Apparel in Pleasant Hill

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The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.

But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.

Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.

2301 Telegraph Ave
Berkeley,
CA
US

Studio Seven Arts, voted Best Art Gallery of 2011 by Diablo magazine's readers, is bedecked in one-of-a-kind fine art, handcrafted jewelry, and eclectic crafts, fostering an inspiring backdrop to their custom-framing services. The staff members curate a collection of American art pieces, including locally made creations, displaying handcrafted fine jewelry and skillfully made crafts that can be both functional and decorative—much like a scarecrow in a sundress. The gallery’s in-house framing artisans draw upon 25 years of experience to build custom frames for such treasures as paintings, photos, diplomas, and mirrors of any shape or size. Frames can be outfitted with wood to match any room’s décor, and with a variety of glass options that can block the bleaching effects of sunlight and scribblings of pets who feel they ought to be in all the family photos.

400 Main St
Pleasanton,
CA
US

Though LillyEllenDesigns has sold hundreds of jewelry pieces stamped with family names, there's only one name behind the business?Karey. Working on her own, Karey punches, sands, and stamps all of the discs that go on her necklaces and key rings. The stamping process is what turns them into personalized keepsakes, and she can add children's names, birth dates, and even entire messages to her pendants.

Some of the discs commemorate events, such as a wedding or holiday, and others honor relationships, whether it's between parents and their children or teachers and their most trusty protractors. Karey also makes customizable jewelry for kids, including necklaces with charms such as flip-flop sandals, flowers, and ladybugs.

3234 Northampton Court
Pleasanton,
CA
US

The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.

But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.

Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.

2174 Union St
San Francisco,
CA
US

Though the word amateur now connotes a lack of experience, it is derived from a Latin term that meant "lover of." Despite Sean Bolt's ascent to professional shutterbug status, he still attributes his love of photography to the time he spent watching his father—an amateur photographer himself—pursue his own passion.

Sean eschews rigid poses by telling stories through candid moments and photojournalistic portraits. Rather than sequestering himself in a studio under artificial conditions, he takes his art on the road by traveling throughout the metro Atlanta area to meet his clients. His work can run the gamut from sophisticated black-and-white images to crisp, colorful, and wacky poses. When he isn't taking family portraits, capturing baby pictures, and chronicling weddings, he snaps photos for merchants who want to capture the essence of their businesses before they grow up and move away to become a college.

2163 Union St
San Francisco,
CA
US

The specialists at Aricie Lingerie recruit lace-fringed, silken pieces from top-tier European designers such as Aubade, Simone Perele, and Christies that have earned their store a spot on San Francisco Bay Guardian's list of sexiest lingerie shops. Their inventory of sheer mesh tulle and silk garments falls on the sultry end of the lingerie spectrum—bustiers, corsets, G-strings, and tangas provide scant, sultry covering for curves. Rather than only furnishing pieces to fit the droves of sentient mannequins that besiege the city's stores each weekend, Aricie’s fitting experts help human customers find their ideal size and hone in on pieces that complement silhouettes of all shapes.

50 Post St
San Francisco,
CA
US