Friday, June 20, 2008

Shopping Right in Oakland: Micio Mambo

Later this month, Micio Mambo will host our five-year birthday bash. EBAA's Emily Ziebell recently chatted with Ursula Calderon, the owner of Oakland’s new vegan boutique:

What made you decide to open a vegan boutique?

I became a vegetarian in 1992 and made the transition to veganism almost four years ago. I had been looking to incorporate non-leather, cruelty-free products in my personal life, but was never very impressed with the way it was pulled together in a store and I was tired of buying online. My sister, Erika, and I were in New York about 3 years ago when I had an "ah-ha" moment. We were on the subway after a day of shopping for fashionable vegan accessories and I said to her, "I could do just as good of a job as the stores we visited today"! She looked at me and said "Why don't you?". I thought why not! I had been in retail for over 12 years and 10 years in design/advertising and knew that would give me a good foundation for success. Two years later, I quit my advertising job as an account executive and opened up Micio Mambo last November.

What kind of items do you carry?

I'm out to prove that you can be stylish and make good choices for the animals and the environment. I have everything from shoes, handbags and jewelry to skincare and cosmetics. I also just started carrying shoes, belts and wallets for guys. Everything is leather-free, cruelty-free and environmentally friendly.

What's behind the name, Micio Mambo?

Micio is pronounced "Mee-cho" and it means kitty in Italian. My sister Erika lived in Milan for awhile and we've been referring to our kitties as "micios" ever since then. When I was thinking about a name for the store I knew I wanted to use micio somehow. Mambo came about as a nod to my latin background (my father is from El Salvador). I thought Micio Mambo was unique and fun to say!

Location and contact information:

Micio Mambo
474 Santa Clara Avenue
Oakland, CA 94610
(510) 836-4246
Store Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11 AM - 5 PM; Sunday Noon - 5 PM.