Show & Tell Concept Shop
My name is Alyah Baker and I’ve been a resident of Oakland since 2003 and a small business owner since 2011. Ever since I was a young girl I’ve dreamed of owning my own retail shop. In November of 2011, amidst the recession and Occupy Oakland, I decided to take a leap of faith and make that dream a reality. This is how Show & Tell Concept Shop was born.
After several years working in corporate retail I was compelled to do my part to shift how retail is done and expand who can participate in building the local economy. Show & Tell was established to reflect and celebrate the diversity of the Oakland that I love and to offer a sustainable and socially responsible alternative to big box stores.
My passion is connecting independent makers of unique and beautiful goods with new customers who appreciate and value their work. In the past 5 years I’ve been fortunate enough to build a retail business and more importantly a safe, welcoming environment that prioritizes inclusiveness, specifically for Black & Brown people, Women, and Queer and Trans folks.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
Since 2011 Show & Tell Concept Shop has served as a platform for a rotating selection of local makers and artists that incorporate sustainability, social responsibility, and activism into their products and art. Our eclectic offering reflects our commitments to responsible consumerism, professional integrity, community equity, and a deep love for Oakland. It is our belief that, by existing as an entrepreneurial platform for these concepts, we are contributing to a healthier local economy.
We actively support the local economy by fostering the growth of over 50 up and coming local makers/artists each year. We are very hands on with each brand and leverage our extensive retail experience to help each one thrive. Our intent is to build long lasting relationships with the makers/artists and to encourage their growth beyond the shelves of Show & Tell. Additionally we intentionally offer products that are accessible and affordable in addition to being sustainable so the broadest range of community members can participate in creating a thriving local economy.
We are proud of what we have built in our first 5 years: a vibrant, inclusive, and intentional retail space that has featured over a hundred independent makers and served thousands of customers.
What is the purpose of this loan?
After 5 years in business Show & Tell is poised for growth in 2016. The most critical components of this growth are merchandise and (wo)manpower.
This loan will provide the working capital necessary to fully stock our 2nd location inside Qulture Collective: a multi-use space and queer community platform in downtown Oakland. Equally critical is the addition of 2 new team members to assist with the daily operation in our 1st location and support the expansion into the new one.
Sharing the daily operations of the shop with two additional team members will also have a great impact on me personally. It will free up time for me to focus on the “behind the scenes” pieces of running a small retail shop including building new vendor relationships, marketing, and strengthening our online presence.
Years in operation: More than 5 years