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News about great shops in your neighborhood  | By Kate Madden Yee


One stop shop for inner balance

Ever wanted a place where you could get care for your mind, body, and spirit, all at once? Meditrina World Healing Spa in Oakland could become your new favorite self-nurture destination. Named for the Roman Goddess of Healing, Meditrina is based on the premise that health should be holistic, and emphasizes cultural techniques from around the world. Therapies include acupuncture (including cosmetic acupuncture), massage (stone therapy, Swedish, Shiatsu, maternity, deep tissue, and reflexology), and facials (aromatherapy, antioxidant, clarifying, micro peel, and back, to name just a few). But that’s just the body part. Try one of the spa’s stress reduction sessions, in which its energy healing practi-tioner will teach you mindfulness meditation, movement awareness, relaxation skills, healing imagery, or intuition exercises. Or try wellness coaching to help you manage your weight, increase physical activity, or cope with stress. And for an extra special treat, check out the spa’s Queen for a Day or Couples’ Retreat packages.

Meditrina World Healing Spa, 3923 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, (510) 601-7111;

Culinary delights
For those cooks who appear to have everything but secretly long for that perfect spatula, Someone’s in the Kitchen is a good place to browse. Former La Farine bakery owner Jennifer Sandstrom opened the store in 2004 to address what she saw as a paucity of quality baking tools; her shop not only features fresh, homemade baked cookies (also available by order) but also a wide range of kitchen supplies and equipment made by Kitchen Aid, Cuisinart, Le Creuset, All Clad, Nordic Ware, and Bauer. Decorated in a vintage, Grandma’s-kitchen style, Someone’s in the Kitchen offers a homey, welcome respite from mass-market culinary suppliers. Who knows? After a visit, you may be the person happily baking in the kitchen.

Someone’s in the Kitchen, 6128 LaSalle Avenue, Oakland, (510) 339-3837.

Good karma for the home
Shaman Ajmani was hot on the trail to open an electronics business last year when his fiancée and business partner, Shanaz Nagiff, interrupted him with a new idea: a home furnishings store, based on high-quality products from China, India, and Thailand, countries he had been visiting frequently. “The next time I was in Asia, in March 2005, I started noticing wonderful things for the home, often handmade, and I thought it was a great idea, especially for Berkeley,” Ajmani says. Karma was the result. Launched in November of last year, Karma is loaded with unique items such as handmade candles from China, custom bedding and pillows from India, and home accessories like small beaded boxes, photo frames, and coasters. Karma invites visitors to explore the ways the home can be made into not only a sanctuary but also a place of hospitality. Ajmani and Nagiff practice what they preach: They plan to donate a percentage of their earnings to local organizations that support youth. A visit to Karma may very well increase yours.

Karma, 1006 University Avenue, Berkeley, (510) 843-9999;

Gem of a salon
When clients are getting an aroma-therapy facial or a haircut at 17 Jewels Salon+Spa, they inevitably try to guess about the origin of the Oakland spa’s name.
“ One thought that the name could be describing 17 stages of enlightenment,” says spa owner Julie Stevens. “I always have to say, ‘No. But you have a great imagination.’”
Stevens actually named her salon after an inscription inside her grandfather’s pocket watch. Seventeen jewels describes the works inside a high-quality timepiece, Stevens says. “I saw those words inside his watch and thought I’d name my salon after them someday. And now I have.”
Opened in November in the artsy Temescal district, 17 Jewels offers hair and skin care in a space filled with natural light. Stevens has maximized that light and created a unique salon setting by installing mirrors into the spa’s windows. “This gives us all a little privacy, but it’s interactive with the outside, too,” Stevens says.
Stevens has trained with Vidal Sassoon and at New York’s Bumble and Bumble University (17 Jewels is an exclusive provider of Bumble’s hair products). In addition to facials, hair cuts and coloring, waxing services, and brow/lash tinting, 17 Jewels staff will order lunch from a local restaurant. Pizzaiolo, Doña Tomas, and Bakesale Betty are just a few neighboring eateries on this increasingly swank little strip.
“ Our facials are really very decadent and pampering,” Stevens says. “It’s a little bit of the treatment of the Napa Valley in an urban setting.”

17 Jewels Salon+Spa, 4801 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, (510) 653-1059.