Oakland Independents Sales & Other Things to Do

by | Oct 4, 2019

Day 4: Save our Oakland Independents

Letter Writing Campaign

We’re into Day 4 of our fight for Oakland Independents. With all our So Oakland love, we’re fighting for our Indie Merchants. Their future is in the balance due to the almost insurmountable difficulties of doing business in Oakland. And they’re up against a City government that has NO POLITICAL WILL to support them. Worse, they refuse to recognize the value of a vital Indie community to the Oaktown vibe. So, it’s up to all of us to go to battle for our Indies and for our Oakland future. It’s the start of a Oakland-made revolution. 

What We Can Do

We must send a united message to compel our local politicians to prioritize indies as they plan the future of our city. At minimum, they must address the short and mid-term threats to our local indies. They can begin by treating our proprietors as they do big developers, landlords, corporate America, and other businesses that don’t substantially contribute to our city. 

To that end, we’ve written a Save Our Oakland Indies letter and created a template that we can all use to send to our Mayor and Councilmembers. It has all you need to take action! It’s so easy to cut and paste! It includes the letter to the City and all contact info.

If you’d like more background on the subject, we encourage you to read our Oakland Indies Need Our Help blog that we published in July. 

Shopping Local at Oakland Independents

Are you looking for inspiration to shop local at Oakland Indies and to live local in The Town? Then you’ve come to the right place. We publish this listing weekly to drive awareness about Oakland Indies sales, events, new product announcements, classes, author readings, wine tastings, celebrations, and more.

We continually update this listing as we get new information  but please check directly with the merchants for more information about the event(s) that you’re interested in.

Merchants, this is a FREE service: If you want to add a listing, you can just message us here on our website. It’s that easy!

Oakland Featured Events this Week

It’s Oaktoberfest this Weekend!

10/5-10/6 is Oakland’s family-friendly craft beer festival in Dimond District!

Keep it Oakland has an October Limited Sale!

They are selling Keep It Oakland hoodies and beanies 2 of each for $40! Use Code “OCT33” to apply discount. Find new items under the DEALS! tab on website. Get them while they are available!

Almost Home Oakland Fundraiser Information

We love important causes. Almost Home Oakland is raising money to build cabin shelters for Oakland’s homeless community. They are hosting a FUNDRAISER 10/21 AT SHAKEWELL 3407 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland. Great cause, great speakers, and a silent auction too! We hope to see you there!

They need donations from Oakland Indies: They’re looking for items or services that they can auction off. All donating businesses will be announced during the fundraiser!

This Just Sounds Fun

10/5 6:30pm Story Slam Oakland is having a Spontaneous Storytelling Evening. “Storytelling is #tonight in #Oakland! Come make new friends, find a day in real life; enjoy a beverage, have fun telling your true story, or just listen and laugh. At @layover510 The Layover, 1517 Franklin St. FREE. 21&up with ID.” Maybe I should go tell my stories about my history of being mistaken for a guy in my early 20s all over South East Asia… or the food-in-teeth story when meeting and hanging out with my favorite band ever… Uh no…

Oakland Independents Sales, Events & New Stuff

Merchants A through M

Experience the Oakland indie scene and find your favorite shops.

10/5 You can be sure Alchemy Bottle Shop is hosting a Spirits tasting in the afternoon. Check with them for details.

Crush On College is loaded with new Fall items. The plaid jeans are calling out to us. Will we resist temptation?

Put this on your Calendar the 10/17 – 10/20 Semi-Annual BOOK SALE at The Bookmark Bookstore. All sales proceeds go to support the Oakland Public Library! Members get 50% off 10/17. All book lovers can enjoys SALES 10/18 at 30% off, 10/19 at 40% off and 50% off on 10/20!

Dress Best For Less reminded us that buying one used item over a new item reduces its carbon footprint by 82%!  Perhaps that is just the justification you need to go previously-loved shopping this weekend?

To 11/2 It’s Inktober at FLAX Art and Design. Share your Inktober drawings with FLAX on social media for a chance to win a Flax tote bag full of supplies and a FLAX gift card! More details at their IG post.

To 10/31! In Full Swing Plus Sizes is offering $50 off your purchase of $200 or more. Limit one!

