This year—now more than ever—small businesses need our help. According to the Mercury News as of September 2020, “Roughly one out of every 100 businesses in the San Francisco metropolitan area, which includes Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Marin counties, has permanently closed since March 1, according to the data, which is based on firms listed on Yelp’s platform. That’s about 2,900 businesses. Another 3,300 are temporarily closed.”
Luckily, in Oakland, we have a plethora of small, locally-owned businesses featuring a myriad of amazing accessories, home goods, apparel, and more for all of your gift-giving enjoyment. Please, consider shopping locally this year. Oakland wouldn’t be what it is without these amazing, family-owned small businesses. We are truly lucky to have such talent, ingenuity, and creativity right here in our very own back yard.
To help you decide where to spend your dollar, we’ve done some research and found a fantastic, eclectic, and diverse group of small shops and boutiques. There’s something here that is certain to wow just about everyone on your list.
Blk Girls Green House: (Pictured above) Featured in Bon Apetit, Forbes, and KQED! The store is an actual Greenhouse! From their website, “Blk Girls Green House is a Black-woman owned open-air plant & specialty home goods shop. A community space & an absolute vibe.” Shop by appointment which can be booked on their website!
Freebird of California Studio: Beautifully handcrafted unique leather accessories made right here in Oakland by artist Amber Washington.
E14 Gallery: Gallery and boutique in Old Oakland. From their website, “E14 Gallery is our vision, homage, and contribution to the spirit of an Oakland that lives on its people and its storytellers: the artists”. Tons of artwork, accessories, jewelry, and apparel.
Umami Mart: (Pictured above) Amazing collection of Japanese barware, home goods, and pantry items (also lots of sake!). From their website, “It is important to us, as Japanese-American women and small business owners, that we fight for a future that empowers other BIPOC women.”
Maker’s Loft: Although their brick and mortar shop is currently closed, you can still peruse the vast collection of goods on their website. Order by December 12th to guarantee arrival by the 25th!
Crown Nine: For the VERY special someone in your life. Unique jewelry (even engagement rings!) in super cute little Old Oakland boutique. Beautifully handmade jewelry and other accessories made right here in Oakland! From their website “We aim to welcome all, including people who have historically been marginalized while shopping for luxury or wedding products based on gender, orientation, race, class or other intersection. We strive to be a safe place for our clients to express their own journey.”
Maple Street Denim: (Pictured above) For the jeans snob on your list. They don’t get much better than Maple Street. They offer private jean fittings for the most perfect pair. MSD also offers other apparel and accessories for both men and women.
Esquelito: More jewelry! Plus other accessories and home goods. Located in Temescal Alley, Esquelito is currently taking appointments for shopping, although walk-ins are welcome. Find that unique treasure for your special someone.
Bay Made: Super cute little boutique on Grand Lakeshore with everything from plants to jewelry to art prints. Everything is made by local artists! Open for in-store shopping Wednesday – Friday!
Red Bay Coffee: (Pictured above) Just announced and one of Oprah’s Favorite Things 2020!!! Amazing coffee, espresso drinks, and awesome accessories and apparel. Show your love for Red Bay with one of their hoodies or totes! Visit them at their many locations in Oakland, or every Saturday at the Lake Merritt Farmer’s Market.
McBride Sisters Wines: The largest Black-owned winery in the United States and also one of the most inclusive, accessible, socially aware, and sustainable—right here in Oakland! Shop online to hear more about their story and peruse their delicious, award-winning vino!
OakPo Paper Company: For the paper lover on your list. Lots of journals, stationery, and other goodies to choose from. Plus, a wonderful selection of “Zero Waste” products for “green” gift giving!
Oaktown Spice Shop: (Pictured above) An Oakland institution. Tons of amazing and rare spices and blends, plus teas, pantry items, and DIY kits! OSS is a must-visit during the holiday season. Open for “at-the-door” service or order online for pickup.
The Raven’s Wing Magical Co: Just a few doors down from Oakland Spice Shop! Raven’s wing carries an abundance of accessories and literature for pagan, metaphysical, gem, and mineral enthusiasts. Shop beautiful crystals, tarot decks, spells, candles, and other accessories.
Corazon Del Pueblo: A little slice of Mexico right here in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood. Imported authentic Mexican art, apparel, and accessories from Mexico. Ring the bell for assistance!
Urban Indigo: One of Oakland’s most beloved gift shops. From jewelry to decor and sustainable children’s toys and stuffed animals. Lots of fun novelty stocking stuffers!
Marcus Books: (Pictured above) Who doesn’t love a good book?! This decades-long, locally owned bookstore has one of the largest collections of black authors in the Bay and is the nation’s oldest Black-owned independent bookstore celebrating its 60th year in 2020. How lucky are we to have such an institution right in our own back yard? Give them a visit—open for in-store shopping!
FLAX art and Design: Awesome long time local arts and crafts store. Great for kids’ activities, unique gifts, and holiday crafting items for those DIY’ers on your list! Open for in-store shopping. They also have a parking lot!
Mischief: Shop handmade wares, jewelry, art prints, plants, accessories, and more at this Laurel District boutique. Check out their website for Virtual workshops which make a great gift for you and your crafty pals!
A Verb For Keeping Warm: (Pictured Above) For the knitting enthusiasts! Scanes of beautiful yarn, fabric, accessories, and literature as well as online workshops! Not just for knitters and crocheters! AVFKW features items for embroidery making, natural dyeing, sewing, and more. Open for in-store shopping!
Show and Tell: The brick and mortar shop is unfortunately closed but all items are available online! Women and men’s clothing, art, and accessories made both locally and around the world. Check out the made-to-order African quilts!!!
Field Day: Women’s apparel, featuring the famed Field Day sheet dresses. Shop their many other wares and accessories, featuring sustainable materials made locally.
Have any to add? Let us know, and check back next week for our expertly curated list of restaurants offering gift cards—the perfect gift for EVERYONE