We opened our own Malia Mills stores especially to redefine the experience of shopping for swimwear. We strive to create a shopping environment that is anxiety-free and liberating. We want women to enjoy the experience as much as they might enjoy treating themselves to new shoes or lipstick. We can't afford the biggest stores but we make our cozy spaces look more like a living space so you feel comfortable when you're getting undressed.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Amber Balakian, a fourth-generation farmer from Balakian Farms in Reedley, about 20 miles south of Fresno, has experienced the deteriorating economics firsthand. Her family sets up shop at the San Francisco Ferry Building farmers' market on Saturdays. While they used to ring up sales of $10,000 per trip, there are so many other markets drawing visitors away that "now we make half that" at the Ferry Building market, she says.
This past year, Ms. Balakian, 24 years old, drove more than 200 miles each week to a one-year-old market held in a Whole Foods parking lot in Mill Valley. The market started at 9 a.m. each Friday, so Ms. Balakian often arrived the night before and spent the night in a hotel before selling the tomatoes, peaches and carrots her family grows on its 75-acre farm. On a good day, she sold about $3,000.
But Ms. Balakian recently tried selling at farmers markets in Pleasanton and Los Altos, where "we didn't make enough to cover our expenses," she says. She adds that she sold "maybe $500" in produce at the Los Altos market.
Let's hope that we keep supporting our local farmers' markets. But as organic and local produce catches on with mainstream supermarkets, and additional permanent organic markets open (such as the new Whole Foods in Mill Valley and Novato), we may see fewer farmers' markets operating in Marin in the future.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
It's a mix of cafes, boutiques, art and gift shops, most of which are independent, or mom & pop stores, though there are a couple of national chains, including Starbucks and Benetton.
There are only one or two vacant stores in this part of the town, and many of the retailers have been present for many years. The architecture is an eclectic mix that includes older style single storey retail units, some modern additions, such as the arched-roof 660 Bridgeway, and converted residential buildings, where small boutiques occupy what looks like someone's front room.