A Stylish Creative Director Shows Us Around Oakland

In case you thought our Oakland escapades were coming to a close, guess again. With so many on-the-up gems to unearth, we’re just getting started on exploring the hip terrain. And, one way to ensure a top-notch adventure is to enlist a star local to show us around. This time, we turned to power Pinner and Luvocracy creative director Christine Martinez to lead the way — of course, while wowing us with some impressive ensembles.
To see where we ventured with this well-heeled professional, you’ll have to click away. We'll give you a hint, though — tacos and black diamonds may or may not be involved. Intrigued? We thought so!
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Photographed by Maria del Rio
1 of 24
Tell us a bit more about what you do.
"Given my diverse entrepreneurial background, when working at a start-up, I tend to wear lots of different hats. But, my primary responsibility is to ensure any material that leaves Luvocracy looks and sounds fantastic in order to meet the high bar we’ve set. With a company as young as ours, my job not only revolves around staying on-brand, but I’m also working with my talented team to create what that brand is, and setting the tone for the future. It’s challenging and exciting!"

Christine is a coffee cutie at Oakland's Blue Bottle in a Madewell top and skirt, Sam Edelman shoes, and vintage necklace.
2 of 24
What’s your favorite thing about working for a start-up like Luvocracy?
"Watching ideas develop into products. I feel so lucky that I get to witness that process as often as I do. It’s one of the coolest things ever to hear someone talk about Luvocracy, and know that you helped bring that into her life, particularly when those products are well-received."
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3 of 24
We love this Oakland-based Blue Bottle — what do you order when you come here?
"The New Orleans iced coffee. I’m addicted. If I were a drink, I would be this drink. It’s that good."
4 of 24
What do you think is so unique about living in Oakland?
"The diversity of the people living here. Some of the most fascinating people I have met over the past eight years as a resident here have been my neighbors. They’re all so unique and different. I love their stories and how much I’ve learned about the world from their experiences."
5 of 24
What’s a typical day like for you?
"Dynamic. I switch gears several times a day depending on whom I’m working with and what I’m working on. I do a lot of work outside of Luvocracy as an influencer on Pinterest. Sometimes, I feel like I lead a double life, but I go home every day feeling the good kind of exhaustion — like the fatigue you feel after running a marathon."
6 of 24
You’ve been living in Oakland for eight years — how have you seen it change over time?
"Oakland has gone through a dramatic change in my time here. The city has some great bones and a strong history. What’s really been happening, is that what was once great is coming back to life again in a re-imagined way. It’s brilliant!"
7 of 24
What's one piece of style advice you can share?
"Just be yourself, and you’ll look fabulous. If nothing else, just keep it simple."

Christine is casual-cool in Esqueleto in a Calypso St. Barth T-shirt and jacket, Earnest Sewn jeans, Cole Haan shoes, Sarah Bella and Urban Outfitters necklaces, and Kate Spade watch.
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8 of 24
Okay, Esqueleto is amazing — what would you buy here if money weren’t an object?
"I’m crazy about everything Lauren Wolf creates, so I’d start there. Then, I’d pick up all of its fabulous pyrite pieces and finish with every vintage ring in its case."
9 of 24
A perfect day in your neighborhood definitely includes…
"A jog around Lake Merritt with my husband and dog, Miles, a chicken and waffle brunch at Brown Sugar Kitchen, shopping and exploring through Temescal Alley, and dinner at Doña Tomás."
10 of 24
What else do you love about this store?
"I love the environment here. My next home will look like the inside of Esqueleto — effortless, cool, bohemian-chic, and calm."
11 of 24
What do you love about your neighborhood?
"The new energy and life it’s taking on! Great things are happening in Temescal right now. From the restaurants to the boutiques, it’s bursting with creative entrepreneurs doing cool things. I adore showing off this part of Oakland to anyone who will run around with me for an afternoon."
12 of 24
Tell us why you chose Xolo?
"I’m always looking for a great space, first and foremost. I love the bright colors here, the vintage Mexican wrestling posters, and the overall L.A. feel — yes, I’m a born-and-raised Angelino. And, then there’s the street tacos..."
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13 of 24
What’s your favorite thing to order here?
"A variety of street tacos, a big bowl of chips and guacamole, and an agua fresca."
14 of 24
Who are some of your favorite designers?
"Tory Burch, Diane von Furstenberg, Tibi, Michael Kors, Erin Fetherston, and jewelry and accessories from Lulu Frost, Erickson Beamon, Rachel Zoe, and House of Harlow 1960."
15 of 24
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since starting working at Luvocracy?
"Taking a vacation is amazing and necessary. I haven’t taken one yet, but I’m about to! And, the thought of it already has me feeling re-energized. I can only imagine how some time and clarity is going to get my creative wheels spinning!"
16 of 24
Where else do you go in Oakland for some inspiration?
"Piedmont Park. I love running there with my fur baby, Miles. It’s my happy place."
17 of 24
How would you describe your personal style?
"I go with whatever makes me feel put-together and pretty. I’ve tried being a little 'edgy' in the past, but it’s just not me. I’m not that cool. I gravitate toward anything ultra-feminine."

Christine steps out of the shadows in a Club Monaco top, Zara pants, Cole Haan shoes, and an India Hicks necklace.
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18 of 24
Do you have any rules of thumb when maintaining décor for your home?
"Yes! Don’t try to decorate all at once. Collect pieces that speak to you gradually over time. You’ll find that you’ll love and cherish these pieces more. And just like your daily look, stay away from being too matchy-matchy. No one likes a stuffy home."
19 of 24
What about for some online home inspiration?
"I’m always looking at my favorite design blogs for online home inspiration. I highly recommend SF Girl By Bay, Remodelista, Rue mag, Lonny Magazine, Matchbook Magazine, and Style By Emily Henderson."

Christine explores the shops in a Madewell top, Trina Turk shorts, Zara shoes, India Hicks and Ellen Arthur necklaces, and Coach bag.
20 of 24
You obviously have a keen eye for home items — what are some other places you like to shop for home décor?
"I adore Atomic Garden, Le Kube Studio, Urban Indigo, and Rockridge Home."
21 of 24
We love this new store Lost & Found — how did you hear of it and what do you like about it?
"I read about it through one of my favorite local bloggers, SF Girl By Bay, and had to visit immediately! I love vintage home pieces and had a feeling it would be right up my alley. I was right!"
22 of 24
Are there any styles or items you wouldn’t be caught dead in?
"Real fur."
23 of 24
What was your last big fashion splurge?
"I recently purchased a gorgeous classic leather Coach bag. I’ve had my eye on The Willis bag for a while, and now it’s mine!"

What about steal?
"I found an enormous wooden cocktail ring at The Salvation Army for just $5. Everyone thinks I spent a fortune on it, because it’s so unique and stunning."
24 of 24
Best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
"It’s so cliché, but 'Fake it until you make it,' has helped to take me far. When I launched my first business as a timid 26-year-old, I was so afraid no one would take me seriously. I decided that if I presented myself as the head of a big company, no one would know any better. It worked! Most people would never have imagined I worked alone out of my apartment."
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