Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is

via Oakland Local

Even before Occupy came to Oakland, local residents have been known for thinking globally and shopping locally.

This year promises to be no exception with both Plaid Friday and Blackout Oakland scheduled for “Black Friday,” Nov. 25.

Not everyone can or will head to the shops. What if you’re out of town on the big day? Or simply prefer to do your shopping online? Turns out, there are lots of ways to shop local using a computer or smart phone. When it comes to shopping local, you can let your fingers do the walking.

The first stop on our virtual tour is Oakland Unwrapped. This organization is well known for the Oakland Indie Awards – celebrating Oakland business’s and artists each May. But they also host an Online Marketplace where shoppers can find and buy directly from Oakland-owned independent businesses and artists. Click here to shop online with more than 130 different local vendors.

Next is to Oakland Grown. This group of local business owners, artists and engaged citizens supports local purchasing through advocacy, network building and advertising. This year, they also started a gift card program. You can buy the cards in the Oakland Grown gift guide section of the site. Click on the card amount you want to be taken to a screen where you can “Add to cart.” The site has some great real world local shopping ideas sorted by price and category.

There also are national sites, which allow you to find local sellers. Ebay Local is one option – once you type in your city or zip code, you can search for second-hand items from individuals or companies. It can be a great way to both save money and stimulate the local economy. Another site popular with many Oakland crafters is Etsy. This site also features a buy local search. A recent search revealed more than 17,000 items made by Oakland enthusiasts of sewing, knitting, crochet, painting/illustration and other handmade skills.

Several well-known local artists sell their posters online including Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza/Dignidad Rebelde, Favianna Rodriguez, Estria and the Bay Area graffiti artists of Endless Canvas.

Oakland is home to several great museums and a few of them have online stores, including the Oakland Museum of California and Chabot Space & Science Center. You could also always buy your friends and family a museum membership – like this one at Mocha Children’s Art Museum.

Lastly, let’s not forget local swag. Oaklandish has made a business turning local T’s into local grants. There’s also Hella Love and 5733. For even more Oakland spirit (and a higher price tag) you can go official with the Athletics, the Warriors or the Raiders. Clothing, gear or season tickets are appreciated by long time and new fans.


  1. robert mcdonald said:

    went to oakland location, not open.

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