If you’re looking to shop smarter and want to contribute to the #BlackLivesMatter movement and other local voices, here are a few independently-owned businesses from each city I’ve lived in and some online sellers giving back to crucial community organizations.
Neon Cactus Vintage
When I lived in Las Vegas there was (and still is!) an amazing local market that takes place in the alleyway across the famous Fergusons Motel called Market in the Alley. They have moved online due to coronavirus, but when they were up and running, Neon Cactus Vintage was always welcoming in market-goers. They are a queer-owned shop ran by two amazing women who source all inclusive clothing, handmade stained glass and colorfully curated vintage clothing. The photo features various black sparkle charms they created to turn into pendants. For just $30.00 you can purchase these handmade items, support a local business and their profits are all donated to the Black Visions Collective, which aims to urge Minnesota City Council to become Visionary Leaders and pledge a commitment to defund the Minneapolis Police Department and fund resources to keep Black communities safe and healthy. Sign the petition!
The Hood Witch
When I was still living in my home state in Seattle, Washington my first ever “popup market” concept was when Badwill Market started showing up on Sundays at the Rhino Room bar space. One of the booths hosted a beautiful spread of good energy and tarot readings from local intuitive Bri Luna, aka The Hoodwitch. She strives to spread “everyday magic for the modern mystic” by offering healing energy work, folk medicine and alternative wellness pathways to optimize mental and physical health. Her shop hosts various raw crystals, sage variations, online tarot readings and alt literature: the Bruja Bookshop “…It is time for us to awaken and tap into the deeper parts of ourselves and into the natural magick that is offered to us by this very planet we inhabit”
My new home is in Austin, Texas. There are so many eclectic independent vintage sellers here! Many can be found on the app I sell on, Depop, such as this gem of shop Ephrance Vintage. I first discovered them when I was searching for Austin-based popup markets. They offer nearly one-of-a kind vintage menswear, womenswear and accessories. Their feed on their shop instagram is a graphic artists dream as color blocking posts transform throughout all colors off the spectrum. They take absolute care in the detail of their posts by showcasing the clothing with people they were made for: an ideal marriage of product + customer. The admirable art direction leaves me curious as to what they will restock with next… what story they will tell. Find them on Depop and Shop Revival, which can be found inside Revival Vintage.
Back at the Market in the Alley in Las Vegas, there is always one entrepreneur that will capture your heart with her minimal, yet powerful line of tees, totes, hats and housewares. Tofu Tees is ran by Kumei and her mom. What started in 2016 as a way to learn entrepreneurship and make items for classmates, she quickly gained traction from local media and small businesses that wanted to host her at popups. With illustrated graphics inspiring phraseology promoting feminism and self-expression, her most recent project is making #BlackLivesMatter bracelets for free which she is handing out at Downtown Fergusons and shipping via direct message. Support youth entrepreneurs and the local economy with Tofu Tees, she is the positive energy I hope for the world.