The FLAX story - We have been an independent and family owned business since our founding in 1938. Centrally located in Oakland is our flagship store, and along San Francisco's north side waterfront is our Fort Mason Center store. Headed by Howard Flax, who represents the third generation along with his brother Craig and their sister Leslie Flax Abel, FLAX has a long history supporting artists and the Bay Area arts community.
Click here to learn more about FLAX's rich history as an icon of creativity and inspiration in the Bay Area.
Top 10 Reasons to Support Locally Owned Businesses
1. Local Character and Prosperity - In an increasingly homogenized world, communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character have an economic advantage.
2. Community Well-Being - Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes.
3. Local Decision-Making - Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.
4. Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy - Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community.
5. Job and Wages - Locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than chains do.
6. Entrepreneurship - Entrepreneurship fuels America’s economic innovation and prosperity, and serves as a key means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.
7. Public Benefits and Costs - Local stores in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big box stores and strip shopping malls.
8. Environmental Sustainability - Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers-which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.
9. Competition - A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.
10. Product Diversity - A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.