Trunk Show // Hart Variations

Our final trunk show of the year features Katie J. Evans of Hart Variations.  Katie creates magical treasures from ethically sourced specimens. 

Working with butterfly and moth wings, shed snakeskin, glass and metal, Katie creates unique reliquary jewelry that provides a wearable snapshot of the vitality and endurance of these natural elements.

Katie will have some special items that have previously only been available online, available in person for this trunk show exclusively.

And, will be offering a 10% for the show.

Come say hey and see these beauties in person.

Hart Variations Trunk Show

Saturday December 17




The dream, five years ago, was to concentrate a cluster of small, independent businesses together in Old Oakland-- in hopes of turning the beautiful and historic (but at the time depressed) neighborhood into the GEM it deserved to be. We hunkered down, supported each other, and now we are seeing the manifestation of all that effort-- women and people of color owned shops lining up and down 9th st. It takes an entire afternoon to see it all now, and maybe into the evening if you wanna catch a bite or cocktail *wink.

We walked around Old Oakland to get to know them and make our Under $100 wish list of gifts we'd love to give (or receive!). All these shops are located just a block from Crown Nine, so making the rounds is easy. Here we go....



Rachel Konte's Owl N Wood was originally brick and mortared on Grand Avenue in 2012, so imagine our surprise when the shop opened up right down the street on Plaid Friday!  Rachel has a carefully curated collection of new and vintage clothing, jewelry, and accessories as well as a giant photograph of the legend herself - Sade.  We are super stoked to have Rachel's beautiful shop just down the block from us!


GIFT IDEA: Colorful Panties ($20) and Bralets (25), Made in the USA




Next door to Owl N' Wood is the newest addition to the Old Oakland Fam - Be Home.  The shop is currently a pop up, selling reasonably priced specialty home goods, but after a new year hiatus will be returning in February as a permanent fixture to the space. The feel is simple, warm, and functional; though every piece is like a little slice of art, everything in this shop would get good daily use.


GIFT IDEA: Madame/Madame tumblers (Monsieur is also available) paired with a slick copper and wood bottle opener, all priced at $12 each.




This boutique, founded by denim expert Julie Harleman is halfway through its second year in Old Oakland. Julie carries a wide range of jeans and other clothing and accessories, focusing on ethically made goods and the power of a good fit. Maple Street Denim is all about body positivity, good vibes, and inclusiveness -- we love them for that. 


GIFT IDEA: Super soft Circle scarf by SF based designer Ryan Debonville; comes in a range of classic neutral colors $80


Going strong for 5 years, another Old Oakland staple is Marion and Rose's Workshop owned by Oakland artist Kerri Lee Johnson.  Prepare to spend a good chunk of time in this charming boutique filled to the brim with all American-Made goods.  From gorgeous screen prints to hanging planters to cozy blankets and pillows - you are bound to find the perfect gift for someone on your list here.


GIFT IDEA: For your green-thumbed friends, ceramic hanging planters from Mavis $26 - $36. They look striking hanging staggered in a window.


This special bar and kitchen shop is in its fourth year now on 8th and Broadway. Umami Mart is dedicated to Japanese glassware, ceramics, and bar tools, and also boasts a Japanese Bottleshop with a wide selection of imported and domestic sake and beer. We were drooling over the stacking ceramic mug sets, sake kits and monochromatic prints covering the walls. There's definitely something here for everyone.


GIFT IDEA: Warm Sake Set $45. Comes with a carafe, two cups, and a bottle of Kasumi Tsuru Kimoto Extra Dry. 




Bosk is a spin-off from long established and Town fav-ed Oaklandish. Located at the corner of 9th and Washington and a go-to for streetwear, backpacks and Raiders hats. Just try to pry us lady-jewelers away from the women's workwear section.


GIFT IDEA: Craig Hill Stash Box - $100. Made of veg-tan perfect to stow away your collection -- whatever that may be.

7. M & R Trading Co.


This women of color-owned gallery opened on Plaid Friday with a showcase of work by Rose Hill, an artist from New Jersey who's lived in the Bay Area for decades now. Rose paints on ceramic and creates mosaics using retro African-American imagery. UVA English Professor Lisa Woolfork describes Hill's work as a "strategy to seize the reins of put racists on notice that they don't get to control the terms of conversation or inquiry of debate."

