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~ Everyday Luxuries from Asia

Old ShanghaiA Little History

Old Shanghai Online is one of the sister stores owned and operated by the Tam family. Since 1980, the family and their stores have been serving San Francisco Bay Area. What started out as a traditional family business has flourished into an Asian-inspired lifestyle brand and retail destination.

In 1980, Andrew and Aileen Tam first opened his first store in San Francisco Chinatown. They worked hard to manage the small business that supported their family, working day-in and day-out together. It is no secret that their stores open 365 days of the year from morning to night. As a result of their diligence, the company gradually grew larger, expanding into multiple stores along Grant Avenue.

Several years ago, Renee and Tiffany, their daughters, officially joined the company, having helped out at the stores while growing up. Since then, the company has taken a more contemporary turn and begun to develop its own distinct personality.

The Designers

The Tam sisters are the trendsetting entrepreneurs and designers behind the Old Shanghai and Red Blossom private labels. Renee and Tiffany know how to blend modern style sensibility with traditional Asian designs into their designs. Drawing on their Chinese family heritage as well as their fantastic fashion sense, they have been creating a line of unique home decor and fashion accessories that is beautiful, yet demonstrates an understanding of the needs of the 21st century consumer.

"My parents, who started the business, were first generation immigrants from China. When they first arrived in San Francisco, they started their business to service the local immigrants. They offered things that fit the daily lifestyles of the immigrants at the time. Today, we take a lot of things for granted like chopsticks, rice bowls, tea pots, stir fry woks… these things were not always regular household, staple products like they are now. Over time, my father's business changed with the landscape of Chinatown...

Now that we think about it, the stores have actually changed a lot over the years. It was only in the last 20 years have we seen such a strong interest in Asian culture. More and more people from all parts of the world come to Chinatown to find something Asian.

With this idea in mind, my father, Tiffany and I want Old Shanghai to be the ultimate showroom in San Francisco for something new, something old, and of course, something 'Asian.' You see some of the home furnishings in our store and it really takes you back in time.

Lion HeadWhen I got married a few years back, my father picked out a few traditional items for me to have in my wedding, such as the antique rosewood baskets for Chris (my nervous husband) and his family packed with gifts and blessings and brought over to my house to start the wedding day courtship. For my wedding ceremony, I wore the traditional qipao (long dress) and around us, we had much of the antique furniture that you can find in our showroom. We kept the wedding very traditional.

Fast forward to the present and you can see that our concepts and designs are very much inspired by our traditional values and rich Asian heritage as well as today's contemporary fashions. With every design, we want to keep the fashion chic but at the same time keep a sense of Asian heritage within it. Tiffany and I are avid shoppers so designing comes very naturally for us. We have a lot of traditional housewares, clothing and accessories, but where we really let the creative juices flow is when we design our style of home decor, clothing, and accessories. We design it with today's style trends in mind.

Tiffany and I started working in our father's stores at a very young age and today, we add the something 'new' to Old Shanghai." -- Renee Tam

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Giving Back

As a company that does business in Asia, we believe in providing assistance to the less privileged and protect their local communities.

Our products are mostly handmade. A lot of care is put into the entire process of silk jacquard production, from mulberry cultivation to the final steps of dyeing, to ensure consistency and high quality. Each step must be carefully monitored by well-trained artisans. Silk brocade production is also strenuous. Workers carefully dye the silk and rayon to the correct color, and then thread them to be woven into beautiful patterns. Only a limited amount of skilled artisans can make the vintage patterns on the fabrics.

We partner with producers that are fair trade organizations because they are fully committed to providing fair wages and good employment opportunities to the local people. They hire and train disadvantaged artisans, farmers and persons with disabilities, so that they can be skilled in their field of work. Employment programs offer above national minimum living wages and promise safe working conditions. There is no child labor -- all employees must be over 18 years old. As part of the fair trade community, our producers adhere to social criteria and environmental principles to foster a more equitable and sustainable system of production and trade that benefit people and their communities.

Fair Trade Organizations

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The Family Today

Nowadays, you will find almost anything at the stores, such as elegant jewelry, Asian-inspired clothing, large assortments of silk and linen accessories, porcelain dinner plates and dishes, variety of Chinese chopsticks, Asian fusion and contemporary home decor (like silk lamps and lanterns), silk bedding and cushions, as well as beautiful furniture pieces, just to name a few. However, it is obvious when you visit the stores that each of them maintains its own uniqueness.

Old Shanghai in San Francisco Chinatown

Old Shanghai — Home & Apparel Showroom

Stepping inside, you are immediately transported back in time to Shanghai in the early 80s. As the ultimate showroom in San Francisco, you can feast your eyes upon the antique furniture, exquisite wall panels and decor, and beautifully tailored qipao and clothing all around you.

Canton Bazaar — Contemporary Designs & Treasures

Here is where contemporary style meets traditional Asian designs. You will discover a vast selection of unique gifts and favors for everyone here. Take a deep breath as you browse around for Asian-inspired clothing, amazing accessories & trinkets, as well as home decor accessories.

Peking Bazaar — Discounted Gifts & Accessories

Bringing select finds to you at discounted prices, you must stop here during your visit to San Francisco Chinatown. Take your time or you might get lost in the dazzling selection. The jewelry department is the store's hidden gem, where you can find charming everyday pieces to stunning designs with diamonds and pearls.

Old Shanghai Decor — Home Decor & Furnishings

Located in the vibrant Petaluma Historic Downtown, Old Shanghai Decor opened in October 2011, among a variety of locally-owned unique shops, beautiful spas and delicious restaurants. The grand building overlooks the amazing Petaluma River. The high ceiling lets in plenty of natural lighting, so you will get the most comfortable and relaxing shopping experience here.

Old Shanghai Online

Old Shanghai Online — Asian Inspired Gifts & Favors

Since 1994, everyone have access to the best Asian-Inspired gift selection online, through, and Currently serving mainly the US and Canada, and rapidly growing to serve the global community in the near future, Old Shanghai Online offers amazing service, quality and value to its customers.

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Our designs have graced the pages of Lucky Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, and more. We have also been seen on CBS and MTV and recognized by high authority on fashion web sites such as Style Maven and Splendora.
Read more about our media appearances at:

We are truly grateful for all of the support we received from customers, friends and family, and hope to continuously grow along with them.

Red Blossom Collection

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