Silicon Valley culture with a generational twist: Startups in Los Altos launch later in life

CRATE As the Kiwi Crate staff expanded, the company grew up and out of Los Altos, where it began in founder Sandra Oh Lin’s garage.

When Sandra Oh Lin started a children’s craft business in her Los Altos garage in 2011, neighborhood children turned up as a first round of product testers. Her company, Kiwi Crate, has grown up and out of town, but its roots remain in investor relationships and on the product itself - four Los Altos children’s faces grin from the boxes now lining shelves at local Target stores.

A seldom-seen startup ecosystem buzzes behind the scenes in Los Altos, a longtime bedroom community for Silicon Valley. But innovation in the city of apricots has a distinct flavor, top-heavy with angel and venture investors and low on modernist offices loaded with startup perks.


Threads of the past: Crafts make a comeback in Los Altos

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Uncommon Threads knitting instructor Shellye McKinney winds a skein of yarn into a ball.

In the 1950s, you could graduate with a degree in home economics from UC Berkeley. Junior high and high school students, mostly girls, learned to sew, cook and design their own china patterns in class, while boys took woodworking and auto shop. Then came the barrier-breaking 1970s, when culinary arts replaced home economics and both genders felt free to explore an array of electives.


A yoga class a day keeps the stress away

Van Houtte/Town Crier Yoga of Los Altos hosts a variety of classes, including Strong Flow Vinyasa, above, taught by Doron Hanoch. Yin Yoga instructor Janya Wongsopa guides a student in the practice, below.

It’s nearly 9 a.m. on a Monday morning at Yoga of Los Altos. From the outside, the First Street studio appears quiet. But inside, enthusiasm abounds.


Reducing waste is the green way to replenish Mother Earth

Van Houtte/Town Crier Sybil Cramer, from left, shows Avery, Clara and Aliza Keller green alternatives and recycled products, below, during a forum on recycling and composting hosted by the Los Altos Environmental Commission.

Orange juice box? Yes. Full nail polish bottle? No. Bubble Wrap envelope? No. Batteries? Yes, if in a clear plastic bag on top of the blue recyclable bin.

Even for a savvy group of Los Altos Environmental Commission members and other guests, separating trash from salvageable treasure can be difficult.


Music and memory A therapeutic approach for seniors

/Town Crier John Lehman of Senior New Ways uses music to engage Kathleen McIntyre, 90, a BridgePoint at Los Altos resident.

There’s nothing quite like a golden oldie to renew one’s spirit and evoke happy memories of days gone by.


Local events celebrate spring

Town Crier File Photo
Children gathering booty for their baskets are in luck – the Downtown Los Altos Egg Hunt is scheduled April 12.

Spring has sprung, which means a number of local events and traditions are on the calendar. Following is a roundup of activities.

Los Altos

Downtown Los Altos Egg Hunt


Two plays, a ballet and festival on the way

Courtesy of Western Ballet
Western Ballet is scheduled to perform “La Fille Mal Gardée," inspired by an 18th-century painting, April 18 and 19 at Foothill College.

The spring brings more than flowers to the Los Altos area - it’s also a time for plays, ballets and outdoor festivals. The following details four such events.


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