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The Red Door Gift Shop

The Red Door Gift Shop

Business Name: The Red Door Gift Shop

Handmade Products by Local Artisans

When Shirley Cordero moved to the United States from the Philippines, her first job was in the restaurant industry as a hostess. Over the 18 years she spent in that world, Shirley worked her way up to Corporate Manager. It was when everything shut down, like many, that the mom of three boys turned to her creative side to pass the time. “You’ll find that most makers share the same story,” said Shirley. “There was nothing to do during the pandemic, so our minds started searching for ways to stay busy.” After noticing her pattern of repeatedly purchasing new candles from Target, Shirley figured that she could teach herself how to make her own candles at a less expensive price. “I watched YouTube videos and taught myself how to make my own candles, and it quickly turned from a hobby to something that helped to feed our family, send our kids to school, and help out with bills.” Shirley started attending vendor markets to sell her goods, but after a while she looked for something to breathe new life into her creativity. “When I was bored of candles, I started making reed diffusers,” said Shirley. “Then I began making car diffusers. My creative mind kept exploring, and I realized the options are limitless. You can do whatever you want as long as you are willing to work hard and stick with it.”
 
 
Shirley knew she didn’t want to reenter the corporate world. Along the way during pop up markets, Shirley would talk with other makers about how they could get their items into a brick and mortar. However, to do that as a single entity can be incredibly expensive, and renting space inside of someone else’s store can also be costly with commission percentages. Then, a lightbulb went off. “I thought, why not put all of the makers together?” said Shirley. “I had never owned a brick and mortar, but I did open a business every day for years, which is the same general concept.” So, on April 1, 2023 Shirley opened The Red Door Gift Shop in an effort to help out local artisans like herself. “Everyone in my store is a hard-working woman/mother. They were my true inspiration.”
 
 
The Red Door offers a wide variety of unique handmade products, ranging from stuffed toys, bags, and accessories to food items such as cookies, jams, and spices. “When I say unique, I truly mean that it is one of a kind,” said Shirley. “I expanded the variety we offer because we are a specialty gift shop. We want you to find everything you need in one stop.” The Red Door has 53 makers from throughout the East Bay, with a few from other areas like Stockton, San Jose, and Santa Rosa, but the majority of what customers will find is made in Brentwood. “One of the beautiful things about my store is that if someone needs an item to be custom made, they can order online from their favorite vendor and have the item shipped to my store where they can pick it up.” If someone is unable to attend a local market to support their go-to maker, they can visit The Red Door and find what they need at their convenience. “It’s the best of both worlds.”
 
 
As if she wasn’t busy enough having her shop open seven days a week, Shirley also started her Friday Night Markets at the beginning of the summer as a way of helping the makers to have even more of an opportunity to make some extra sales. Five or six of the makers found inside of The Red Door set up their tables filled with extra inventory for locals to shop from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on the sidewalk near Vic Stewart’s. “We originally intended to only offer the markets through the summer, but we’ve extended it through the rest of the year,” said Shirley. “We also plan to host a trick-or-treat event on October 27 where the vendors will dress up and pass out candy to the kids. That event will include more vendors than our usual market.”
 
 
After leaving the busy city of Los Angeles, Shirley is happy to call Brentwood home and is grateful to the community for accepting and supporting her and her local makers. “I love this community. I believe in energy, and I knew as soon as we drove through Brentwood that I loved the vibe here. I could never open a shop like this in L.A. Nobody would support it like they do here. I would never trade Brentwood for any other city.” The community has been so accepting in fact, that Shirley has a vendor waitlist. “I wish I had a bigger space to fit everyone in because it’s such a great way to showcase their products.” Vendors switch their products every couple of weeks, as well as seasonally, so that regulars can always find something new. Of course, Fall/Halloween and Winter/Christmas items are already showing up on the shelves.
 
Shirley’s hope is to eventually expand into different nearby counties in hopes of giving other vendors a chance at success. “I’m at maximum capacity, otherwise I’d love to accept more people,” said Shirley. “My ultimate goal, though, is to just be successful. When you buy something from a small vendor, you make someone’s dream come true. We are so happy when you purchase a product because it means you appreciate us and all of our hard work.”


Address: 50 Eagle Rock Way, Suite D, Brentwood, CA 94513
Website: www.thereddoorgiftshop.com
 

Photos by:  Sara Jean Photography 

 

 

 

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Brentwood is one of the fastest-growing cities in the nine-county Bay Area and offers a strategic location that connects: the SF Bay Area, Central Valley, Tri-Valley, and Sacramento Delta.

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