10/13 1 – 3pm Mischief is hosting what looks to be a very fun workshop. Here is what they say about it: “Turn your snail mail into art! How beautiful are these envelopes made by the talented teacher behind our new Intro to Brush Lettering class, Meg Hansen! Want to learn how she did it? Sign up for the workshop- its next Sunday, October 13th from 1-3pm. Register and learn more at here.” Wow, I wonder if Meg could help with our Save our Oakland Indies Letter Writing Campaign? That would be so cool. We are working on co-hosting an event right now!

Merchants N through Z

10/4 4 – 8pm Owl N Wood Is having a First Friday shopping event at their new design studio at Red Bay Coffee. It’s an opportunity to shop with a treasured Oakland Indie and other Indie Makers and Brands.

It looks like Rockridge Furniture has some new inventory for you to check out.

Mika at Spoiled Boutique always has SALES on TEMPTATION TUESDAYS! And she is always getting NEW ARRIVALS. If you are in downtown Oakland, it is very much worth taking a peak. Plus Mika is awesome. She will style you up.

10/4 10:00am at Tip Top Bike Shop. We are thrilled to announce that Tip Top Tots is back for the 2019-2020 season! Enjoy a delightful and interactive FREE music class for 0-6 plus caregivers. It’s hosted by Glenda Bates. Snacks and discounts on Kids Stuff. It seems like a super cute can’t miss event.

Right now Tootsies Rockridge has lots of NEW ARRIVALS including scarves, handbags, and shoes!

10/10 7-10pm Urban University turns 10 on 10/10. And they will be celebrating. As they should because their accomplishments are so important and make a profound impact on single mothers in our communities! And they are featuring a new artist for October and we highly recommend you check out the “beautiful energy that is Mary @evolvewithmarycrafts, our new resident artist for October.”

To 10/10 Walden Pond Books is doing an Instagram Giveaway. Enter to win a chance A $25 GIFT CERTIFICATE!

Oakland Independents: Workshops, Classes, and Other Events

Oakland Independent Merchants host lots of events!

Every single week our Oakland Indies host valuable events for creative and active souls who want to broaden their knowledge, discover new talents, or hone their skills! They teach us and they entertain us. You know what we alway say: #youcantbuythatontheinternet.

Regular Events

Every week, many local independent wine merchants host WINE TASTING EVENTS. Wow! It’s better than having to  drive 2 hours ++ and you get to experience more variety. Check with a shop near you like: Bay Grape, Downtown Wine Merchants, Farmstead Cheeses and Wines, Minimo Wine Shop, Oakland Yard Wine Shop, and Wine on Piedmont.

Merchants A through M

Alchemy Bottle Shop has some amazing classes and events for those who want to learn or perfect the art of Cocktail making. They also do regular tasting events on Saturdays from 2-5pm! So, a lot is happening there. Best to check out their calendar!

Bay-Made: They are very excited about their September classes. They have beginner Screen Printing, a succulent plant workshop, and kids classes coming up. They load their calendar with events so check them out and see what’s inspires you!

Multiple events Blue Door Beads on Piedmont Ave. Are very excited about there September workshops and classes. Sign up in store, on their website, or over the phone.  

It’s Your Move is the place to be if you are a gamer. They have so many event nights so it is just a matter of your gaming preferences. They even have a summer camp for teenagers.

It’s best to check out Maker’s Loft Calendar of Events as they have so many different kinds of workshops. They often bring in the makers and designers that they feature in their store to lead classes.

OMG! Mischief hosts one of the most cutest events ever: Little Folkies on Thursdays at 11:30am. OMG, parents bring their 0-5 year-olds and enjoy live music together. And they have another event on Sundays from 3-5pm called Babies + Beers Family Happy Hour(s)! OMG! Please let them know your going so they can plan appropriately!

Merchants N through Z

Rent Event Space! Yes, you can rent the beautiful backyard oasis at Neighbor for your special occasion. They’ve hosted baby showers, birthday celebrations, and engagement parties. They’ve even held a wedding!

Multiple events for Preserved. Workshops all summer from cheesemaking to pickling, jam making, and fermenting, and more! Check with Preserved for their calendar of events. 

Rare Bird always has creative workshops and classes for you to learn new things or hone your already awesome skills. They host parties and corporate events as well. They do it all!  It is worth checking out their calendar!

The Raven’s Wing Magical Co. hosts A monthly Astrology Salon every fourth Thursday from 7-9pm.

Weekly Sundays 10am Tip Top Bike Shop Meet at the shop and take a ride with them on their weekly group ride. All abilities welcome! All abilities and experience levels welcome.

Wednesday Warrior Runs are every week at 6:30 sharp by Transports. Check with them for locations as they change from week to week. P.S. They like to drink beer after the running events!

