Creatively Small
Inspired Shops in the Bay Area under 1500 Sq Ft
By Beth Abrahamson
Published Nov 2014
Book/Shop is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Oakland’s Temescal Alley. Made for the curious, conceptual, and detail-conscious, one could comfortably spend hours with the shop’s impeccably selected collection. A store about books rather than just a bookstore, Book/Shop carries vintage books and rare editions from unique dealers that change every two weeks. Erik Heywood, the mastermind behind the shop, has a background in interior design and a true passion for fine books that is contagious. The space manages to feel full, yet not busy, and is constantly morphing it into something new. So when you come back for a second look—which you undoubtedly will—you’ll never see the same thing twice. Visit Little Paper Planes is a truly unique shop meets gallery meets living room, not to mention an ideal creative haven. Owner and artist, Kelly Lynn Jones, worked with Oakland based artist, Kate Pruitt, to create a space that was approached like an installation. The wooden fixtures and shelves add as much to the space as the spectacularly curated objects for sale. With inventory changing weekly, there is a lot to look at. However, the more time one spends in the space, the more one can discover little moments of rare beauty. LPP also features an artist residency program where one artist a month is hosted in part of the space and given the freedom to use it as they please, i.e. studio space, office, pop-up shop, gallery, workshop, etc. The shop is artist-run and supports artists and designers in a multitude of ways. It is a feast for the eyes and soul of anyone who appreciates art, design, handmade objects, and small manufacturing. Visit When zine shop Needles & Pens needed to move out of their 16th street space temporarily, they teamed up with their good friends at the clothing company Curator and moved into a spacious spot on Valencia street. Working together all day and night to put together the space quickly, they joined forces, materials, and furniture-making friends to make it happen. The space features beautiful hardwood floors, along with hand-made wooden fixtures and a gallery space where a variety of art shows and events will be held. The two companies’ products complement each other perfectly—as one can go from reading the latest Colpa Press zine to trying on that new indigo jumper all in one visit. Compared to Curator’s original 300 square foot space on Church street, this second location has been a challenge to take on, but all the hard work has paid off—it is a true labor of love, creativity, and collaboration with a little bit of everything. Visit