M&R Trading also carries work by several other artists including Milton Bowes, a painter from Oakland who also works with retro imagery related to food, music, and African-American culture. All artwork is available for purchase, and the pop-up gallery is open till the 7th so get there while you can! Located at 902 Washington St.



8.  E14 Gallery

E14 is another pop-up space open till the end of the year. They have both an art gallery and showroom dedicated to work produced by Oakland natives. The focus here is resilience, community, and to support makers born and raised in Oakland, many of which are connected to the gallery through Eastside Arts Alliance. The walls feature a large range of work by contemporary artists and a feature on work made by members of the Black Panthers. Be sure to stop in for their Artist Market on December 17th, 4-10PM.


GIFT IDEA: Esteli Body Skincare Set - $64. Adriana Green's all-natural line, handmade in Oakland. PLANTA, FLORA, and COCO ROSA help exfoliate, treat and refresh skin and contain a heaping dose of healthy ingredients like rosehips, lavender, coconut water and aloe. 




Stay tuned for a post on the insane Old Oakland food scene...



Trunk Show // Marja Gard

Our second trunk show of the season features one of our #OGCrownNine house artists, Marja Gard.

We love Marja's line for it's clean lines and striking details, mixing metals and textures to create looks that are eye-catching but still perfect for everyday wear. 

Working in sterling silver, bronze and 14k gold, Marja creates streamlined silhouettes and dramatic details which make for an impactful look that pairs equally well with a chic black jumpsuit or jeans and a moto jacket. 

Meet Marja and her gorgeous gems this Saturday.

December 10



Trunk Show // Featherweight Studio

We're kicking off our holiday trunk show with Krissy Teegerstrom of Featherweight Studio. Krissy has been our collaborator extraordinaire as of late, having done our 5 year Anniversary bandanna's and some super snazzy upcycled leather jewelry pouches we now have in the shop.

Krissy is a self taught artist, designing by hand with pencil, paper, ink, thread and fabric, using collage, painting, embroidery, and sewing with her 1948 Singer Featherweight sewing machine.  From Krissy: "I like the look of things touched by the human hand, imperfect & soulful. I’m inspired by early 20th century craft and quality, and the uniqueness of personal style. I have a passion for upcycling; the constraints inspire me creatively and it's aligned with my love for this earth we live on. It feels good to take discarded pieces and alchemize them into one-of-a-kind treasures."

Come say hey and see Krissy's beautiful work at the shop this weekend.

Saturday December 3



Giving thankzzzzz

Hi pals and friends.

I'm writing to say thank you: to you, to the world, to the whole mystery of the whole dang universe. Many times this year--one that was personally filled with a lot of loss and grief-- I returned to this... to remember to say thanks.

It isn't trite. It is a real mindful practice of acknowledging the presence of beauty and pleasure even in the most fucked-uppity of times. Goods days and bad, the list is long. T

I'm thankful for:


Healthy, functioning amazing body that can feel deeply and sensitively and is ALIVE

Love. It's true nature is limitless and infinite. There is always enough and more.

Caroline is grateful for:

my grandma who fought so hard to give herself and her children a better life, she has always been strong and beautiful to me, and every time I visit she makes us sooo much food because making food for your family is an act of love.

my friends and chosen family who endlessly inspire me to be more generous, think creatively, and love for the sake of loving.

the people who have remained at Standing Rock, who have endured it all, for the indigenous people who continue to fight for our right to clean water, who protect sacred Native land and stand with each other because their hearts and minds are strong. Because they truly care for our earth.

Christina is grateful for:

The wonderful women I work with, my health, my husband & Luna

Erin is grateful for:

California, my Meemaw, my craft and art


Get to know Caroline

Our team is growing and we're super pumped to introduce our newest gal, Caroline Weaver.

Caroline will be bringing her jewelry expertise and enthusiasm to the sales floor and will be assisting with various behind-the-scenes projects. She's a total sweetheart and creative force and we're thrilled to have her on the team.

