'V By Viscera' Natural Beauty Shop Pops Up In Old Oakland

Photos: Viscera
By Walter Thompson - Published on November 29, 2017.

Minimalist Latham Square boutique Viscera has opened a pop-up shop in Old Oakland that sells skin care, beauty products and scents created by owner Ari Takata-Vasquez.

At V by Viscera, customers will find "natural beauty products, things I'm making myself," she told Hoodline. "The scents are just from essential oils, there's nothing synthetic, no dyes or anything artificial in any of the products."

The shop, located at 902 Washington St. (between 9th and 10th streets) is "a second holiday location" that will be open until January 6th. The expansion signals a turnaround for Takata-Vasquez, who held a crowdfunding campaign earlier this year to cover her rent.

"I'm so grateful that everyone really came through," she said. "We ended up exceeding our goal and reaching 104 percent," a total of $24,021. Now, Takata-Vasquez is "working through all of the Indiegogo perks. There's lots more than I had anticipated."

When we first interviewed Takata-Vasquez a year ago, she was preparing to celebrate her second anniversary, but several months ago, business was down due to construction near her Broadway shop. A Downtown resident, she said she now sees more opportunities for local merchants.

"The reason I feel so optimistic is because there's kind of a gap in our retail landscape—there really isn't any place that you can buy natural skin care products or things like that in downtown, other than going to Walgreens."

Takata-Vasquez, whose home is a six-minute walk from either shop, said she hopes people view V by Viscera "as something that's missing from the retail landscape so we can stay" after the holidays.

"It finally seems like there's a critical mass of retailers in Old Oakland starting to form there, so I wanted to be a part of that," she said.

On Friday, December 1, Viscera is celebrating its third anniversary. In addition to product giveaways, attendees will enjoy live music, beverages by Crooked City Cider, and donuts.

V by Viscera is located at 902 Washington St. and is open from 11am to 6pm Tuesday to Friday, and from 12 to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday, closed Mondays.

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