If you are an artisan maker, or want to sell and distribute goods in the real world but are just getting started and can’t rent your own shop, Oakland has great options. There are organizations throughout the East Bay that specialize in consulting and supporting small businesses as they get on their feet and many of them offer shared spaces of different types, so you can have some space, but at an affordable price.
For those of you who are ready to take the next step, but not quite ready to lease a large space, check out some of these business incubators for some homegrown support.
Started in 2011, Popuphood is a small business incubator revitalizing neighborhoods block by block. They consult independent retailers and property owners to fill previously vacant storefronts and establish creative engagement to foster long-term leases and growth for the neighborhood. Pop-ups have been downtown, in KONO, and in Old Oakland.
First Friday 6 – 10 p.m. and every Saturday 1 – 6 p.m.
The 25th Street Collective (25C) is an L3C collective of slow-food and slow-fashion artisans practicing local, ethical manufacturing, and innovative resourcefulness. Offering creative studios, a storefront gallery, wine bar, workshops, and edu-tainment events, this Oakland-based incubator is home to fine fashion and food artisans in the Bay Area.
Pricing: If you’re interested in being a vendor, fill out an application here (http://25thstreetcollective.com/vendors)
Once you’ve started your business, you might want to contact these guys. Oakland Grown supports the growth and development of locally-owned and independently-operated businesses and local artists in Oakland through their virtual storefront for small businesses in the area, and their relentless promotion of the Oakland Grown Card, a local loyalty card, and of Plaid Friday, a shop-local day that happens right after Thanksgiving. (Black Friday? Plaid Friday? Get it?)
See the whole series on finding spaces in Oakland: