The Oaklandish brand was introduced to the Bay Area in hopes of developing representation to those who are faithful to Oakland. It ultimately began as a public art project back in 2000, and has blown up since.
Angela Tsay, the CEO of Oaklandish, said it was almost instantaneous with how much the area wanted to represent the 510. As an Asian American woman, she also believes there is a glass ceiling for her own representation as well.
She never wanted to be one to boast or have any spotlight on herself, or her own community, but as times change, she believes it’s time to respond to everything that is happening in the world.
“I as an Asian American female, have not been more oppressed or discriminated against than many, many of the people that are my neighbors, or who are Oaklandish customers,” Tsay told NBC Sports California. “Oaklandish has a special burden because the city’s name is a part of our company name so we shouldn’t exist unless we are having a positive impact on the community and giving back.”
Tsay said the message the company wanted to send was a sense of “belonging” to the community. That means encouraging people to give back to the community as well.
“We started selling at the Grand Lake Farmer’s Market and just saw the first weekend we were there just how much demand there was for people to have something to represent Oakland.”
Tsay described Oakland and the East Bay as major sports areas, and not just because of the A’s -- but the way the two are related.
“A lot of it it’s just that arch of perseverance and hustle and the underdog,” she said. “So there’s a natural affinity between the story of sports, and sports figures in Oakland and the story of the city itself.”