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Oakland's "Blackout Market" promotes local Black-owned businesses

Oakland's Blackout Market gives needed boost to local small business
Oakland's Blackout Market gives needed boost to local small business 02:53

Small business owners are coming together in Oakland Friday and Saturday to create a marketplace on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year to support local entrepreneurs in the Black community. 

The Blackout Market hopes to generate more spending in the same community its vendors represent for the second year in a row when many consumers will shop at large retailers. 

"A lot of these small businesses don't have brick and mortar stores for the community to go to so for us to bring everybody to one place, it makes it easier for consumers to come out, have fun, shop," said Blackout Market co-founder and the owner of Hella Plants Market Janay Masters. 

Blackout Market in Oakland
Blackout Market in Oakland KPIX

Masters launched the Blackout Market in 2022 with Xenia St. Charles, who runs her own skincare and wellness brand called Brash. Their weekend shopping event will bring together around 40 vendors and support additional black-owned businesses including the venue and entertainment provided at the space. 

They want consumers to be intentional with their dollars, considering that small businesses have more invested in the neighborhoods and towns as their customers in the Bay Area.

"With inflation, with the rise in crime, and with a lot of folks still recovering from the pandemic, it is so important for us to be pouring back into our small businesses and keeping them open," said St. Charles. "For most things that you can go get from a big box store, there is a local maker that is creating that with love and intention and their own hands."

"Blackout Market" looks to boost locally-owned businesses in Oakland on Black Friday 03:17

Glogirl Cosmetics owner Tosca Hillman is one of the vendors participating in the event this year. She worked in the cosmetics industry, but didn't feel there was enough inclusion with major brands. So she created her own. 

"I started this line for Black women because we are some of the biggest consumers in the makeup industry and it's like no one had anything for us," Hillman said. "We are such a dynamic, creative, diverse culture here and there are so many brands that have gone on to do amazing things."

A similar story pushed Regina Harris to create Prideful Patchez after she realized there was a market for her hobby of patchwork, especially in the Black community. 

"I started looking around and I really couldn't find very many, so I decided the perfect thing for me to do, I need to start a brand that represents the African American community in art," Harris told KPIX. 

Marquita Pettis is the owner of That's My Jam, selling preserves she makes from her own family recipes. This is her second year vending at the market.

"You know it gives me a chance to connect and meet people in the community," said Pettis. "And this community has already given me so much. It's amazing to give back." 

She hopes the market continues and one day is able to open a permanent space.

"Why not come out and support the people who support you, support Oakland," she said.  

The Blackout Market is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 24 and Saturday, Nov. 25 at Oakstop. The event space is located at 2323 Broadway in Oakland. 

Lezla Gooden contributed to this story.

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