Lisa Milestone in her Alameda store. Pippa & Co. will open on College Avenue in the Elmwood in mid-July. Photo: Sabrina Bot

PIPPA & CO. A party supplies store is coming soon to the former space of The Treehouse Green Gifts on College Avenue in the Elmwood, which closed earlier this year. Owner Lisa Milestone moved to the Bay Area from Brooklyn in 2002, bringing her business to Alameda. When the owners of The Treehouse, who are friends of Milestone’s, told her they were closing their store in the Elmwood, she jumped at the chance to expand her business into a neighborhood she has always loved. The target date to open is in mid-July, to offer “supplies that live on past the party,” with products that carry a recycle/re-use/re-purpose ethic, Milestone said. The store will also host workshops modeled after the Alameda location at both stores. Classes in weaving, including a workshop with acclaimed Australian fiber artist Maryanne Moodie, calligraphy classes and other crafts are being planned. Pippa & Co., 2935 College Ave, Berkeley 94705. Hours to be determined, 7 days a week. Also in Alameda at 2544 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda, 94501, Tel: 510-263-9487. Connect on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.

Hello Stitch has opened on University Avenue in West Berkeley Photo: Hello Stitch

HELLO STITCH A new sewing salon has opened in West Berkeley. Hello Stitch Studio is a fully provisioned, community-based sewing and quilting studio. The “maker space,” which had its grand opening on April 23, 2017, is owned and operated by three women; Stacey Sharman, Terri Carpenter and Kristen Takakuwa. The studio provides machines, tools and guidance for sewing projects. “We offer classes for adults, summer camps for kids, studio memberships and machine rentals – all focused on building and nurturing a community of ‘sewists’ in the Bay Area. We provide quilting services and have a state of the art industrial quilting machine in the studio as well,” co-owner Takakuwa said. The space was previously vacant for the last few years and the partners chose this space for its central location, accessibility to BART and for its natural light.

“Hello Stitch builds connection through social meet-ups, classes and open studio work,” according to Takakuwa. “We are creating a modern interpretation of the quilting bee and sewing circle. We believe that being part of a community fuels creativity and by being part of Hello Stitch Studio will give you the space, time and network of friends you’ve been looking for.” Interested persons can stay up to date of Hello Stitch’s goings-on by signing up for its newsletter via the website. The studio also has a gallery for featuring work by local textile artists.  Hello Stitch, 1708 University Ave. (at McGee), Berkeley 94703. Tel: 510-982-6549.  Open Tues. – Fri., Noon to 8 p.m., Sat. and Sun.,  10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Connect with them on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Panache on College closed on June 27, 2017 after 28 years in business in the Elmwood. Photo: Panache on College

PANACHE ON COLLEGE has closed. The last day for the salon, in business for 28 years at 2928 College Avenue, was June 27, 2017. Owner Yossi Shocron said, “I am very grateful to the wonderful Elmwood community for so many years of business and community support.” He has been the owner of four salons, three of which have closed over the past ten years, in the Telegraph Avenue shopping area. They include Panache (on Telegraph), Scissors, and Options. Panache on College was his last salon. Shocron is retiring but he said he “may appear as a guest stylist from time to time. I just love cutting hair.” He added that many Berkeley stylists got their start with him and he was very pleased to have worked with them. According to Shocron, he got word about six months ago that his lease would not be extended unless he agreed to a month-to-month arrangement, which was not an optimal model for the business. “I had hoped to eventually pass it on, to sell the business for my retirement but things changed,” Shocron said. Several stylists from Panache have formed a new salon in the Elmwood just a block away, under the ownership of Maria Manuel. (See info below regarding j. Brooker Studio). Panache on College Salon, 2928 College Ave, Berkeley CA 94705.

j. Brooker Studio is now open on College Avenue in the old Jeremy’s Men’s Department. Photo: Maria Manuel
j. Brooker Studio is now open on College Avenue in the old Jeremy’s Men’s Department. Photo: Maria Manuel

j. BROOKER STUDIO As Panache has closed, several of the stylists have taken their trade to this new salon, which opened on Saturday, July 1, 2017, in the former Jeremy’s  at 2969 College Avenue (at Ashby), across from the Elmwood Theater.  A grand opening celebration is slated for sometime in August. Owner Maria Manuel, a former stylist at Panache, said that five out of nine other former Panache stylists have joined her in the move. The new business gets its name by combining a lower case ” j” as a nod to former Elmwood retailer Jeremy Kidson and Jeremy’s Department Store, combined with recognition of English stylist Christopher Brooker, with whom the salon takes its philosophical and ethical direction. Manuel said, “I looked at three other spaces but this one just spoke to me. We are in one of two spaces that used to be Jeremy’s, in the former men’s department, and the architecture of the building, the light and the windows of the interior space are just gorgeous. And I appreciate who occupied this space previously – Jeremy Kidson, who brought so much to this community. The Yarn Basket was once here, too, and I love that as I’m a passionate knitter. It just felt right to be in this space.”

Brooker is the former Vidal Sassoon creative director and Manuel plans to follow his ethos. “He is such a talented stylist, educator and all-around great human being and we will carry over his inspiration from the work we did at Panache and expand on it in our own way at the new salon,” Manuel said. She plans to steward her team into building a community outreach program, also inspired by Brooker. “As a group, we would like to give back to the community. In time, we will be reaching out to women’s shelters and animal adoption groups to initiate programs to aid in their honorable efforts,” Manuel added. j. Brooker Studio features the Davines product line, a family-owned company that partners with Lifegate Energy in ecological sustainability and initiatives to support carbon zero and carbon neutral salons worldwide. Yossi Shocron, former owner of Panache on College Salon, said he wishes the new salon “the very best success.”  j. Brooker Studio, 2969 College Ave., Berkeley 94705. Tel: 510-984-0389. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with additional hours depending on stylist. Connect with them on Facebook (coming soon) and Instagram.

Shop Talk is Berkeleyside’s regular Berkeley local business column. If you’re a Berkeley business with news, or a Berkeleyside reader who has spotted a change in your neighborhood or on your travels, shoot us an email with the details at Read previous Shop Talk columns. And catch up with all food business news with our Nosh coverage.

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Mary Corbin is a writer and artist who has lived in Berkeley for over 30 years. Mary moved to the Bay Area from St. Louis to attend California College of the Arts in Oakland where she completed her BFA...