If there’s anything I’m going to make a point to do during Black History Month it’s support Black businesses, so on the last Saturday of the month I pulled up at The Crick–Abbey Creek Winery’s shiny new acquisition downtown on 9th and Morrison–to check out Black Market Events latest pop-up. While I was out there I figured I’d flick a few shots and ask some questions so that I could share these vibrant and creative local businesses with our readers.
The first vendor I recognized was Bryan Walden, the energetic owner of the popular streetwear brand, Black Mannequin. His table and rack stock full of jackets, sweatsuits, tees, shorts, bodysuits, and hats, Bryan stayed busy organizing merch when he wasn’t chatting and snapping pictures of his own, but he took a moment to pull his mask and mug the camera for me one time.
A couple of tables away, I noticed that Shop La Familia had a booth in the space manned by none other than brand-founder and LFGM rapper Swiggle Mandela. Taking a quick break from slanging brightly-colored and branded facemasks, sweats, tees, bags, and even music from the label, Swiggle was quick to show off his signature golden smile.
On a rack next to Swiggle’s table, a pale green sweatshirt that read, “God Loves Me” -The Sinner, caught my attention. My search for its maker led me to meeting Vanessa, owner of Innocent Designs, who looks to raise eyebrows by coupling strong statements with clean designs on clothing and wall/office art.
Across the way, the young chef homie More Life was pushing herbal iced teas and tamarind juice alongside his signature sweatshirts. Meanwhile, the guys from Nimble Fern boasted some very well-crafted and unique Portland-style sportwear.
Tommy Bradley of Quantauris sells eye-catching underwear via TikTok, definitely a unique angle in the local clothing scene.
Mikeisha Trammel held it down at the Date Night Boutique booth, which was right in front of the DJ booth. An Oregon native with excellent taste, she offers her clients boutique services and overall vibe assistance.
Brianna Hill, the green-haired founder of FloraNior, runs a woman-owned online nursery fostering community through plant parenthood. She also sells plants, fertilizers, and soil, in addition to offering assistance with home plant care through her website and social media platforms. Might have to link them with PlantBloc.
Stones & Aroma had a cool booth offering aromatic butters, balms, and soaps alongside custom gem-based jewelry. Lots of great energy in the space, but I forgot to ask if they had any black tourmaline to replace the stone I’d lost.
Working my way back towards the entrance, I met Sol’d Up Creations owner Tera Wilson, who is one of the organizers behind the Black Market Events platform. A bubbly personality, Tera’s company sells CBD-infused soy-based candles, but I’m pretty sure Tera could sell anything.
I don’t know how much I’m supposed to say about the folks at Bigg’s Edibles (feds is watching), but their menu variety looked very impressive. They offer a wide array of items and flavors served with eye-popping presentation.
The ladies at Hair By Amari took a second away from the hair mannequins and prospective customers to drop their masks and take a flick at their busy display table.
Last but not least, the ladies at Everything Beauty–where the motto is “Meaningful Intentions Needed Everyday”–kept a tidy shop, selling intricate jewelry and skincare products.
It was my first time visiting The Crick, and I can see a space like that having a ton of practical community applications. It was great to catch up with known entrepreneurs, put faces to names, meet some people for the first time, and cycle money through the Black community.
I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next Black Market Event, for sure. You should too.