Get Stylish With Threads From Oak Common
Baggu opens, Crossroads seeks plus sizes, and Viscera workshops.
Owner Jeffrey Probart and Lola are often on hand at Oak Common.
Oak Common is a sweet little clothing boutique on Grand Avenue, just a few blocks past the eastern tip of Lake Merritt and makes for a worthwhile stop if you find yourself with some extra time after cruising through the Grand Lake Farmers Market on a Saturday afternoon.
Though decidedly contemporary, Oak Common has a homey, comforting ambience with a nod toward mid-century modern, thanks to polished wooden surfaces and its tastefully organized but not overstuffed racks of men’s and women’s clothing and accessories. As you walk in, you’ll encounter the “market,” a catchall description for apothecary and home goods like all-natural candles from LA-based P.F. Candle Co., Pendleton blankets and towels, and soaps and scents from Midnight Collective. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you’ll be in good hands with Cheyenne, who’s often behind the counter ready to assist (take a peek in the jewelry case for her line of necklaces, rings, and earrings). If owner Jeffrey Probart is in, you’ll likely also be greeted by Lola, the shop’s feisty dog.
Oak Common opened in September 2012, after Probart moved to Oakland from San Francisco. An experienced buyer for many clothing stores in the city across the bay, Probart, and his partner, David Yun, had been considering opening up a shop of their own when anopportunity presented itself. “It was a great time to open a shop so people on this side of the bay had a local small-business option to get their clothing,” Probart said, adding that “the diversity of the neighborhood” is what drew him to open Oak Common in its current location.
A playground for fans of the slow-fashion movement, Oak Common carries clothing brands familiar to indie-fashion enthusiasts, including Ace & Jig, Dusen Dusen, Hackwith Design House, and Objects Without Meaning. Also supporters of the East Bay’s strong local maker culture, Oak Common offers handmade goods from San Francisco brands like Curator, plus East Bay-based brands such as Ginger and Feather + Palm. Much of the clothing is made from organic materials, such as linen, organic cotton, and hemp—fabrics favored by many indie brands—and also what Oak Common customers prefer, Probart said. Additionally, all the jewelry carried in the store is handmade by local artists. And everything is deliberately curated.
“We seek out brands we personally like,” Probart said, adding that he makes an effort to “cater to as wide a customer base as possible by keeping our price points accessible.
“Quality goods are important, but so is price, so we do our best to strike the perfect balance between the two. We are always trying it fresh in the store as well. When one of our regulars come in, we want to make sure there is something new in the shop for them to peruse.”
If you’re seeking well-made jeans, casual dresses, skirts, and tops, or casual men’s clothing, or looking for a new scarf, purse, or piece of jewelry to complement your wardrobe, Oak Common has got lots of options. 3231 Grand Ave., Oakland, noon-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday, OakCommon.com, @oakcommon on Instagram.
East Bay fans of Baggu, the popular purveyor of reusable bags and sturdy carryalls, will be happy to know that as of June, the brand opened its second brick-and-mortar store, a Temescal Alley (the first being in Brooklyn, New York) shop. Amanda Lucia Côté, head of Baggu’s retail operations, says the San Francisco-based brand has “wanted a store in the Bay Area for a long time,” especially in Temescal Alley, with its relaxed vibe and high foot traffic. The new outlet will stock perennial items—backpacks, clutches and pouches, and functional handbags. If you missed the grand opening celebration, Côté tells us you can look forward to later hours on First Fridays, and “events and collaborations with artists and other small businesses” are in the works for the future. 470G 49th St., Temescal Alley, Oakland, open 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Baggu.com.
Crossroads Seeks Plus Sizes
All Bay Area locations of Crossroads Trading Co. are getting in on the plus-size clothing movement. The trendy used-clothing seller, which maintains stores across the country, is buying plus-size clothing, meaning sizes 10 and up. Kat Eves, wardrobe stylist and fashion blogger at TheStyleEthic.com, reported, “One seller even told me they’re more lenient in what they accept from sellers who bring in clothing over a size medium.” Crossroads insisted it holds its plus-size clothing buys to the same standard as regular sizes—all clothing must be in good condition and suitable for the current season. CrossroadsTrading.com.
3-D Jewelry and Workshops
With a prime location on Broadway in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood, Viscera Studio offers contemporary made-in-the-USA basics: Ts, shirts, sweatshirts, denim, everyday dresses that go easily from day to night, and much more.
But it’s actually the jewelry that sets this shop apart. Using a 3-D printer, owner and creative director Ari Takata-Vasquez creates and prints rings, earrings, and statement necklaces in a variety of materials in all shapes and sizes, and all of it is designed in house. To promote community building and networking, Viscera also offers monthly workshops. Attendees can enjoy light refreshments, and the studio provides the necessary supplies. Workshops range from $10 to $60, with discounts offered to college students for select workshops.
You can indulge your crafty side and improve your home décor at the Adulting at Best: Magazine Holder Workshop on Sept. 25 at Viscera. Check Viscera’s website for more info and to keep tabs on future workshops. 1542 Broadway, Oakland, 12-7 p.m. weekdays, 1-6 p.m. weekends, ShopViscera.com.
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This report appears in the September edition of our sister publication, The East Bay Monthly.