1// What inspires you?

The moon, traveling, quiet moments, the desert, women, my grandmother, the view of the sky you get from laying on your back in water, Ikema island, collaboration, the sound of the tide, our ability to live on through memory, mementos, being alone, dance, the youth, acts of altruism, having faith, rainforests, resilience in people and in nature.

2// What is your favorite jewelry piece?

A very close friend of mine passed away in 2004 and the last time I saw her she gave me a necklace. It was a silver chain with a pendant of a cross and a heart contained within it. I've always kept the necklace as a reminder of her love and her belief in something bigger, her faith in the goodness of people. It's my favorite piece because it reminds me of her and inspires me to make her proud, to be generous with others and to have faith in myself and in my communities.

3// Favorite Oakland spots for

Cocktails: Kona Club (if you like your drinks on fire).

Beers: Telegraph Beer Garden is my long-time hang out and all the people who work there are super special.

Burgers: I don't eat meat but True Burger has a pretty dank mushroom burger.

Pizza: I haven't been impressed with Bay Area pizza, sorry to say, but the best I've had here is Zachary's. Try their deep dish, it's worth the wait.

Fancy-Shmancy Date Night: Kingston 11

Music: Starline Social Club for their El Superritmo cumbia night and their weekly karaoke. Alena Studios has a great selection of club music and highlights poc/women/queer DJs. Golden Bull for the best souldies in Oakland (Suavecito Souldies and B-Side Brujas).

Surprise us: I'm from southern Ohio, no, not Idaho.

Follow her 

Instagram  @carolineweaverjewelry



Get to know Erin

We're super pumped to formally introduce our newest #teamnine member, Erin Cuff.

Like her Production Assistant predecessor, Erin studied metalsmithing at Sterling Quest in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato Mexico.  She's a total baddass, a jewelry aficionado, a total joy to be around and working on her own line of jewelry. We're thrilled to have her on the team!

1// What inspires you?

Back country roads, chance meetings, traveling, the mountains, the desert, the ocean, talks with my dad, the bay, Sixto Rodriguez, highway 1, storytelling and story hearing, cooking, Al Green, the old photo section of the San Pablo flea market, Mr. William T. King, walking, Mexico, window seats, plants, strong ladies, other artists, acts of love.

2// What is your favorite jewelry piece?
I have a teeny diamond band I wear that has been passed down to Erin-Elizabeth's in my family since the mid/late 1800's.  My grandmother, who was a gemologist by trade, gave it to me when I was 18 in front of the whole family at Christmas.  To paint you a picture I was in the uniform I had to wear at this 50's diner I worked at (Shout out Ruby's), stained with a strawberry milkshake I had spilled on myself and a customer not two hours before.  Needless to say at that point in my life I was clumsy as hell and had a habit of losing all the jewelry I bought from forever 21 (lol) so I half-jokingly told her I was going to keep it safe by storing it in my mom's jewelry box until I turned 30.  She told me that the safest place to keep it was on my finger.  Happy to say I am 26 and still wearing it every day.  I also have a turquoise ring that my moms first "boyfriend" gave her when she was 13 that I absolutely love.

3// Favorite Oakland spots for

Cocktails:  I have some great memories attached to the greyhounds at Cafe Van Kleef.

Beers:  My stoop

Burgers:  Missouri Lounge

Pizza:  Rotten City

Fancy-Shmancy Date Night:  Ramen Shop, Mua, and Village Sake up in Fairfax.

Music:  Oakland Secret, The Fox, and I've been to some great shows/DJ nights at The Golden Bull as of late.

Surprise us: "It's the fucking Catalina Wine Mixer."


Localwise Love

The good folks over at Localwise just posted an interview they did with Solee before she headed north on her next adventure.

From the Localwise blog:

Crown Nine's Jewelry Production Assistant Solee Darrell

Handcrafted, boutique jewelry is all the rage right now, and for good reason: who doesn’t want to wear art that looks and feels rare and unique?

