Well, we’re still rooted in the Town – just with a new name, a larger footprint, and and more shops across the East Bay.
Believe it or not, our tiny Oakland team has grown to 20+ with folks from the Bay to Austin to NYC – developers, marketers, and researchers from companies like Walmart.com, Twitter, Stripe, and even a former Disney imagineer!, all dedicated to putting more money in shop owners pockets.
Our mission remains the same as always: to empower local businesses and the people who love them. We believe that what we’ve done together here in The Town can be shared Bay Area wide – starting with Berkeley and Alameda, and eventually, all across the country.
To explain how we got from there to here, let’s start from the beginning:
Keep Oakland Alive was born as an antidote to impersonal online shopping. We went on a quest to Adventure Toys for a birthday gift (it was closed!), reluctantly turned to Amazon, regretted it instantly, and then got to thinking – what if there were a different kind of online store? One where you could shop your favorite indie stores all in one place?
We then teamed up with a bunch of Oakland shops, and you all showed up to support them in droves. In fact, you put over $100k in merchants pockets over Holiday 2020, and the community championed us along the way, from the mayor urging residents to Keep Oakland Alive to an awesome cover story on Oaklandside.)
Next NBC put us on national news, and the word was officially out. Westarted hearing from people all over the U.S. who loved what we were doing. At the same time, Berkeley and Alameda merchants were knocking on our door, and we started to realize it would frankly be selfish to keep the site to ourselves and not extend it to other communities.
So, here we are. We’re expanding and changing our name to Nearby! What does this mean? More shops for you, of course! You’ll get a wider range of indie stores to support, starting with those in Berkeley and Alameda.
But our vision doesn’t stop there. Eventually, you’ll be able to shop Main Streets across the country, all through our site. We’re talking Abbot Kinney in Venice, Hawthorne in Portland, South Congress in Austin (in fact, you already can!), you get the idea.
So thank you for being a part of this movement at the start. We’re unbelievably proud to be Oakland grown, and the spirit of The Town inspires all we do.
We look forward to a time when everyone can shop Nearby. We’ve got a lot of work to do! (And we’re hiring.)