OAKLAND -- Oaklandish, the beloved community store celebrating Oakland, has opened a shop in the Dimond District.
The store, at 3419 Fruitvale Ave., is the second and latest permanent addition to the company's downtown headquarters and retail outlet. Oaklandish sells unique T-shirts, hats, hoodies and skateboard decks, as well as a rotating range of artisanal items, in collaboration with local artists and producers.
"The welcome we got here was incredible. It only took seconds to feel welcome," said Erin Graves, the store manager of the Fruitvale location. The store opened in November.
One entire wall of the new store is devoted to a wheat-paste photo montage featuring the city's landmarks. In keeping with Oaklandish tradition, the sign above the store's door is handmade from recycled materials.
"We've grown into civic pride, highlighting different and unique things about Oakland. We want to celebrate as much as we can. We want to celebrate community," Graves said.
"Oakland is a more intimate urban setting," said Chinwe Okona, the company's public relations director. "People are invested in building community here."
Oaklandish's apparel is designed by local artists, hand printed in Oakland, and 10 percent of the proceeds go to local nonprofit organizations.
Part store, part nonprofit endowment, Oaklandish seeks to celebrate the city by sharing a portion of the profits with the community through philanthropy programs, including hosting a variety of community events, the nonprofit of the month and grant programs, including the Oakland Innovators Award.
The Fruitvale store is located across the street from a Farmer Joe's mural that was sponsored by Oaklandish.
"It's awesome that we ended up across the street from a mural we helped create," Graves said.
"We want to promote others that are doing great work," said Okona.
Oaklandish grew out of a street art movement that produced the iconic roots logo in 2000. Public art progressed into a line of T-shirts and hoodies of various designs that were sold out of a truck for years around the city.
The company opened its first brick-and-mortar store in July 2011 on Broadway and 14th Street in downtown Oakland. In addition to the Fruitvale location, the company also has two pop-up stores, at Oakland International Airport and at Jack London Square.
"I love it," said Bill Pelter, who works in the Dimond, and who is originally from Los Angeles.
"When I moved here, I was anonymous for a long time. Then I realized that city is family. If you want to see the world together without attitude, come to Oakland.
"I love that this is a homegrown business. Small businesses are the cornerstone of a community. They empower. It's exciting. It's a feel-good thing."