Special Guest Post: by Lisa Solomon

by Lisa Solomon


Today I want to introduce you all to one of my all time favorite stores. It's called Tail of the Yak and is run by Alice Erb and Lauren McIntosh [a fabulous artist: laurenmcintosh.com]. It' s located in the Elmwood district [elmwoodshop.com] of Berkeley [but is super close to Oakland, so I consider it part of my stomping ground].


I'll never forget the first time I stumbled into this treasure trove. I had never seen a store like this. What's ironic is that there are now plenty of stores that have similar aesthetics and merchandise [I have yet to find anyone who does it better]. Honestly, though, this was one of the first stores I¹d ever seen in this style. [I can't tell you how many times I've gone to stores and said ­ oh ­ they are trying to be like Tail of the Yak]. It's so lush, and colorful; full of absolutely beautiful things from all over the world and all periods of time. It's almost overwhelming ­ there is so much to look at. But I love looking through nooks and crannies and piles of objects all lined up in a row.


In any given visit ‹ and this is a place you should visit often as the merchandise changes constantly ‹ you can find vintage anatomy posters, bird cages from Europe, hand printed paper goods from local artisans, paper Chinese Lanterns, vintage jewelry of all kinds, milagros, saints from South American churches, ribbons like you¹ve never seen before, soaps, perfumes, glassware, office supplies, etc. etc. etc. It definitely is a cabinet of curiosities.


The other thing that I LOVE about Tail of the Yak is that you can easily find something for under $10. Sure, there are are items that are exorbitantly expensive - but they always manage to have a little something that you just really want to walk away with that won't break the bank. This is where I come to find perfect and unique gifts. Especially for people who have everything. Or for those who have similar tastes to mine. This is where I found the vintage Czech floral beaded headband I wore at my wedding. Every year I come to a little special Holiday shopping ­ or gaze longingly at the glass Christmas ornaments. It's a great place to come to be inspired. I've only had positive interaction with the staff always friendly and will gladly tell you the origin of all the merchandise! It really is like stepping into another world and another time.

Tail of the Yak
2632 Ashby Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 841-9891
Mon-Sat: 11-5:30 Sun: Closed
They don't have a website [so oldschool] - but there is a
page on them here .

Special Guest Post by Lisa Solomon


Jan Halvarson


Anonymous said...

this place looks amazing. reminds me of twitter up here in pdx which you'll have to check out when you come visit (wink)

Anonymous said...

Oh, thank you for posting this! I live in LA now but when I was a student at Berkeley 18 years ago, I used to go and just wander through admiring all of the beauty! I remember there were birds in cages, opera music blaring, loads of french ribbon and it was painted bright pink--lovely and magical. Youre right--even on a student budget I bought a few treasures i wanted. I remember buying sparklers and some ballet slippers decorated with french ribbon. So glad it's still there!

Anonymous said...

I loved the doves in the wicker aviary, who dined out of chipped vintage cappuccino cups & just looked over all pleased to be there. Since moving to Oregon, I dearly miss my empty day wandering haunts. Tail of the Yak was certainly one of them.