Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

BIJA COLLARS  If any city can support not one, but two dog-collar shops, it’s canine-friendly Berkeley. We have written about Paco Collars on Shattuck. Now comes news of Bija Collars, which has opened an appointment-only store on University Avenue. Described as “a two dog and one woman shop” by owner Apryl Guisasola, who lives nearby, Bija has been selling its custom, hand crafted collars, leashes, and belts through other retail outlets, including Redhound in Oakland. Bjia Collars is at 1640 B University Ave (between California and Jefferson). Send a message to the store via its website to make an appointment.

EMERALD CITY GOWNS   Emerald City Gowns, a “consignment boutique for the glamorous green bride,” moved last month into a space above Zut restaurant on Fourth Street. Owner Emilie Hofmann specializes in “pre-loved” wedding dresses, a concept she was inspired to pursue when she wanted to trade in her own recently worn wedding gown for a different dress for her best friend and could only find a store that met her needs in the Emerald City, aka Seattle. Emerald City Gowns is at 1822 Fourth Street. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, but note that appointments are required to try on gowns.

CAKES AND PURLS  Cakes and Purls bakery was opened by Marie Sitaro in Trumpet Vine Court on Allston Way in downtown on Saturday Dec. 1. The small-batch bakery offers the types of New York-style pastries Sitaro, who is of Italian heritage, remembers eating as a child growing up in Brooklyn: thick, luscious cheesecakes, seven-layer cookies, and pignoli made with pine nuts. ‘The types of things you don’t see so much here,” she says. Read our NOSH feature article for more details. Cake and Purls, 2115 Allston Way.

NAMASTE  Namaste Yoga & Wellness and Berkeley’s 7th Heaven Yoga have merged to become Namaste, and the self-proclaimed “largest yoga and wellness resource in the East Bay.” The yoga company has three centers — at Grand Lake, College Avenue in Rockridge, and at 2820 7th Street in Berkeley — which together offer more than 100 yoga and movement classes every week. Visit the Namaste website for details.

Check last week’s It List for a list of open studios, bazaars, and pop-up stores happening in the run-up to the holidays.

Shop Talk is Berkeleyside’s regular column in which we post updates on Berkeley businesses — openings, closings, new directions, relaunches, relocations. If you’re a Berkeley business with news, or a Berkeleysider who has spotted a change in your neighborhood or on your travels, shoot us an email with the details. Read previous Shop Talk columns here.

Many of this week’s Shop Talk items were first published on Berkeleyside NOSH, our online East Bay food magazine. Follow Berkeleyside NOSH on Twitter, and on Facebook.

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  • birdman mike

    i love Bija Collars. At first I thought they were human collars on the window for some weird activities, then I realized they were dog collars. Apryl designed me a belt(well, it was actually her belt she was wearing at the time, but i adored it so much that i bought it), a matching leash and collar for my beagle, Pinky. Will get another set for my other beagle, Maya, in the Philippines before I take off. Great store and Apryl is a great artisan.