When Lori Shannon first announced her intent to run a marathon, people responded with more than a hint of incredulity. Lori had no experience and, at 5’3” and a size 16, she didn’t cut the form of a typical distance runner. Even so, she set to work and completed the 1993 New York City Marathon, proving to herself that with the proper training and dedication, she need not live life as a spectator. Since crossing that first finish line, Lori has never looked back; she has since run multiple marathons, competed in triathlons, and ridden her bike cross-country.
Seven years later, Lori founded See Jane Run in San Francisco, hoping to empower women to test their limitations and bolster their own fitness and self-confidence. The female-operated fitness company has since grown to encompass four West Coast locations that sell women’s running gear, including shoes, sports bras, and aerodynamic shower caps. At its four retail locations, like-minded runners come together with free weekly run clubs, giving them a group setting in which to train to meet their own individual goals or prepare for one of See Jane Run’s half marathons or 5Ks.
The Tulip Grove nurtures an educated support community of local moms for new and expecting mothers with professionally led classes and a comprehensive supply of safe baby gear, clothing, and toys. The resource center's workshops fill parents' noggins with know-how in breastfeeding, postpartum and newborn care, and infant massage for babies stressed by their new surroundings and piles of postbirth paperwork. In addition, The Tulip Grove gathers new and expecting parents for peer support groups and provides a lending library for nursery necessities. With daily classes available at each location, parents continually learn childcare skills such as proper nutrition, infant and child CPR, baby sign language, and how to win arguments with babies in sign language.
The Museum of Children's Arts was originally founded in 1989 around the idea that creative, curious children build stronger communities. MOCHA continues to serve East Bay schools and neighborhoods today, teaching children as young as 18 months to channel creative energy while developing self-confidence and critical-thinking skills.
MOCHA's mission is most apparent during open-studio times, which allow parents and children to work together and experiment with painting or creating traditional folk art. A teaching artist is on hand to provide guidance, assistance, and lectures on the differences between Rococo and Impressionistic landscapes. Although these hands-on experiences are an integral part of the museum, MOCHA also invites visitors to peruse its community-inspired exhibitions, such as its displays of original pieces created by students of the Oakland Unified School District.
Teaching robotics at the Chabot Space & Science Center, Jutiki Gunter realized that his pupils had few robotics-learning resources outside the classroom. He aimed to fill that gap by founding Robotics for Fun in 2004, supplying students with a year-round space where they can construct robots and enrich their mathematic and scientific skills along the way. Gunter's team of instructors fills inquisitive minds with basic design and programming know-how, as well as teaching them how to make two robots communicate and fashion a racing robot programmed to express crippling anxiety. Students enrolled in the membership program tinker on themed projects throughout the year, while attendees of the Robotics for Fun summer camp study programming languages or the fundamentals of RC-vehicle technology.
Slouchy tops, 1950s-inspired dresses, and bohemian-chic rompers stock the racks at Taylrz Joynt, home to the proprietary Taylr Jay line. Spanning two locations, Taylrz Joynt's collection of young, feminine clothing flatters a wide spectrum of body types with shoulder-baring tops and Bohama pants, Taylr Jay's chic update to harem pants and the long-anticipated solution to the problem of transporting bags of goldfish home from the pet store. The store also stocks upscale dresses, such as a flirty pleated cocktail dress in on-trend orange shades. The boutiques donate 5% of all profits to the Hopes and Dreams Foundation.
Operating for more than a decade, Piedmont Avenue Pumpkin Patch both hosts Halloween outings and brings autumnal revelry to you. The expansive pumpkin patch and halloween store sell 15 types of pumpkins, as well as fall essentials such as gourds, masks, spider webs, and multicolored Indian corn. A harrowing haunted house tests visitors’ adrenal glands with dark corners, spooky sounds, and a befuddling maze. In addition to supplying frights, the staff also constructs pumpkin patches off site, redecorating homes and offices with pumpkins, straw bales, and house-trained scarecrows.