Wolfman Books in Downtown Oakland always has intriguing events. It is best to check out their calendar for details!

Upcoming Oakland Independents Events


10/12 7-9pm Tiny Pink Drawings is showing up to E.M. Wolfman Books to “share the tiny but mighty lil zine i made about my dreams (sexy ones scary ones real sad ones) with some of my drawings featured alongside. some really kewl babes are gonna read dreamy ass po-ems and i’m working on a dream journal/coloring book for the party! i hope to see your sweet faces scarfing pizza and sipping prosecco.”

10/19 elikasage will be at Rare Bird to teach a workshop she is pretty excited about. This is what she has to say “I did it! I created a workshop so we can make Power Amulet necklaces together!! ? I’m offering this workshop for the first time on October 19th. Join me for magical energy, intention setting and jewelry making!

10/19 Join Oakland Art Murmur at the Jingletown Block Party celebrating the new mural collaboration. Too many cool things going on to write here but there will be an Art Walk from 2-4pm and the Community Block Party Runs 2-6pm. If you are an art lover, this is the party for you. Jingletown is the HOT ART SCENE in Oakland.

10/21 WE LOVE IMPORTANT CAUSES. Almost Home Oakland is raising money to build cabin shelters for Oakland’s homeless community. They are hosting a FUNDRAISER AT SHAKEWELL 3407 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland. Great cause, great speakers and a silent auction too!


11/3 Gather Workshop always has fun events and we recommend you check their calendar. Here’s what they say about this today’s event: “Just 3 spots left for our brand new Punch Needle class! I had been wanting to add a punch Needle class for sometime now so was super excited when I found Caroline Powell of @punchcolorstudio and she had a beautiful modern style. In this class, you will create a 12”X12” punch needle piece of art for your wall, while learning the basic fundamentals of this traditional technique. All materials are included and no experience is required!
Each student will receive a kit that consists of a 12”x12” wood frame, monks cloth for stretching, the #10 Oxford Punch Needle, a selection of rug yarn and step-by-step instructions. Also provided for the class will be tools for marking, measuring, stretching and cutting, as well as loads of inspiration to help get your creative juices flowing!
This two hour class also includes mimosas and light brunch snacks and a discount on merchandise at @dandelion_post (whom we share a space with). Register at gatherworkshop.com.”

Community Notice Board:

Oakland Is Not For Sale

10/10 5:30pm Oakland Is Not For Sale is fighting OUSD school closures. Our Oakland Children deserve better than what the OUSD provides. Join them at the next School Board Meeting on 10/9 at La Escuelita in Great Room Wear Black!

The Downtown Oakland Specific Draft Plan

8/29 – 10/22 This important document has been released by the City of Oakland as of 8/29 and it is ready for your review. There are meetings and presentations all over Oakland in September and October so that Oaklanders can give their feedback.  We’ve perused the chapter on Economic Opportunity section and we’re very concerned that they have not addressed the vision and future for our Oakland Indies in a very comprehensive manner. We think much more needs to be done to develop our Indie scene. We have until 10/22 to submit comments!

Sheng Thao, District 4

10/24 6-7pm Sheng Thao’s Community Office Hours at Grand Lake Kitchen in Dimond. We might very well find ourselves going so we can find out more how our Councilmembers are going to forge a future for our Oakland Indies!

Almost Home Oakland

10/21 Almost Home Oakland is raising money to build cabin shelters for Oakland’s homeless community. They are hosting a FUNDRAISER AT SHAKEWELL 3407 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland. Great cause, great speakers and a silent auction too!

Please contribute to the Tech Exchange mission! Donate your retired laptops and computers today! It is about supporting the community. Tech Exchange provides refurbished computers to families, students, and schools all in need. We can’t let Oaklanders fall behind! We love what they do!

Other Things to do in Oakland: Local Events and Festivals

Check with hosts for more information.

Regular Events

Monthly 1st Fridays: Multiple events in Oakland:Friends of Lincoln Square Park Lincoln Summer Nights 2019, June-October 5-8pm.

First Sundays Indigenous Red Market at the Fruitvale Cedar Center. Plenty of activities. Featuring indigenous artists, vendors, performances, and so much more!

Also Monthly on 1st Fridays, Oakland Art Murmur hosts the Art Walk and it’s happening on 8/2 from 6-9pm. Galleries are open and then again on Saturday for the Stroll from 1-5pm. Studios 11 has a new show beginning tonight The Surreal Works of Bill Sala with Artist Reception! Get connected into Oakland’s art scene.

