News / who we are

The Shop's in Sunset Magazine!

Everyone gets five minutes of fame... and it must be our time to shine, because we're featured in this month's Sunset Magazine! Over the summer, a couple of nice ladies paid us a visit to interview us and take some pics of the shop, and we've been crossing our fingers ever since that we'd appear in a forthcoming issue. Well, it happened, and here we are alongside Umamimart and Crown Nine in a feature about "retail reinvention" in Old Oakland.

Here are the nice things they had to say about Marion and Rose:

At Marion and Rose's Workshop, the filter is "well crafted, American-made, heirloom quality" gifts and accessories, says owner Kerri Lee Johnson. That translates into Faribault wool blankets (from Minnesota), Peg & Awl waxed-canvas satchels (from Philadephia), and California-made Native State line of skin-care products. "The girls behind Native State just moved to Oakland," says Johnson. "They're excited to be here."

Be sure to pick up your issue – it's on newsstands now! 

Nicole Grant Kriege
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American Made

We are excited that some of our vendors are nominees for the Martha Stewart American Made award!

As you know, Marion and Rose's Workshop is committed to the American Made movement and shares in the thought that change happens on the street level with small businesses supporting one other and sharing their message to customers.  We feel that planting the seed and helping it grow is our job and it is our commitment.  

As proponents of the movement it makes us happy to see a large company embracing these small makers. It's these steps that will help rebuild the Main Streets of small towns and Cities, restoring pride in these communities.  When you can say "I helped make that" or "this is my neighbors company", it gives you a renewed desire to support your neighbor and your community. Quality, craftsmanship and knowing the maker are all important aspects of how we curate the shop, and we are so happy to be able to relay their stories to our customers. 


Our friends at Modestics put together a great reference list to make it super easy to vote. Included on the list are a few of our vendors Blue Chair Fruit, CuppowNative StatePeg and Awl. and Peterboro Baskets (these guys have been around since the 1800's!) We've also added a few links below to more of our friends and neighbors.

Outlaw Soaps (soon to be a vendor at the shop!)

Poppy Von Frohlich - amazing jackets made in SF. Want them all.

Kate Ellen Metals- our awesome neighbor and amazing jewelry designer


Please vote for your favorites, you can vote up to 6 times within a 24 hours period.  


Thank you for your support of the American Made movement and of our little shop!! We are cannot express how happy we are to be here.


Remember "We are all in this together".

-M & R

kerri johnson
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Our Email Newsletter is Back!

We have so many summertime sale goodies, we were inspired to revive our email newsletter! It's back in action, and you can check it out here. If you're not yet on our email list, definitely sign up to get all of our latest updates, check out our new merch, be alerted about sale items, and see our latest Instagram photos. We'd love to keep in touch with you in the coming months as we get fun new products in for Fall. 

Nicole Grant Kriege
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Our New Guest Curator... Nicole Grant Kriege!


We're excited to have a new guest curator in the shop… Nicole Grant Kriege! Some of you might remember we hosted The Bold Italic's pop-up shop inside our walls over the holidays, and Nicole was the visionary behind that endeavor. She's since left The Bold, moved over to the East Bay, done some marketing and PR consulting for small businesses, and joined up as a guest curator at our shop. Here's a little Q&A with Nicole so you can get to know her better.

What inspired you to join up with Marion & Rose?

I loved hosting The Bold Italic's pop-up shop at Marion and Rose, and Kerri (the store owner) and I hit it off. I was really inspired by her excitement around revitalizing downtown Oakland through commerce that supports small batch artisans. There's a magic surrounding certain retail shops, and Marion and Rose has it. I like meeting all of the neighbors, vendors, and local characters who come to interact with the store – it's definitely a community hub.

What are you bringing to the shop?

A little of this, and a little of that. There are so many designers that inspire me aesthetically, it's a constant challenge to stick to my buying budget. Kerri and I have committed ourselves to only carrying USA-made product, and often times the items we find are made right here in Oakland. The shop has an awesome ethos of spotlighting American craft traditions, and supporting independent artists and local economies in the process. Designers I've brought into the shop include:

W+P Design - Inventors of The Mason Shaker! A cocktail shaker fashioned from a mason jar.
Rifle Paper Co. - A husband and wife company selling adorable cards and notebooks.
Little Otsu - A Portland outfit and inventor of the Film Diary.

What else are you up to these days?
I'm firing up my consulting business. There's so much change going on in Oakland right now, and I'm excited to be a part of it. I've been helping out both Marion and Rose and Popuphood (the small business incubator with the vacant storefronts initiative in downtown Oakland), and I'm looking forward to working with other small businesses who want to expand their marketing and PR efforts. I'm also making our new home in Berkeley purty, and spending some time in my garden.

Nicole's in the shop on Thursday afternoons – come on by and say hello!


kerri johnson
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The Oakland Indie Awards... And A New Shop Video!

You might have heard right here on this blog that Kerri Johnson, owner of Marion & Rose, was nominated for an Oakland Indie Award in the "Soul of Oakland" category! Here at the shop, we try to embody the entrepreneurial, do-it-yourself, creative, and community-oriented vibe that Oakland's known for, so we were really excited for Kerri to be nominated, especially since the other nominees are doing such inspiring work. 

