A Marketplace Reimagined: My People’s Market Kicks Off Holiday Season
With two successful events completed in Portland in the past year, My People’s Market will expand on its connection and celebration of multicultural small business owners and entrepreneurs of color from throughout the city with a version timed for holiday shopping on Friday, November 9, from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Custom Blocks, SE 10th and Main in the Central Eastside.
The market’s theme is solidly one of connection: between businesses and communities; between businesses and public and private partners; and among the entrepreneurs themselves; who share their stories, successes and challenges as part of the market’s distinct character and presentation.
My People’s Market functions on both a retail level, with participating vendors offering their goods to the public, and on a business-to-business level, with VIP events and pre-market coaching providing introductions to distributors and organizations that can help budding entrepreneurs access broader markets for their goods and services.
Attendees and vendors alike have noted the potential for connection at the market and the added value it offers compared to more traditional events. Small business owners have built new relationships with fellow market vendors, sharing guidance and experience; others have connected with international contacts who can sell locally made goods and services around the world.
Conceived and launched by Prosper Portland and Travel Portland in 2017 to celebrate the diversity within Portland’s small business community and advance the goal to make Portland a more welcoming and inclusive place where all businesses can thrive, My People’s Market connects entrepreneurs of color with both the community and new business opportunities.
The market has grown with each iteration: the first market, in November 2017, drew more than 1,200 attendees and nearly 90 vendors, artists and performers; in June 2018 attendance jumped to 3000-plus with close to 100 vendors. The atmosphere is festive and inclusive, with live music, art, performances, children’s activities and plenty to eat and drink. Admission is free.
Grounded in Portland’s renowned DIY culture and the ingenuity of its multicultural community, the market sources all vendors from Mercatus, a Prosper Portland initiative that showcases small businesses and startups owned by people of color.
For the vendors, the market connections are an important point on the path of scaling their businesses. For the community, My People’s Market tells a story of today’s diverse makers and culture in Portland, an intersecting and ever-evolving narrative of place, race and Portland’s future identity.
Join us: My People’s Market, Friday, November 9, Custom Blocks. VIP event 3:00-5:00 p.m., $50 (includes grab bag, drinks and food, meet the makers, hear the stories); Open Market: 5:00 -10:00 p.m. Free admission.