Are you done with your holiday shopping yet?

Is your email inbox full of marketing emails from national retailers? It’s hard to resist because we’re all busy…it’s so much easier to just buy your present from a big box store or national retailer when they’re offering BIG discounts and even free shipping/guaranteed shipping before Christmas.

We hope you consider SHIFTING some of your spending this holiday season to a local business because…

shop local this holiday season


Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving

thanksgiving 2014Growing up, thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.  I think it’s because my birthday usually lands on Thanksgiving weekend.  Nothing beats good food (including birthday cake) and time with my family.

We usually spend Thanksgiving with my uncles, aunties and cousins.  I come from a big family – my dad has 9 brothers and sisters so you can imagine how many cousins I have – and scheduling time to meet up with everyone is pretty difficult.  Thanksgiving was the only holiday that we could count on where usually, everyone can make it.

Has anyone else noticed how corporate America squirmed its way into this holiday? Many retail chains are open during Thanksgiving now and I feel sad for retail workers who HAVE to work this holiday season.  As consumers, are we really that hungry for sales?  Do we really need one more day to shop?  Our society has moved away from thanksgiving being a national holiday to be spent with friends and family into the biggest shopping weekend. What do you think about this? Will you be shopping on Thanksgiving?

Whatever you do, we hope that you and your loved ones have a wonderful thanksgiving.  We really are thankful for your support of Shift Local and we hope that if you do shop this weekend, you make your way to local and independent shops.

Love Mari

Look Good and Do Good with Retrofit Republic

I have always been a fashion enthusiast.  Like many little girls, I loved dressing up my dolls.  As a teenager, I longed to buy clothes, shoes and accessories but growing up, we didn’t have much for “unnecessary” items.  So I got a part-time job at 15  not only to help my family out but also partly so I could afford the things I wanted.  To my surprise, I quickly learned the value of a hard-earned buck and I was actually hesitant to spend.  Don’t get me wrong, I love designer items as much as any other girl but man, I can’t seem to justify spending $1,000 on a pair of shoes or handbag.

One of my favorite activities is “thrifting” because you can find designer items for a fraction of the original price.  For example, I got this vintage Dooney and Burke over the shoulder purse for less than $15.

Unfortunately thrift stores are not always independent or locally owned but I do know of one San Francisco styling firm and vintage retailer which has long-deserved a Shift Local feature.  Retrofit Republic specializes in vintage and recycled clothing and they also offer services such as styling for individuals, weddings, and commercials.  Additionally, they are the epitome of not only “looking good” but “doing good” as well.  They regularly donate not only a fraction of their profits but also their services to a variety of causes all over the Bay Area.

Check out Retrofit Republic’s shop  and their beautiful lookbooks!

I am especially excited about their latest project, The Real Bodies Manifesto.

This lookbook is an example of their commitment to “uplift the diverse looks fo our communities and promote the incredible asthetics of people of color and the LGBTQ community.”

Co-founders Jenny Ton and Julia Rhee are long time friends of mine and I’m proud to know and support these fierce and beautiful social entrepreneurs.

Contact Retrofit Republic for all your styling and/or vintage needs!

Congratulations Mari!


Shift Local has been a little MIA because Mari graduated this weekend from the University of California Hastings, College of the Law. We hope that you all had a wonderful weekend and we wish all the moms out there a happy mothers’ day!

Did you know that…

For every $100 spent on a locally-owned and indpendent business, $68 goes back in local economic activity. When you spend $100 in a national chain, only $43 goes back and buying from an out-of-state online seller who do not collect sales tax is virtually a total drain on the local economy.


Join us to cash mob a locally-owned and independent business in Alameda on Sunday 5/20 at 4:00 and spend your hard-earned dollars in the East Bay. When you shift local, you help enrich the East Bay! If you have not RSVP’d yet on our Cash Mob Alameda event, please do so and help spread the word.


To our friends across the bay, definitely check out SFLOMA and their directory to find local businesses and shift local in the beautiful city of San Francisco!