Craft is A Way of Life

From brewmasters to fashion stylists to gallery curators, Oakland is home to many outstanding artists and makers who’ve committed to turning their passion into their livelihood right here in beautiful downtown Oakland. Oakland Central celebrates these talented entrepreneurs, performers and makers with the Craft is a Way of Life campaign. Read on to learn more about how these inspiring Oaklanders find inspiration and why they chose Oakland to put down roots.

Craft: Woods Brewery photo

Jim Woods, Woods Bar and Brewery

17th and Telegraph, Oakland

“We brew small batches of fresh, exciting, and experimental beers. Our inspiration comes from far and wide, but our beers are deeply rooted here. Our approach is unconventional but our work is accessible and friendly: Adventurous brews for curious drinkers.”

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Craft: Joyce Gordon photo
“Doing business in Oakland means being connected to the most talented people in the country. Everyone is so naturally innovative and creative. The community in Oakland comes up with solutions where there seem to be no solutions.”

Joyce Gordon, Joyce Gordon Gallery

14th and Franklin, Oakland
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“I grew up in Oakland and always wanted to create environments and atmosphere for community to gather and be inspired by good music. Spaces where people from all demographics of our diversity can gather, feel comfortable and have a great time.”

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Craft: Kev Choice photo

Kev Choice, Musician


Craft: Alfonso Dominguez photo

Alfonso Dominguez, Tamarindo

8th and Broadway, Oakland

“We were inspired to represent true traditional Mexican cuisine. We knew that Mexican food wasn’t represented at the time we opened. We were also inspired to bring a new business to a neighborhood that has great history and people.”

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“A lot of times when I am making artistic or creative decisions I go by feeling rather than intellectual reasoning. I emphasize the shapes, the tones and the lighting. By doing that I am able to bring out the personality of the person, it makes the painting more emotional.”

James Gayles, Artist

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Craft: James Gayles photo
Craft: Kanitha Matouroy photo

Kanitha Matouroy, Howden Market

17th and Webster, Oakland

“Howden Market and Spice Monkey offer food and drink in great community atmosphere. My craft is not just about food, it’s about building relationships and bringing people together to enjoy eachother’s company.”

read onCraft: Kanitha Matouroy photo

“Viscera offers a curated collection of minimalist USA-made men’s and women’s clothing and contemporary 3D printed jewelry. We believe in building a capsule collection so people can save their creative energy for making the world more beautiful instead of stressing over what to wear in the morning.”

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Craft: photo of Ari Takata Vasquez, Viscera

Ari Takata-Vasquez, Viscera

17th and Broadway, Oakland

Craft: photo of DJ Ross
“My father is a sound designer, so I have been around art and music all of my life. I have been in Oakland all of my life. My parents were raised here, as was I. The best thing I think any of us can do, is supporting those around us.”

Ross Abeldee, DJ

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“My inspiration for Two Jack Denim was: jeans as a true American icon that will never go out of style, creating an authentic menswear shop, and promoting American-made goods. And telling the stories of the makers behind the brands, who are passionate about what they create.”

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Craft: photo of Tommy Mierzwinski, Two Jacks Denim

Tommy Mierzwinski, Two Jacks Denim

24th and Broadway, Oakland