Neighbor is an offering to the Oakland community by two women, Karen Anderson-Fort and Dana Olson. Both California natives, Dana is a 4th generation Oaklander and Karen has lived in the Bay Area for the last 20 years.
With a background in child development, Karen’s eye was cultivated to see the beauty in things made by hand. She opened her first vintage store Dolled-Up in 2009, before moving to Piedmont Avenue to open Mercy Vintage six years ago.
Dana studied journalism but went on to have a career in fashion, living in both Los Angeles and New York. Feeling disillusioned with the corporate climate in New York, she moved back to Oakland to figure out how to do something she loved, but on her own terms. Her beauty and accessories boutique, Good Stock opened in November of 2011.
Both Good Stock and Mercy Vintage are located on the same block of Piedmont Avenue, thus when the opportunity to lease the building next door to Good Stock came up it felt like a completely natural instinct to partner. Both women wanted to create a shopping destination by expanding the blocks offerings to provide everything you need in one place.
Neighbor is filled with things that one can use, made by individuals who celebrate the art of craft. Although originally geared toward home décor, as Karen and Dana discovered the abundance of handmade offerings the concept became more of a general store, bringing in many different things and having them all sit together. The idea of everyday beauty and filling your life with objects that offer ease and pleasure resonated for both women
Beyond the product, the idea that Neighbor would be more than just a retail shop became a part of the discussion. The ladies wanted the store to function as a spot for the community to rest in, where workshops could take place and a potting station could be used, a place to hold a neighborhood meeting, or drink a coffee with a friend. The shop is over 2,000 square feet including the backyard, which they have been building out from the ground up.
Neighbor exists with the intention to peak curiosity, learn from, and find things that you may not happen upon easily elsewhere. Neighbor creates a space that is home and is rich in meaning.