Crown Nine, located in the heart of the historic Old Oakland neighborhood, carries some of the most gorgeous and distinctive pieces in the Bay. The shop displays jewelry from over 20 artists, including its owner, Kate Ellen, who describes her work as reminiscent of discoveries from an archaeological dig.

Oakland's very own jewelry queens

Crown Nine is run by the efficient trio of Kate, the earthy metalsmith queen, Christina, the retail operations master—also a jewelry artist, and Solee, the trusty and creative production assistant. If you’ve ever wondered how it is, exactly, that talented women like these end up in the art and business of crafting and hawking tiny, beautiful treasures, you’re not alone.

Localwise caught up with Solee to learn more about her foray into jewelry production and her work life at Crown Nine.

"Real objects made by real people"

Style and fashion have long played an important part of Solee’s life. On the spectrum of beige to untameable, she tends toward the wild side. Solee jumps for colors, prints, unusual shapes and cuts, and the all-important factor for non-bag-carriers: pockets. She prefers handmade items because she loves to wear “something that someone has made or has some kind of history or life to it.”

Life before jewelry >> a path to design

Before jewelry wound its way into her life, Solee worked in retail at Therapy on Valencia St. and was a receptionist at a salon. Then she lived in Mexico for six months and was introduced to metalsmithing at theSterling Quest school. When she came back to Oakland, she knew she needed to continue on through this new portal. Without a ton of experience, she dropped her resume off at Crown Nine — she was already an Instagram fan — and was excited when she got the chance to learn from Kate.

Kate Ellen with a new project in the works — no hints!

A little autonomy goes a long way

Because there are only three of them, Solee says “it’s like a super intimate little family of ladies that we’ve built here.” It’s also an environment where she has lots of room to develop on her own and gather the wisdom of her work family. Solee describes Kate as less of a conventional boss figure and “more of a mentor. She gives me a lot of freedom to learn and she understands that I’m an artist. It’s hard for me to come somewhere 9-5, so she’s super flexible.”

A quick stop above the shop

On a regular basis, Solee is at the studio above the shop, finishing, adjusting or repairing pieces of jewelry from her bench. “And then Kate will usually check in and tell me what she needs me to do, whether it’s ordering materials or running into the city to pick something up. I’m pretty much here to catch whatever she needs me to do.”

In the end, it's all about your team

It can be difficult to find the right position in the right company—especially for artists and the creative-minded—but Solee reminds us that it’s important to stretch yourself and be on the look-out for the right people to work with.

“It’s very rare that you’ll find your dream job sitting on Craigslist. You’ve got to be meeting people and seeing what’s going on in your community. Don’t be afraid to apply, even if you don’t necessarily think you’re qualified. Just be open to putting yourself out there!”

The journey to finding a voice

Solee is happy with her position at Crown Nine because, not only does she learn about business from Kate, she gets to hone her jewelry techniques. Even after two years, she admits, “I’m still a baby jeweler in a lot of ways. I’m trying to take in as much as I can.”

It can take a while for any artist to find her own particular voice, and Solee is still on her journey there. “It’s easy to see what other people are doing and how successful they are, and you know, it’s easy to emulate that, but it’s harder to know precisely what you like and what you want.”

Jim "The Dude" ~ Crown Nine Shop Dog

Written by: Kamala Puligandla 

Photos by: Alaia Schwegler




The Time is Now // Group Poster Art Show by Femme Cartel

The latest Femme Cartel show (which I happen to be co-curator of) is up for one more week over at Naming Gallery here in Oakland.

The show features screen printing, street art posters, silk screening, woodblock prints, illustration and general graphic designer-y in printed poster form. We specifically sought out work that would be stunning to look at from an art perspective as well as truly inspiring from a political and human standpoint. While the themes of each piece range from #thepersonalispolitical to demanding #justiceforourlives, the show is a collective rally cry that the time is indeed, NOW. 

Prints are available of most -but not all- pieces in the show.

- christina

Artists MF Urbi ("Oakland Families Matter") DJ Agana ("Move Freely") and Oree Originol ("Sisterhood United" by Mer Young)

"Justice for Mike Brown" "Justice for Alex Nieto" and "Justice for Sandra Bland" by Oree Originol 

"We Gon Slay" by Brittany Luby

"High PrEASTess" by Krissy Teegerstrom

Art-loving folks outside and inside the gallery.

