Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf encourages 'Plaid Friday' holiday shopping

Countering the big retailers on Black Friday is Oakland’s Plaid Friday, which supports local small businesses and artists. 

Since 2008, Oakland has promoted local shopping on this day. Nearly 200 local businesses and restaurants gave 10 percent off for the holiday. 

One of their biggest customers is Mayor Libby Schaaf. 

“This whole outfit is Leslie Evers, boots are from my favorite boutique in Rockridge called FIT, right passed the Rockridge BART station,” said Mayor Schaaf describing her outfit purchased from local retailers.

“And then this is very special to me. This is a resister necklace. It has a real radio resister in it. Made by John and Joanne Donovan that live in the Laurel District.” 

Lakeshore Avenue is one location that hosted several boutiques and local art. Shoppers embraced the unique gifts and owners promote their employees’ talents.

“I’m a painter, and illustrator, I do comics,” said Bay-Made clerk, Casey DeSilets.“It doesn’t quite fit in the aesthetic here, but she’s [owner Sarahjane Bernhisel] always trying to get me to put my stuff in here. I’ll do it eventually.”

Since the Ghost Ship Warehouse fire two years ago, where a number of local artists were killed and injured, Mayor Schaaf said the city has been more aware of the housing crisis affecting the arts community. 

Plaid Friday is one way to help keep artists in Oakland. 

“Our artists’ community has always been the beating heart of this community,” Schaaf said. “We’ve never been more pointedly aware of that than in these last two years. 

“It’s so important that we support the creative talent that is right here living among us. We must appreciate them. And support them in staying in Oakland that is becoming so expensive.”

After Plaid Friday, shoppers can still find free off-street parking and free parking at city-owned garages on the weekends through the holiday season. 

You can find a list of unique local shops at ShopOaklandNow.org