Supporting small local businesses has never been easier — or more fun. Forget about hopping on BART to fulfill your fantasy shopping list — there's absolutely no need. Though East Bay shopping die-hards are still smarting from the loss of such sweet spots as Twenty-Two Shoes in Rockridge and the Elmwood boutique Dish, an array of other boutiques have sprung up to whet our appetites — and empty our wallets.
If your taste runs more retro-modern than retro, hop to The Rare Bird (3883 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, 510-653-2473,TheRareBird.com). An eclectic new consignment (by appointment only) shop cum knick-knackery that spread its wings in November, the small yet airy space features immaculate used men's and women's attire as well as inventive new designs by local clothing designers, including The 615 Project, and jewelry from the likes of Colleen Mauer Designs, whose wear-with-everything hammered silver and gold rings are hard to leave behind.