUPPORT TRUTH AND DEMOCRACY! Invest in the next generation of journalists and artists.” Youth Radio is a national network of young journalists, taking on politics, identity and youth issues and policy. To learn more and to donate visit their website.

Phat Beets Produce: From their website: “Phat Beets Produce aims to create a healthier, more equitable food system in Oakland.” Some of Oakland’s most dense neighborhoods are essentially “food deserts”—not a grocery store for miles. Phat Beets provides affordable access to fresh fruits and vegetables to families and individuals in these food deserts. They work with small local farmers to facilitate access to urban communities, provide health education and youth entrepreneur opportunities via their CSA program, local markets and farm stands. It’s organizations like these that are creating a better, more accessible Oakland for ALL.

Oakland Animal Services: A national study measuring pet adoption increases found that Oakland was #1, with a 55% increase in pet adoptions during the pandemic. That is outstanding, considering how many homeless pets in need there are out there. Oakland loves its furry family members and are lucky to have some amazing nonprofits out there who rescue and take care of these four-legged friends for our adoption needs. Consider a donation in your doggo or kitten’s name to OAS or one of the many other beloved nonprofits that serve our dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and rodents.

Treat Yo’Self! Or the VERY Deserving Someone on Your List!

Rockridge Day Spa: (Pictured Above) From massage to hair removal and everything in between, RDS is your one stop shop for all things pampering. We could all use some TLC after this incredibly challenging year. Offering gift cards in all amounts, pick one up for that special someone in need of a good self care day.

Line 54 Salon: This super stylish, high-end Uptown salon has been a 14th Street staple since 2012. Obviously COVID has hit them hard—but that didn’t stop them from looking toward the future. Stylist and salon owner Korinne Segraves spent the Spring beautifully renovating the space from floor to 20-foot-high ceiling. Purchase a gift card on their website in any denomination. They specialize in amazing color, Brazilian blowouts and trendy, cutting edge cuts for men and women!

Posh Polish: This quaint and comfy nail salon is located in historic Old Oakland and offers several services. Many of the nail technicians have been at Posh for years—and offer top notch service to clients. Aside from mani/pedis, Posh Polish offers hot stone massage, facials and hair removal. Not only women take care of their nails! PP has a large male clientele, because pampering is for everybody!

For the Maker, Fixer or DIY’er in your life!

Cole Hardware: (Pictured Above) Cole is a local staple throughout the Bay Area and they have something for literally everyone. Part hardware store, part variety shop, with a small town feel. Cole is a great place for fun stocking stuffers, essential home items or gift cards for the ‘handy’ individual on your list.

The Dry Garden: Gardening in the time of COVID has become a trend. Plant buying and gardening saw a major spike in the beginning months of SIP and seems to be staying steady. For the one with the green thumb on your list, consider a plant or gift card to The Dry Garden. The selection of exotic plants, both indoor and out, will blow your mind. The owners are helpful and super knowledgeable and will surely set you up for success with your newly homed flora.

Stonemountain Daughter Fabrics: Just outside of Oakland on Shattuck is this amazing fabric store plus so much more! A little on the high-end side, a gift certificate to Stone Mountain would woo any crafter on your list. With imported Japanese and Indian fabric, top designers and quality silks and velvets, SDF offers unique and hard-to-find goodies for the fabric lover in your life. Their brick and mortar shop is currently closed but they do offer their complete inventory online as well as gift cards options.

Fine art and Framing!

Panorama Framing: (Pictured Above) For the art lover in your life, check out Panorama. Have a beautiful image you captured recently? A family portrait that still needs framing? If not, there are tons of prints and illustrations made by local artists to choose from. One customer in at a time. Appointments are recommended.

Montclair 1-Hour Photo: Photography fans rejoice! This mom and pop photoshop is a one-stop for all things analog—and digital—photography. Another great hobby to have during SIP especially with all of our beautiful surroundings. Whether you’re into landscape photography or street, it’s something that anyone could get into. Dust off your film camera and get shooting! Photographs make wonderful gifts!

Oakland Museum of California: Support the arts! OMCA has given us over fifty years of Oakland-centric and California art and history. From their FREE Friday dance parties and Off the Grid to the awesome Dia de los Muertos festival and the hundreds of amazing gallery and interactive exhibitions, OMCA has awarded us with years of awareness and appreciation for all things California arts. Consider a membership or a donation in a loved one’s name.

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