Business Buzz – March 2020

(Elana O’Loskey, Photographer)
Janell Lamela, owner of MidMod Exchange, stands in front of “Cupid’s Wings” painted by her daughter, artist Asia Lamela.

MidMod Exchange
    Would it surprise you to learn there is a women’s clothing store in Orinda where the price tops out at $40?
    MidMod Exchange in Theatre Square is just that. Described by owner Janell Lamela as offering “quality new and gently used clothing, unique home goods and accessories,” there is much to be said for a store focusing on a sustainable fashion model with a “recycle and reuse” concept. You’ll find women’s clothing in sizes 0 to 22-plus.
    MidMod opened in late December and has caught on not only because of an ever-changing array of clothing, shoes, accessories and home goods but also because of Lamela’s daughter, Asia Lamela. Asia, an artist trained at the California College of the Arts, paints a themed selfie photo op on the store windows. “It’s a bit of fun and people love it,” said Asia.
    No stranger to the world of retail, Lamela also owns Doll Face Permanent Cosmetics in Theatre Square at Suite 135.
    “I’ve been a business owner in Lafayette and Orinda for eight years with a special interest in fashion. Opening a boutique-type store with quality new and ‘gently used’ clothing has been a good idea – especially because it is in the same location as my other business.”
    Donations are accepted during normal business hours; she does not do consignment. Donated clothing is passed on to a variety of nonprofit organizations in the area.
    “I employ local teenage girls, which gives them an opportunity to gain work experience while learning about responsibility,” she said.
    As far as supporting community events, she invites local organizations to contact her with ideas. Stop by to meet Janelle and explore MidMod Exchange at 2 Theatre Square, Suite 143 (across from Tiara Hair Extensions). Hours are Mon. – Sat. 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., closed Sunday. She can be reached at 510-206-0233, or follow MidMod Exchange on Facebook and Instagram.

(Elana O’Loskey, Photographer)
Realtor Vicki Nakamura said she enjoys giving back by volunteering with Youth Homes, Santa Maria Church’s social justice committee and One Warm Coat project.

Vicki Nakamura, Realtor
    An Orinda resident, Vicki Nakamura with JH Russell Real Estate Group/Rossmoor Realty has degrees in microbiology and molecular biology from UC Berkeley and past careers in diagnostic research and development. To say she pays attention to detail is an understatement.
    Some of her time is spent as a board member developing programs for Lamorinda Movers, an organization serving local seniors. At Santa Maria Church, she works on the social justice committee and on Winter Nights. Youth Homes (YH), which deals with placement of youth whose parents cannot provide a safe homes or environment, is especially close to her heart, she said. YH finds a place for youth to live until such time as they can move on. They offer programs to teach high school youth marketable skills so they can seek jobs to support themselves. “Many of these children go on to college and develop happy and productive lives,” she said.
    Having been a broker for 40-plus years, Nakamura said she knows Lamorinda home values. “The largest value I add for my clients is that I am a high-touch, hands-on expert because I create an action proposal to ready any property for sale, indoors or out. I oversee the complete transaction seamlessly as though it were my own.”
    At times, Lamorinda residents may consider downsizing when their children have grown and moved away. Or older residents find they do not want to maintain a large home. Rossmoor might be an attractive alternative with its long list of benefits enclosed in a secure gated community, Nakamura said.
    The current average age of Rossmoor residents is 77, but it drops each year because younger residents at age 55 years move in; the current population is about 10,000. Options within Rossmoor’s 1,800 acre development includes more than 200 clubs, 27 holes of golf, a fitness center, films, lectures, swimming, tennis, new event center, restaurant and the ever-popular pickle ball.
    Nakamura said she chose to work with JH Russell Real Estate group/Rossmoor Realty because the company has a 52-year relationship with Rossmoor Senior Development. When not working or volunteering, Nakamura enjoys alpine skiing, ballroom dancing, and traveling. Contact her at 925-932-1162 ext. 3355 or

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.