Monthly, 3rd Thursdays 4-9pm May-Oct Laurel Evening Market at Communite Table. A curated artisan and vintage market. Plus, the Laurel District has some great independent shops that are a must to check out!

Also on Monthly on 3rd Thursdays, Oakland Central at Latham Square, chill time, chill vibes in downtown Oakland!

Indigenous Red Market Every first Sunday of the month at the Fruitvale Cedar Center. Plenty of activities and features indigenous artists, vendors, performances, and so much more! Next event is 8/4.

And Toddler Gardens Lake Merritt hosts a variety of FREE activities and demos monthly. Email them at toddlergardens@gmail for list of events. For example, 8/18 is Compost and Worms!

Upcoming Events September and October 2019

10/5-10/6 12th Annual Dimond District Oaktoberfest! Family-friendly Craft Beer and Music.

10/12 Head West Marketplace The Barlow in Sebastopol

10/19 Head West Marketplace Hangar 1 Distillery in Alameda

Upcoming Events November 2019

11/2 10am – 5pm Dia De Los Muertos Festival in Fruitvale district. The Unity Council Día de Los Muertos Annual Festival is a free, outdoor festival that brings over 100,000 people to the vibrant, culturally-rich Fruitvale neighborhood to enjoy world-class live music, family-friendly games, rides and activities, traditional Latin American artisans, and the stunning altar artistic installations created by community members paying homage to los Muertos.

Plaid Friday Weekend! A can’t miss local shopping celebration in Oakland. It includes: shopping, music, food, kids activities, and adult beverages. Oakland will be lit! Skip the nightmare that is Black Friday and go local. You will have the best time ever!

11/30 Headwest Marketplace in Old Oakland. More info to come!

Upcoming Events December 2019

12/8 9-4pm 4th Annual Dimond Lights ARTISAN MARKET AND PANCAKE BREAKFAST! DIMOND PARK RECREATION CENTER. PANCAKES are being served to 11am by Ann’s Cafe. Arts, crafts, food, music, fun!

12/8 Temescal Holiday Fair

12/14 Girl Gang Craft is hosting a Holiday Market at the Oakland Scottish Rite Center. Here’s a little info on this awesome group of creatives “Girl Gang Craft was founded in August of 2017 to create an affordable and accessible space for local womxn makers to sell their goods. Since then, GGC has grown to include 2 big Oakland shows a year with 120 artists. GGC strives to create community and support small businesses with workshops, online resources, and events.” 

12/14 Head West Marketplace Hangar 1 Distillery in Alameda Holiday Market

12/21 Head West Marketplace in Old Oakland. More info to come!

Upcoming Events in 2020

1/11 – 1/12 10 – 5pm Oakland Chinatown Lunar New Year Bazaar! The 29th Annual LNY Bazaar is a FREE annual event hosted in the heart of Oakland’s Chinatown on 9th St. and Franklin St. to celebrate Chinese New Year. A live cultural entertainment stage with continuous live performances is featured along with over 80 vendors selling traditional new years decorations??, flowers?, gifts, candies?, and other items of interest. So come on out that weekend to celebrate Chinese New Year (1/25) and buy goodies for you and family and friends

2/23 The Third Annual Black Joy Parade. It’s going to be bigger and even better. More to come but get this event in your calendar!

Before you go

We would love it if you would check out more about who we are and our mission. Please let us know what you think. Click here.

And, if you are interested in the importance, benefits, and joys of shopping local, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram, or read our Blog here. Join the conversation!


Submit a Comment

You May Also Like …

The Raven’s Wing Magical Co.

When you read about "top reasons to shop local," one of them is going to be something like this: When you shop local you are actually supporting a merchant and your neighborhood. Certainly, we've called this benefit out more than our fair share of occasions. But...

read more
Why I Shop Local For the Holidays

Why I Shop Local For the Holidays

No, I didn't always shop local for the Holidays. And, when I saw this pic of Cynthia standing outside of her decked out Urban Indigo gift shop on Instagram, it reminded me of my evolving shopping attitudes. The Way it Was Once upon a very long time ago, in the 80s,...

read more


SHOP LOCAL TO FIGHT INEQUALITY? When we shop local, it is most obviously an act that supports a small business and its proprietor. Yet, it’s so much more than that. It fuels an engine that can drive us to an America that is prosperous — and equal and just — for all of...

read more