Why did you decide to open Modern Mouse?
I love all things handmade, and I've always had an entrepreneurial streak. When the opportunity presented itself to bring a handmade boutique to my community, I jumped at the chance. Modern Mouse first opened its doors to the public with a collection of fun, high-quality handmade goods from over 50 starting artists on November 9, 2009.
What helps you decide which pieces to carry in your shop?
We're a little-bit-of-everything boutique, and we look for the most delightful in each category! Our specialty is in local + handmade goods, and we offer a carefully curated collection of stuff we love and think our customers might too. We scour local craft fairs and other sources for new artists and also get new applicants through our online application.
Where do you recommend customers eat or grab a coffee and snack
near the shop?
My favorite place to eat at South Shore is Sushi House -- generous portions of fresh and delicious sushi at great prices. Up Park Street (our main drag), my favorite places to grub are Hang Ten Boiler (mm, crab) and Burma Superstar (tea leaf salad!), followed by a tapioca milk tea dessert beverage from newly opened Bambu.
What's a hidden gem (eatery, shop, scenic lookout, hiking trail, etc.) in Alameda that few know about?
Eatery: Little House Cafe. Scenic lookout and walking trail: Shoreline Park on Bay Farm Island, which is close to where I live. Oh, and the family and I also looove hanging out on the outdoor patio at the family-friendly Rock Wall Winery (yes, a winery in Alameda) on a sunny day!
What is the best part/most surprising part about owning the shop?
Aside from being able to be surrounded by such dangerously tempting merchandise all the time, one of my favorite parts of shopkeeping is getting to meet and befriend such a wide variety of people, from our talented and inspiring artist/crafter/design entrepreneurs to our wonderful customers, and my dear staff whom I affectionately consider a part of my growing family.
On the more surprising end is just how much has to happen behind the scenes to make the business run smoothly. I knew it would be a ton of work but haven't ceased to be impressed by how much data there is to manage, track, report on and analyze, especially given our consignment business model. I should thank my dad for forcing me to change majors from Poli Sci + Rhetoric to Business Administration, and I don't know if our systems could ever have been so solid if it weren't for my lots of backend work by my software developer hubby and sister. It takes a village!
2223 South Shore Center
Alameda, CA 94501
Mon – Fri 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm