oakland first fridays

ART IS WOMEN: Imani Baylor

By Alicia Rivera on April 29, 2018

The Beginning Of Eccentric Vibes

Imani Baylor, founder and creator of Eccentric Vibes, would always receive compliments on her unique style - everything from where she bought her clothes to how she pieced them together. “I responded by creating Eccentric Vibes.” Her clothing line is based on how she dresses, but there’s more behind the style. “I want to educate through my clothing as well as uplift my people. I feel that with my unique items, you try something on and your confidence goes through the roof. I have such a variety of style that my customers are sure to find something they love or didn't know they look good in.”

When she’s not uplifting people’s perception of themselves with her line, she’s contributing to youth in the Bay Area. “Eccentric Vibes is an ongoing fundraiser to help support my independent contracting business, “The I.M.A.N.I. Project” (Inspiring Mentoring And Nurturing Individuals), a youth service program that supports K-12 Bay Area students on the spectrum of academics, enrichment, social/life skills, intervention, culture and community.”

Being a Female Entrepreneur

“It is a very busy, challenging task, especially working alone. I love interacting with people and customers. I have built a great network being an entrepreneur - both of my businesses are booming now!” Even with business doing well, Baylor still has to keep up with the competition of the ever-evolving world of trends. “Trends change so much and usually by the time I buy into it, something else is popular. So I feel like I'm always playing catch up.”

Building the Brand

“First Fridays has helped me build my brand so fast. I wasn't expecting to have returning customers or clients in such a short time. The atmosphere is amazing and the compliments I get on my merchandise and fashion sense makes me love what I do. First Fridays is a great place to network  - and thankfully, it is, because my business wouldn't be successful without this platform.

Connect with Imani!

Instagram: @eccentric_vibes_online | Facebook : Eccentric Vibes | Twitter: @Feel_My_Vibee

Email: Universoulvibes92@gmail.com | Eccentricvibes.bigcartel.com

Catch her at:

May 4th, 5-9pm - Art Is Woman | Redux

April 27th - TrapxArt Ty Dolla Sign Tribute

April 29th - Oakhella

May 5th - Turf Inc : Cinco De Mayo

May 19th - Art and Wine Festival

ART IS WOMEN: La Toya Allen

By Alicia Rivera on April 26, 2018

Meet Regnum Mentis

Established in 2015, "the idea to create gift packaging for men was birthed through my desire to send my husband - who was away on deployment [on] Father’s Day - a gift that conveyed the love and appreciation that both his children and I felt.  I didn’t want my husband to open a plain box. That would have diminished the love that we wanted to convey. Our gifts needed a ‘final touch.’ I could find nothing on the market that expressed the sentiment that we felt. Statistics show that most gift-givers want to create an experience. I knew I wasn’t the only one. My clients express the excitement and joy of seeing our gift bags and gift boxes under the Christmas tree." RM Designs, LLC, looks to create a lasting experience to all its clients’ special occasions, whether it’s an anniversary, birthday, Bar Mitzvah, corporate event, Military Ball, retirement or wedding.

Being a Female Entrepreneur

I believe as a female entrepreneur and veteran I have been blessed to have access to various resources in order to become successful within the gift packaging industry. We are new within our industry and sometimes working to establish the brand and build rapport in the retail market seems to be a challenge at times but certainly not a challenge that cannot be conquered.

"I have had a challenge in scaling my business due to having established my company out-of-state. I have had to utilize the law that protects the establishment of my business under the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act. Many entities really don’t know how to handle business owners that have attachments in multiple states.

Vending at First Fridays

"First Fridays has provided a venue that we can utilize to establish business [and gain] consumer exposure.  We are able to interact and establish new client relationships. It is also another market analysis resource, which allows us to understand whether [or not] we are providing a product that meets the needs of our clients."

Get a hold of La Toya!

Facebook and Instagram - @RegnumMentisDesigns | Pinterest.com – Regnum Mentis Designs

Email - Regnummentisinvestments@gmail.com

Upcoming Event - Art Is Women | Redux, National Stationery Show MAY 2018 New York


By Alicia Rivera on March 16, 2018

Long nights dedicated to the sound. Computers, keyboards and looper pedals all to put on the one-man show that was Robot Nature. After The Bolt disbanded, former frontman DPAK continued the show, blending drum, EDM and guitar beats at venues in Southern California. Solo nights on stage turned into a longing for bandmates. “[as a solo artist] you don’t necessarily get the live chemistry and feel of people on-stage interacting - the sound of an actual drum or the actual bass - like live. It’s just different,” says DPAK, “there’s something more feel-based about playing [music] together as a group versus just having a guy with a laptop and a dj playing, which ya know, there’s nothing wrong with that.”

During one of his solo performances DPAK’s meditative thoughts were realized by a visit from an old friend, Sydney Alston, who invited him to work with End Of Ever, a band which lost its lead singer.

So the ex-End Of Ever mates (keyboardist Richard Parizer, bassist Michael Sklena and drummer Jesse Shadis) met up for a chat turned jam session. Playing together, waves of sound banded the foursome together. They soon recognized this was the start of something great. “We [the musicians in End of Ever] wanted to look for new things, entertain new things. DPAK already had the idea,” explains Parizer. It was the man of music’s vision which ultimately empowered the group to welcome DPAK to the squad.


Imagining The Sound

Where there's agreement, there's synergy. Photo by  Monique Rivera .

Where there's agreement, there's synergy. Photo by Monique Rivera.

“Technology is where Earth is heading right now with AI - artificial intelligence - virtual reality, cryptocurrency, you name it. There’s a lot of things that are coming up and I think if the music can be just ahead of that curve and be a certain sound that [is the] sound of the future - that’s kind of what we’re going for visionary wise,” DPAK says.

These blended elements ultimately comprise the origin of the name Robot Nature, which DPAK explains as, “that balance between technology and nature.” Do you get it? A technological robot infused with human nature. “The music expresses that, because you have organic elements...but you also have electronic sounds, violin with acoustic so the balance of that acoustic and electronic element forms the sound Robot Nature.”

Being a multicultural group - East Indian, Italian, Filipino, Israeli - the mates are just as blended as their vision. “We’re all different ethnicities when it comes down to it, but we all have different backgrounds, different views on life and we all have, most importantly, different record collections,” notes drummer, Jesse Shadis. “It’s good to have everybody coming from a different walk of life. It actually helps, because it creates its own new flavor, it creates its own new sound for the band,” he says.


Jesse Shadis maintaining the pulse during the band's performance at  "Black Arts."  Photo by  Monique Rivera .

Jesse Shadis maintaining the pulse during the band's performance at "Black Arts." Photo by Monique Rivera.

With the excitement of starting a new band and everyone bringing their creative influence to the recording room the band went through some growing pains. “I mean there’s a lot to do...we gotta play live shows…when you’re playing live shows sometimes it’s hard to get the momentum of recording,” which, according to DPAK, can spring up feelings of redundancy.

“I think that part of being musicians - in our world - we’re playing the same songs a lot, over and over again and so maybe there’s a little bit of like, from the musician perspective, they might think, ‘Oh, these songs are getting old, but the thing is like it’s always new for the audience every time,” says DPAK.

An L.A.-based ensemble, Robot Nature spent the past year building a fan base in SoCal. Their performance at the Oakland First Fridays “Black Arts" Street Festival on February 2nd was the first time Robot Nature played the Bay Area.

“‘It’s refreshing to go to Oakland to have a whole new crowd that’s never heard us before. It wasn’t like the same L.A. fans coming to see the show again. It was all new people so it kind of had that freshness to it.”

Looking down, DPAK saw people dancing, singing along and smiling. “You can just tell that everyone had a really open energy about them...and people were really intently listening. They weren’t like bored, looking at their cell phones. I think sometimes in Los Angeles people always got somewhere to go to or [in] a place like New York,” he says. “Then you go to Oakland and everyone’s kinda there to be there. They were there to enjoy,” he continues. With so much fresh energy and love from the crowd, DPAK was reminded of how Robot Nature’s music impacts people.

At the end of the day, the mates of Robot Nature do what they do for the people. “The more you give, the more you get. If we can inspire, like, being in a place of service - being in a place of like, ‘How can we share? How can we improve the space around us? How can we improve other people’s lives?’ I think if everyone has that kind of mentality - that kind of consciousness - we can make the world a better place. That’s why music is such a good thing. It’s a universal language.” With the band touring in the next year, going as far as Bulgaria, they will surely make global connections and have people getting down to music worldwide. You can listen to their song, “Do You Wanna Be a Star”, on their website here and you can catch their next performance at Oakland First Fridays “Art Of Creation” Street Festival April 6th, 2018.