Mimi Tsang, the designer behind hello shiso, reached out to talk about her adorable hair accessories and her favorite spots in and around her part of Berkeley. She tells me that she grew up with perfectly coiffed hair and fond memories of favorite hair clips thanks to a mother who had her own obsession with accessories. Mimi created hello shiso in 2010 from her backyard studio with the hope of creating lasting memories for other little girls (and hopefully boys one of these days).
We thank her for sharing her family’s favorite places (and for sending me super cute hair clips — I picked penguin clips and constellations — which I love)!
What are the names of your children?
Otis is 10 and Bee is 7.
What’s something about your life as a parent in Berkeley that you think is notable to your friends in other cities?
My husband and I met in New York City and lived in San Francisco briefly before buying our house in Berkeley. I think our friends in other cities notice how friendly and tight-knit our neighborhood is. Our offer on our house was accepted the same week I found out I was pregnant with my first child, and our introduction to the neighborhood was a block party that included some firemen from the local station and our postman! There are tons of kids on our block, and we all keep an eye on each other.
Where do you like to take your children for special time together?
We live in Elmwood, and both kids love Elmwood Cafe. My son loves their French sodas and my daughter is completely devoted to their biscuits!
What discovery you want to tell every new-in-town parent about?
For families that move to our neighborhood, I tell them about our babysitting co-op! It’s been around forever, and every Friday and Saturday a family hosts. You host for cards, and then pay for babysitting with these cards. My kids love it, we know lots of the kids in the neighborhood, and it makes it easy to go out. (Editor’s note: Wow!)
There are so many families that live on our street and in our neighborhood. There have been days when there are big packs of kids playing together, and there are often impromptu play dates. My kids don’t go to school with their neighbors, but everyone knows everyone else.
Do you have a favorite date night?
We have been sharing season tickets to the Warriors for years. I started going to games for the nachos, but I’ve become a rabid fan and now it’s my favorite date night! Nothing like screaming yourself hoarse with your loved one, and no one’s even mad!
What’s the best birthday party you’ve been to?
My kids have loved the swim parties at the East Oakland Sports Center.
Do you have a favorite weekend ritual?
A hike to the top of Claremont Canyon, followed by chocolate-almond croissants at Fournée
Where do you like to eat out as a family?
Vik’s, which is much easier now that everyone can eat a little spicy food.
Do you have a favorite kids’ store or toy shop?
The kids love Sweet Dreams, but we spend the most time at Mrs. Dalloway’s, browsing and talking to Ann (the children’s book buyer) about book suggestions.
Where do you like to go for alone time?
My favorite treat is to sit at the bar of Wood Tavern by myself with a good book, a burger and a glass of wine.
Do you have an amazing camp you keep coming back to?
I love the sports and science camp at Cal during the summer. To me, it’s the perfect blend of nerdy and sporty!
Visit the online shop at helloshiso.com or find Mimi’s work at lots of East Bay stores!