Over the past two years, I have been trying to stay off of Amazon and buy more local products. I have been inspired by my dear friend Niambi Carter who goes out of her way to support local Black businesses in her home town and online. It sometimes takes a bit more research and internet sleuthing, however, whenever I see a unique sweatshirt or earrings or piece of art or even wine, I know that if we don’t support Black businesses, who will?
I just bought tickets to the “She Did That. Holiday Bazaar” for Saturday December 4th from noon-6 p.m. This event will showcase Black women’s businesses and provide a space for celebration and solidarity. According to the founder, Renae Bluitt, the purpose of this event is to showcase, “Black women-owned brands that have been featured in Renae’s coveted Holiday Shopping Guide… The event will give guests an opportunity to support and reconnect with businesses they know and love while getting ahead of the holiday rush.”
Since so many families and communities are feeling financially strapped this season, it is imperative we try to keep money in our communities and help promote and support entrepreneurs who are providing a myriad of products, goods, and services that enrich our lives. A small purchase could go a long way for a Black entrepreneur, both financially and emotionally. Knowing your community is interested and eager to support and uplift your endeavor is what so many of our ancestors fought for.
During the pandemic I downloaded apps for my phone like EatOkra, an app that helps you find local Black-owned eateries in your area. I bought makeup by Pat McGrath, a legendary Black makeup artist. I went to Etsy.com and bought from Black-owned shops for a host of items. Black entrepreneurs exist online and in many of our neighborhoods and this holiday season we can and should make it a priority to support their businesses. We have had a long year and a half, and many people are tired and emotionally drained. We also have much to be thankful for this holiday season and can find the time and resources to make sure others are supported.
For those who really want to be festive, Bluitt also states, “While we shop, we’ll be raising our glasses to celebrate Black women entrepreneurs with B. Stuyvesant Champagne––a brand that was created right here in Brooklyn with LOVE! It’s going to be an incredible day of shopping, fellowship, and community with over 30 dope businesses you won’t want to miss.”
If you can make it, head to “She Did That. Holiday Bazaar” at Shell’s Loft Brooklyn, 120 Hamilton Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11231 on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (EST). The holiday season is here and we can build community while celebrating.
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream,” and the co-host of the podcast FAQ-NYC.