While we didn't take home the main award, one of our vendors, Juniper Ridge, won the Green Award, and Tina Tamale, our fabulous neighbor in Old Oakland, won the Oakland Pillar Award. And we do have something to share from the festivities – a fun little video about the shop. (Thanks to the ever-so-talented Joshua Farr "Fish" of The Volcano Club for lending us his videography skills.)

Oakland Soul - Kerri Johnson from The Volcano Club on Vimeo.

And boy, did we have fun at the awards! The Kaiser Rooftop Garden is such a beautiful green venue. Here are some of the things we saw:

Lots of vendors! We did a little shopping ourselves at the Indie Marketplace. The free food by Souley Vegan was a hit!

Lively performances.

Beautiful artists.

And just tons and tons of people!

You can bet we'll be saving the date for next year's event – we had a blast. 

Photos by: JZ Lim, Bonnie Chan of Oakland Local, and Nicole Grant Kriege



Nicole Grant Kriege
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Get to Know Artist Lisa Espenmiller

Letting that go; keeping this, Acrylic and ink on canvas mounted over panel

Here's a little Q&A with Lisa about her art-making here in Oakland.

Your paintings have such lovely use of color. What are they inspired by?
Typically what happens is that a color starts to nudge me, appearing at random times in my mind's eye competing for my attention. At times the inspiration for a color is clear – a yellow leaps out at me from our native garden, or from a pale, oceanic blue scarf wrapped around a woman's neck as she walks by, or orange just seems to be filling me up and wants to pour out onto the canvas or paper. Other times I have little inkling as to why a particular green calls me, or why I'm suddenly attracted to a particular soft, warm grey.

Can you tell us a little bit about your meditation practice?
I sit zazen, a form of Zen meditation, twice a day with my husband. The first thing we do each day upon waking is to sit for 30 minutes. The last thing we do before going to bed is to sit for 15 minutes. In zazen, one sits on a meditation cushion facing a blank wall with eyes open. You stare at the wall with "soft" eyes and breathe, letting thoughts arise and fall away, trying not to get caught in them; when your attention inevitably gets snagged and you realize that it has, you let the thoughts go, and return to breathing and focusing on a spot on the wall. We've been doing this every day since December, 2008.

To live till you die, Acrylic and ink on canvas mounted over panel
What's it like to be a practicing artist in Oakland, and how can we support your work?
I've lived in Oakland for 16 years. It's exciting to be a part of the emerging art scene as it grows and matures. I feel like there's an openness, a willingness to experiment, a fresh excitement about art and artists, a friendliness within the developing art communities. As far as supporting my work, showing it here at Marion & Rose is a great form of support. Part of being an artist is getting one's work in front of folks with whom it resonates. The more opportunities I have to show my work, the better chance I have of finding those people.

What else are you up to these days? 
I recently acquired 4 different translations of The Tao Te Ching, bringing my total to 7. Having 7 different versions of one book appeals mightily to the nerd in me. All of my paintings and works on paper (except the groundless ground series) get their names from The Tao through a process in which I enter into a dialogue between the piece and the book. My study of The Tao underlies the lines and washes in my artwork. I can't wait to find time in the coming weeks to sift through the 7 translations of this ancient text on how to live to see what I learn and discover and how this study will shape new work to come.

We can't wait to hang Lisa's pieces! Everything shown at the shop will available for sale, and the show will be up through June 23rd. She'll also be joining us here at the shop in person for First Fridays in June.

Artwork courtesy of Chandra Cerrito Contemporary
Nicole Grant Kriege
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We Are All in This Together

"We Are All in This Together"

That is a statement we feel strongly about. At M and R we are proud to work with vendors and companies who give back to their communities and/or use sustainable manufacturing practices.  We will continue our commitment to community and environment by searching for recycled alternatives in packaging, working with US union shops for manufacturing, and making a conscious effort to work with designers and artists who also hold the same standards and practices as important. 

L.A. based Sugarcube Press who make all of their cards from 100% cotton rag paper (the cotton is reclaimed from the garment industry), use non-toxic inks, and compostable clear protective sleeves made from corn. 

Oakland based Modify'D make all of their products from upcycled cashmere and fabrics purchsed from the garment industry. They rescue sample sweaters and manufacturing mis-steps that were destined for the landfill and turn them into super snuggly stuffies, arm warmers, dog beds, hats and more...PLUS they give 5% of their profits to different animal causes!

Bay Area based Juniper Ridge are all about sustainability. They physically go out and sustainably harvest wild plants along the West Coast, distillign them down to make natural room sprays, soap, incense and tea. They use eco friendly packaging that is made from recycled materials and often times compostable! Giving 10% of thier profits to defending Western Wilderness. 

MA based Two Trick Pony create eco-friendly paper goods using non-toxicwater based inks and 100% post consumer recycled papers. They also create special products for their "charity" line. Giving proceeds to animal sanctuaries, Sandy Relief and Freedom to Marry.  



kerri johnson
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