Ruby's Garden Baby Gifts Toys Books

Local-Grown Kidwear and Gift

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A Rainy Start to 2019

January and February are both exciting and hard times of the year for most retailers. It’s when all the new season’s clothing and accessories come in that we pre-ordered last summer from designers near and far. It’s also tradeshow season when we go hunting to refill our shop with all the optimism of the holidays to hunt for new gift and toy items you’ll love. We commit our fall-winter dollars for the next season’s clothing landing this summer.

On the other hand, it’s also a time when sales are low. Lots of families are recovering from the busyness and expenses of December holidays, doing taxes and fretting about finances.

For some reason 2019 has been just a little bit worse so far. Having just returned from four tradeshows, I’m hearing the same thing from a lot of retailers I’m talking to. In 2019 we’ve had the added stress of the uncertainty of a Trump presidency, economy, and a LOT of rain. I get it, who wants to take their kids out in the neighborhood during an "Atmospheric River?” Most of all we have the ever-growing takeover of internet retail.

But we the merchants of Temescal are all still here, open and filled to the gills of beautiful and fun new merchandise! We are ready to host your kiddos playing at our toy table as an indoor play option at the big red couch. Please don't let a little rain make you think your only option is to get what you need from Amazon. One of the reasons we all stay in Oakland despite the challenges is the diversity of the businesses in our neighborhoods, but we can't pay the rent by just making your streets look charming.

Thanks for your support these twelve years. We wouldn’t be here without you.

Changing with the Times

Culture shift is happening and we're doing our best here to keep up! To start with, we're shifting our weekday hours an hour later so maybe we can catch you on your way home from work or an early dinner out with the kids. Next week we'll be open Monday - Friday 11-7, Saturdays 10-6. Hope that helps you get the birthday or baby gifts you need while supporting local shops. 

Back to School, Through the Ages

It’s back-to-school season and the shop is filled with the cute sweet accoutrements of the season: backpacks, lunch bags, pencil cases, and of course tons of options for new school clothes. I love the annual pep talks I offer moms facing their kids starting kindergarten: they are more ready for this than you are, and yes the years start going by faster from here but who they’re becoming next is so beautiful to watch.

Ruby began her sophomore year at Tech today. Back-to-school looked very different this year than it used to in elementary school. This will be her first year in more challenging classes toward college preparedness, so she was assigned summer homework packets to ensure she was up-to-speed. Of course it would’ve been smarter to tackle the 14-page algebra packet a little at a time over the entire summer break. But when I texted her last week, “Hey what’s plan for homework packet?” her reply was “Plan is to cry until it does itself.” So that’s pretty much what she did, except substitute “until mom forces me to do it, and then cry some more.”

Cal freshman move-in starts today too. My church is across the street from the dorms called Unit 3 where my mom and sister helped me move in more than half a life ago. Every year my church offers help and support to all those overwhelmed and confused parents with 18 year old kids that look so very young to me, yet just a few years ahead of Ruby. But for my own memory of that day, I was so ready and I knew everything I needed to know—ha ha! I can only imagine how my mom was feeling that day, maybe not unlike mom’s first-day-of-kindergarten feelings so many of us have already seen ourselves through. And so it goes, we think we know and yet there is always more to become, for both kids and parents. 

Mae Unit 3 Dorm.jpg

5026 Telegraph Avenue at 51st Street / Oakland California 94609 / (510) 595-5325 / info@rubysgarden.com / Tue-Fri 11-7, Sat 10-6, Sun 12-5. Closed Mondays.
Closed Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day to New Year’s Day.