Pro Arts Gallery is hosting its 35th Anniversary/Box Art Exhibit and Benefit Auction this Saturday evening, November 7th. Box Art 2009 features “original works made from recycled materials distributed by Pro Arts in partnership with the Reuse People.” This fundraiser allows a community of artists to have fun creating new works from the same materials. Come check out what they’ve created and support a local art gallery! Details are on Pro Art Gallery’s website.
Archive for the ‘Nov 09’ Category
Have you ever taken out a payday loan for emergency car repairs? Maybe you had some unforeseen expenses and needed extra cash to pay your rent? There are plenty of good reasons that short term loans in small amounts exist, but payday loans have evolved into something that takes advantage of consumers while they’re going through a rough time.
Payday lenders generally give small loans out to cash-strapped consumers and ask for their money back within two weeks. These loans may seem like a good idea to some, but many do not realize that charging $15 to borrow $100 for two weeks can eventually result in an APR of 360%! Because many payday loan borrowers can’t pay their loans back in the two week period, they end up rolling the loan over and getting charged interest for every subsequent two weeks, resulting in these oppressive interest rates.
Luckily, change is afoot. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have outlawed triple digit APRs and payday lending so far, and the United States Military has forbidden payday lenders to charge service men and women rates over 36%.
OneCalifornia is proud to be one of the organizations working on alternative solutions to this problem, and we invite you to learn more about what individuals, organizations and governments can be doing. A good resource is the Center for Responsible Lending website: http://www.responsiblelending.org/payday-lending/.
We have recently profiled new, up-and-coming small businesses in Oakland, many of which sell exclusively online. But Oakland is also home to small, independent businesses with storefronts that have been around for years, some even decades. These are the stores that you grow up with, that add character to your community and childhood memories. They are also the stores that set examples for other small businesses in how they treat their employees and serve their clients and community.
Pendragon Books in the Rockridge neighborhood is one of these independent businesses. Pendragon has been in its same location for nearly forty years. They have been there so long that the children who used to come with their parents to check out the books continue to come back as adults with their own children. Many staff members have also grown up with the independent bookstore-several have worked for Pendragon for a decade, some even two decades.
Having been in the independent book business for so long, Pendragon knows a thing or two about operating a successful small business that is competitive with the services offered at any chain bookstore. All staff members are trained to do everything in the store, from helping customers find a book to buying high-quality used books. Staff members also earn a living wage and get full benefits. This partly explains why so many have stayed with Pendragon for so long, but it also demonstrates Pendragon’s commitment to sustaining small businesses. As Amy Thomas, Pendragon’s owner, says, the store is putting its money where its mouth is in terms of advocating for supporting small businesses.
Many new customers come to Pendragon unaware of the top-notch service they can get at an independent book store. Pendragon’s shelves are well stocked with a wide variety of titles, both new and used, and anything that isn’t in its stockroom can be ordered and shipped to the store within a few days. Their prices are comparable to the ones you would see at a big book store. Pendragon’s staff is also knowledgeable about the books they offer, and can suggest book titles and recommendations the way staff at a big book store cannot.
But Pendragon is more than just a bookstore in Oakland; it acts as an engaged member of the community. Pendragon features local authors and sells beautiful gift cards, many designed by local artists. It gives discounts to book groups in the area. It donates books and gift certificates to local libraries and schools. It is an active member of the American Booksellers Association and supports national literary events, such as Banned Book Week and National Novel Writing Month.
Pendragon, while a stalwart, is also changing with the times. They have greened the water filtration system in their store and recycle all their packaging materials. They also buy and sell used books, which is, as they say, perhaps the greenest thing they do. They also sell all their books and products online, so you can browse their book collection from the comfort of your own home! To shop online at Pendragon Books and to learn more about their role as an independent bookstore in Oakland, check out their website.
October’s Full Moon Buy Night Shopping Bazaar was such a hit that we’re bringing it back–just in time for your holiday shopping! On the evenings of December 10th and 11th, Oakland Unwrapped, in collaboration with Jack London Square, ProArts, and Oakland Grown, will be hosting a Holiday Buy Night Shopping Event. Cozily situated inside a festive market hall with entertainment, activities for the kids, hot cocoa, beer, wine and creative gifts from local businesses and artists - it’s the best mall-ternative you could ask for. More details to come, so keep checking back here!
Save the date! Add this event to your Outlook Calendar here.
The Crucible is hosting its annual Holiday Gifty Art Sale and Open House during the weekend of December 12th and 13th. Here is a great opportunity to support local artists and community arts education while shopping for unique holiday gifts for everyone on your list! Local artists selling clothing and accessories, jewelry, gifts and more (including some of our very own Oakland Unwrapped vendors) will be present. The days also feature snacks, glass blowing demonstrations, a visit from Santa, and more! You won’t want to miss this! Get more details at the Crucible’s website.
Before fall is officially over and winter is upon us (in all its holiday-music-glory), be sure to check out the Oakland Youth Orchestra’s Fall Concert this Sunday, November 8th, at 3 PM at the Allen Temple Baptist Church. Admission is free, so why not check out some live classical music for a relaxing Sunday afternoon? For more details, visit their website.
The Women’s Initiative is hosting their Taste of Success event on Monday evening, November 9th, at the Claremont in Berkeley. This event will honor the 2009 Woman-Owned Business award winners and graduates entrepreneurs from the Women’s Initiative program. You’ll want to come to check out the goods and services these new women-owned businesses have to offer, as well as the food and drink! Click here for more details.
Juice for a just cause? Yes, please! OneCalifornia Foundation partner organization, the Wall Street Wizards, is having a tasty Jamba Juice fundraiser this week until Sunday, November 8th. Purchase any item(s) from any of the four participating Jamba Juices (Oakland City Center, Hegenberger, Emeryville, and Bayfair), bring the fundraiser flyer or mention the Wall Street Wizards, and 20% of your purchase will benefit this organization! You can download the flyer here. Please spread the word to all of your friends and family!
The Wall Street Wizards is a financial and capital markets literacy program designed to teach urban youth money management skills and expose them to jobs in the financial sector. The Wall Street Wizards program core focus in on the areas of money management, investing, math, economics, and the preparation for youth to make adult level financial decisions. For more information on this innovative program, check out their website. “If there was ever a time for our youth to begin learning about finances, it’s now!”
Oakland Unwrapped would like to introduce you to the latest additions to our online marketplace:
Baby Girl Designs: fine artwork by Jeanette Madden on notecards, journals, gift bags and boxes, and more.
By Nieves: all natural handmade body care products made with essential oils.
CC Star: original and custom-made handmade cuffs and snap bracelets, coin purses and pouches made from vintage neckties.
East Bay Express eDeals: gift certificates to local stores, including bath & body, food & drink, books, music, and more, sold at 25% off the certificate face value.
Envirodryz: low-tech, eco-friendly clotheslines.
Ezme Designs: funky, unique, and custom-made ceramic bowls, mugs, and dishes.
Kristine Online: unique and fun collectible toys, dolls, and gifts.
Looks Good From The Front: handmade hair accessories and birdcage veils.
Pushcart Design: a graphic design studio that creates politically and geographically influenced t-shirts and posters.
Sarah Swell Jewelry: nature-inspiried handcrafted fine jewelry.
Steppen Simply: necklaces and earrings to make you look and feel “simply” beautiful in any outfit for any occasion at any time.
YB Timepieces: high-quality fashion watches.
More stores are being added all the time, so keep checking www.oaklandunwrapped.org for more fun and unique Oakland-based businesses!