Co-curators in arms, Femily and yours truly.

Closing Reception/ 1st Friday Block Party

Friday August 5, 2-9pm

Naming Gallery 

follow us @femmecartel


Corey Egan Jewelry

One of our #ogcrownnine artists, Corey Egan, just released a collaborative video project with her hubby Ryan Leggett. Corey- an amazing artist, jeweler and all around badass bosslady and Ryan- a talented photographer and filmmaker have been working on this dream project for years. The result is a beautifully crafted, intimate glance into an artist's life.




Best Weekend Secret...

Oh my holy weekend treasure.

Driving around Jingletown last weekend with my pal David, we found a true Oakland gem-- the historic family run Everette & Jones are running a Saturday/Sunday only pop-up backyard BBQ.

The smoke and BBQ aroma lured us from blocks away, and somehow eating it in the outdoors with the proprietors chatting us up made their legendary ribs and brisket even more delicious.

After some serious snuggle time with Jim, I humbly asked what style of BBQ they make--after all many regions have their own styles that are always considered "right". The answer:

"We make Oakland Style. Oakland. With the Oak-wood from Oakland." 

Fall off the bone, juicy, slowly escalating heat BBQ served with coleslaw, potato salad, greens and two slices of wheat bread. And a healthy dose of pride. Sounds like the "right" way to me.

E&J is Oakland. Started in 1973 by Dorothy Everette with a $700 loan from a friend, the business has remained family owned since day one. Our grill-masters in the yard had each apprenticed with Dorothy and the lineage of masters extends through generations. 

For total amateurs like myself, they are going to be offering workshops on grilling and BBQ. Um. Yes.

LOCATION: Alameda side of 880 in Jingletown... I have no idea the street address--when looking at their website there is zero information and while I was eating I was completely tuned out to everything else. No address? Makes the hunt all the better. Just go and sniff your way there--without a doubt it is worth the adventure.

TIP: Bring your own plates and cutlery if you're local



Today we release my new collection of Vow rings, the inspiration is green: lush, life giving, heart. Over the years of working intimately with clients it's become clear that people form bonds on attraction and compatibility of course, but what usually births an unbreakable bond and trust is overcoming adversity together--facing what life offers to you whether you're prepared or not. I've seen it time and again and it always inspires. 

This tough sweetness stayed with me throughout the year in my garden, in my travels to lush jungles, on my backpacking trips into the wilderness. The simple knowing that life has it's own natural cycles and rhythms and we are so lucky to be here to see them all--to witness them in our world and to feel it deeply in the heart. My hope is these rings are worn with love for another, love for the natural wonders of the world, and also an abiding love for oneself and the full, full life you aim to live.

Love + Metal,

Kate Ellen

And a note about process and materials: All the diamonds in this collection are old minecut or old european cut antiques, some dating as far back as 1800. Green sapphires are fair-trade mined. Metal is recycled. All designs are ready to ship as-is or can be made-to-order with all kinds of options including changes in metal and stone color/type.





ORIGINS // Allison Ullmer

We're chatting today with Allison Ullmer of AU Jewelry. Based out of Portland, Allison creates statement making, textured baroque-inspired pieces in sterling silver and 18k gold vermeil.

Enjoy our chat! xo

C9: Why do you make art?

AU: Quite simply I make jewelry because it is the only vocation that fully consumes and balances me. I realized recently that jewelry has been my longest and most ardent love affair. When a form, action and process arises in your dreams, on your walks, in the formation of how your hands move, when you understand that you comprehend the world in objects and negative spaces, you realize you follow that path or go a little crazy . . .

C9: What themes are in your current work?

AU: My work is always partly derived from baroque era patterns that I have amalgamated continuously over the years. In the 2016 line those designs are intermingled with cast coral and webbed forms.

C9: Current obsessions?

AU: I’m currently developing my 2017 collection. This collection will be a mix of sterling, oxidized sterling, gold and stone. New textures including the cholla cactus are starting to become major influences. My true obsession however is a huge raw aquamarine crystal that I purchased as the Tucson Gem and Mineral show that I can’t wait to start carving!!

