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Black-owned businesses team up for ‘pop-up shop’ on Cherokee Street

ST. LOUIS – While some consumers rushed into big name stores, others stopped by a pop-up shop in south St. Louis to support local black entrepreneurs.

This is the second-year that organizers Sarita Moody and Anni Jones put together this event that takes the spotlight off big name stores and puts them on local job creators on the come up, and celebrates black artists in town.

“It was wonderful last year and it’s even better this year,” Jones said.

“It’s very grass roots,” Moody said. “It does connect us to those smaller businesses you may not have heard about or have only seen through social media.”

Moody is talking about businesses like Black Dot Clothing by young entrepreneur Nyara Williams, who creates clothing with messages of empowerment.

“It’s intended for people of color to advance them mentally, physically, spiritually through empowerment, unity and positivity. You can never get enough of peace and love in your life,” Williams said.

Many of Williams’ customers discovered her designs on social media, but pop-up shops like this one gives her buyers a peak into the person behind the brand.

“I have a lot of stuff in my clothing that kind of hints at certain things educational wise,” she said. “It’ll be in the clothing, so it gives them the opportunity to ask me, ‘Hey, what does this mean?’”

Williams isn’t the only one showing off her creations. Handbags, oils, and scarfs were all up for sales by local innovators.

What makes this event even more special is that those same dollars being handed over to local brands will then be given right back to community.

“Whatever people flow into me, I flow right back into the community,” Williams said.

“We have a lot of people from this neighborhood and knowing those resources are going back into the neighborhood is really exciting,” Moody said.