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WEB EXCLUSIVE Shop from black-owned businesses every single day at the new Black Friday Market opening this month in downtown Raleigh. The retail store, which will feature products solely from Black-owned businesses, is the brainchild of Kayla Walker, Janeyce Flager and Jasmine Bullock, all of whom have been working with the Black Flea Market and BlackDollarNC—a Black-owned business directory with a rolodex of over 200 businesses in North Carolina—since January 2020, hosting events and putting a spotlight on Black business owners throughout the coronavirus pandemic. “The store just kind of happened organically as time went on,” Walker says.
Collaboratively, the Black Friday Market team, Black Flea Market and BlackDollarNC hosted events such as Project: Live!, an outlet for business owners to engage with, promote and sell their products to an online audience; the bi-weekly Black Flea Market; a Martin Luther King Jr. brunch; and a fundraiser during COVID-19 for barbers, hair salons and massage therapists that were shut down.
Walker says that the most important aspect of Black Friday Market is giving Black-owned business owners whose brick and mortars were forced to shut down during the pandemic a space to sell their work. “They just need income,” adds Walker. “With the limitations that COVID keeps presenting, this is pretty much the best option for them right now. We’re in the heart of downtown so there’s already foot traffic.” Owners are able to sit back and relax and let Walker and her team do the selling for them via their downtown storefront and online.
When thinking about Black Friday Market, Walker says to think of it like “a modern, new age Walmart.” They will sell everything from clothes, to jewelry, to beverages—including coffee and tea, to preservatives, furniture, art, sculptures, health and wellness products, and more. “We’re not over exaggerating—we’ll have literally everything you can think of,” Walker says. The Black Friday Market team will also continue to do work in the community, including hosting workshops, seminars and fundraisers for business owners.
Black Friday Market will officially open on December 18 at 23 West Hargett Street. Their socially distanced, COVID-friendly grand opening celebration will feature food, music and shopping. Cross off the remaining people on your Christmas list while supporting local, Black-owned businesses!
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