In 2008 when I created The West Oakland Hostel, now known as B-Love's Guest House, my target market was the international community of artist I know and love. With my background as a performance and visual artist I knew of all the dance conferences, film festivals, live shows and other creative events that brought people to the Bay. I immediately put the word out to my tribe of artist that I had rooms for rent when they came to town for a weekend gig, or for several months of an artist residency program. And my people came through! Before Air BNB and now countless other short term housing services, I called, emailed, and through word of mouth let me artist community I was in business.
One of my first guest was my girl Lori I've known since the 90's. We were regulars on the house and dancehall club scene and loved to party together. In this photo I shot Lori for an assignment with 4080 Magazine to shoot a fashion editorial in 1996.
I loved Lori's vibe and in the coming years I would see her on the Hip Hop dance scene in LA, NY, and even an International Hip Hop Festival in Madrid Spain. She was a perfect example of my target audience. In one of her trips home to the Bay she stay with me the first year I was in business and wrote the first review. That you Lori for believing in me and giving my business a try. Here is her review of the West Oakland Hostel.
"The West Oakland Hostel is the best place that any one could stay in the Bay Area without the huge price tag! In addition to being extremely centrally located from San Francisco which is a hop skip and a jump away, Jack London Square/Downtown Oakland/Chinatown, it's clean, cozy and secure, has everything you need for an enjoyable stay i.e.: fresh linens, towels, iron and fully equipped kitchen, cool people and great vibes and the hostess Traci is very sweet, accommodating and helpful. The train is less than a five minute walk and a fantastic 99cent store which has everything you need as well as high quality food and fresh produce! Take my word this is the Bay Area's best kept secret!"
Lori M. 9/21/2008
New York, SF Bay Area Native
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A view into the world of Artist/Entrepreneur Traci Bartlow