C9: Best piece of advice you have gotten?

AU: No one ever said being an artist was easy. – Prof. Jamie Bennett

C9: What artwork or artists influence your work?

AU: Lola Brooks, Manfred Bischoff, René Lalique, Ray Griffith

C9: How do you want someone to feel while wearing your work?

AU: I make statement work. Work that gives an added bold presence and luster to the wearer and their surroundings. Elegance, nuance and the avant-garde I embrace, the dainty and subtle I leave for others. I make work for the woman that wants to say I am here. This is me. 

C9: What do you admire in other people?

AU: Humor. The ability to embrace how life can humble you and welcome the lessons that can be learned through that process. I admire those that persevere and find their own equation in this life we are in, rather than following the prescribed path.

C9: How does destruction play a role in your work?

AU: Destruction and chance are my ever present allies One of my all time favorite words is alleatory: depending on the throw of a dice or on chance; random.

 I believe that destruction is very much a random chance of events. It is one of the reasons I have so fully embrace reticulating or slightly melting my work once I have finished cutting out its pattern and forming it over stakes. With an educated guess I have an accord with destruction and ask: what else can happen? What beauty can arise from simply destroying the perfect pattern and form I have just created? From chance so many unexpected and beautiful pieces arise!


Around Town with Solee // part 2

Mercy Vintage:

I'm going to admit that I have a huge crush on this store. Not only is the selection on point but the ladies who run the show are super babes. Mercy Vintage is Karen Anderson Fort and Rachel Cubra. Karen is also the co-owner of Neighbor. As soon as you walk into the store you are made to feel welcome and encouraged to play dress up. Every item in the shop has character and screams individuality and quality. I could have easily spent all day here. They also have an amazing vintage jewelry collection. Do not come here if you are looking to not be tempted. You will end up leaving with a lifelong treasure. 

Good Stock:

What is a girl to do if she wants beautiful skin and fun makeup but does not want to cover herself in harsh, environment ruining chemicals? Go to Good Stock! The name says it all. They have an amazing selection of micro-produced products that are good for you and also very pretty. Along with offering full spa services like facials and waxing, they also showcase gifts and accessories. 


Neighbor is exactly what I would like my Home to look like one day. The shop was created by Karen Anderson-Fort and Dana Olson, who are also the owners of Good Stock and Mercy Vintage. I am currently Manifesting the dream that one day I can own everything in the store. From bedding to light fixtures to textiles, its all beautiful and I need it all. check it out for yourself!


Around Town with Christina // part 2

Field trip part deux brought me up to North Oakland and the Temescal neighborhood. My first stop was complete happenstance- I spotted this shop on the corner of 43rd and Telegraph on my way to another shop and knew I had to check it out. 

Dandelion Post is a dream, featuring an impressive roster of clothing designers and makers. Shop owner Jamie has created a space where you can browse and shop comfortably and find at least 1 treasure to snag.  Bonus, her shopdog Charlie is super sweet.

My final stop of the day was to Concept Forty-Seven  an amazing boutique in the Temescal Arts District. They feature local and indie artists and makers and is also the home base for the skin and hair care line Beija-Flor Naturals

There's a little bit of everything in this shop. Ceramics, jewelry, candles, terrariums, art, clothing, accessories, skin/body/hair care and more!

Shop gal Mercedes (IG @tresmercedes) uses African textiles on the baseball hats and creates some super snazzy shades.

Still thinking about this ceramic tumbler. Hopefully it's there the next time I go back!


Giovanna Torrico In Still Life Lookbook

A peek at Giovanna Torrico's new work featured in the lookbook, In Still Life.

From Giovanna: This new series of work further experiments with tactile and resplendent materials fused into elaborate and fabricated pieces with sequins, horsehair and precious metals.

The metal sequins date back to Victorian times are suspended on oxidized silver chain. Vintage gelatin sequins are framed by 18k gold wire. The horsehair pieces are fastened and accentuated with 24k matte gold plated vintage brass elements that date back to the 1930’s.

Enjoy! xo