Published July 7th, 2010
business briefs
Michelle Badejo (left) shows Andrea Lucacher the material she can use to create her story. Photo Sophie Braccini

The Story Craft Shop
1024 Oak Hill Road, Lafayette, 297-5577, www.storycraftshop.com
Michelle Badejo is all about the art of story-telling. In her new little cottage on Oak Hill Road (by Millie's Kitchen), she invites kids of all ages to explore ways to tell their stories through different medium, animation, illustration, craft projects or books, just having fun and being creative. Badejo renovated the place that used to be The Pond Center into a fresh and bright artists' studio where different types of workshops are held. "Children and adults can choose between creating a short film, writing a book that we will bind for you, designing a board game based on a scenario, or creating a storybook with puppets that go with it," says Badejo, "and it all revolves around the idea of telling a story." Badejo comes from England where she studied publishing and where her passion for children's books flourished. She partners in the shop with Ryan Mason, who has done some animation for Pixar and teaches animation classes. Classes started a month ago and vary by age group. For example, there's a two hour workshop for 8-12 year olds that teaches kids to create a storyboard and learn how to move and morph characters. In "Star War Scenes," the participants create stories that they will film using Star Wars Legos; "Let Them Eat Cake" is a workshop in which participants create a recipe book and decorate cupcakes for a tea party fit for Versailles. Another workshop offers students the chance to make an animated film using clay characters and stop-motion animation techniques. "Many of our classes right now are designed for 8-12 year old children," says Badejo, "but we've had a lot of requests from adults; we'll have classes for parents and children, for younger kids and for teenagers as well." In the coming weeks the shop will be opened on Saturdays for drop in sessions for clients of all ages wanting to create their books. "We have templates for stories, story coaches if you get stuck, and help available for illustrations. When the story is finished we'll bind it for you," explains the young businesswoman. The studio fee is $7 per session and the cost of the books will vary between $20 and $35.

Mohawk Madness for EFO
Republic of Cake, 2 Theatre Square, #151, Orinda
254-3900, www.republicofcake.com

Nickolette Flynn and Dante Woods at work on Peter McNiff Photo Ohlen Alexander

It was Mohawk Madness in late June at Orinda Theatre Square, where stylists from nearby Entourage shaved, sheared, and shaped the hair of Republic of Cake co-owners Peter McNiff and Chih-Chung Fang into Mohawks; all to support the Educational Foundation of Orinda (EFO). McNiff and Fang regularly donate 10% of each Monday's proceeds from cupcake sales to EFO, but last month they took their efforts a step further. Challenging their patrons to raise $500 for EFO before the end of June, they both agreed to get Mohawk cuts with the help of volunteers from Entourage, if the goal was met. Of course, it only took their customers three weeks to raise the money, and McNiff and Fang are now sporting shiny new 'dos.

News from the three Chambers of Commerce
Special Summer Chamber Mixer
The Moraga, Orinda and Lafayette Chambers are hosting a Special Chamber Mixer for members and their guests at the Veterans Memorial Building at 3780 Mount Diablo Boulevard in Lafayette, from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Ruth's Chris Steak House from Walnut Creek and restaurants from Lafayette are providing the food. The Veterans' Hall will be hosting the bar and honoring Lafayette Chamber prices at $5 for wine and $3 for beer. Veterans have been invited as guests of the Chambers. There will be a charity drive for the Marine Corp Care. This is an organization that provides care packages to our soldiers. There will also be a raffle, with proceeds go to the three Chambers. "There will be food, beverage, music and new friends," says Lafayette Chamber Director Jay Lifson, "Admission is free to the event, but parking may be challenging."

- Shop Lafayette Committee, Tuesday, July 13 at 12:30 p.m. in the Chamber Conference Room, 100 Lafayette Circle, #103. Local merchants and business owners are encouraged to attend this meeting. Each year the Chamber budgets money to help promote our downtown. Join us as we work on our strategy for the rest of the year. Gil Roberts will be joining us to introduce NuAlerts, a social networking tool to help chambers and businesses get their message out. Bring lunch.... Please park on the street.
- Entrepreneur's Club, Thursday, July 15 at 8:30am in the Chamber Conference Room. Guest Speaker for July will be Ron Bunch. He will lead us through a discussion on malware, spyware, viruses, scareware and Trojans. Scared yet? Ron will help us understand how to combat against these computer problems.
Chamber Mixer at Saint Mary's College on Tuesday, July 27
starting at 6:00 pm. Appetizers and wine provided.
The Orinda Chamber is pleased to continue its monthly "brown bag" workshops. The free sessions are opened to members and non-chamber members alike. All workshops are held from 12:00-1:00 p.m. at Orinda City Hall, 22 Orinda Way, Sarge Littlehale Room. On Tuesday July 13, the topic will be QuickBooks: Fine tune your QuickBooks expertise with Kathee Hartley of MKH Consulting. This session will help you learn the skills you need and improve your QuickBooks knowledge. Bring your QuickBooks questions.


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