They say no news is good news. Well, we have no news, and we have good news. Any preference on which we tell you first? No? Ok, no news it is.
The “no news” is that, for Keep Oakland Alive, it’s business as usual. We’ll be continuing to add stores, improve your shopping experience, and iron out kinks in the system. Because what we’re hearing from shop owners and customers alike is that KOA is working, and we want to make sure it keeps doing that.
The bigger picture, meanwhile, holds the good news. Well, good (and daunting, and exciting) for us, and good (or great?) for other towns who want to seize the moment and follow what you have started. Because today we’re launching Nearby, a company name for the team behind all this (hi, hello, that’s us!), as we start to work with other towns who want to have a place to shop independent and local, just like Keep Oakland Alive.
What started as a unified storefront for Oakland and your one-stop-shop for local has become a movement — a concerted effort to turn the tide back toward a more personal, more meaningful way to shop in your own hometown.
Because as you know, a dollar spent here does so much more than a dollar spent on Amazon — with each shop owner you support you help keep our towns vibrant, our storefronts full, our streets walkable, and our neighbors employed.
That’s why we settled on Nearby as a name. Because wherever this movement goes, it will be rooted in what matters — making it easier for people to shop from independent stores near them, run by people in their community.
If you’re interested in our backstory and how we got from the dumpster fire that was 2020 to the vision we have today, our founder and CEO, April Underwood, has written all about it.
Reading this, you may already have thought of people you know who’d want to be part of this, or to help bring this to their own hometown — and if you have, GREAT. Feel free to point them toward nearbyhq.com. We already have job listings posted for Austin, Charleston, Portland and five other cities, but if their town isn’t represented in the list, there’s also a way for them to contact us and tell us why it should be!
We want to thank you for being here — both for reading this far, and for believing in something that likely could and will change the way we shop. The way The Town has pulled together and shown up to support its local shop owners has been nothing short of inspiring.
Let’s keep doing good work together, Oakland. Here, and there, we’re just getting started.