It’s a market featuring locally made goods. It’s a celebration of Black History Month. And it’s a way to support 40 small businesses owned by Portland-area Black entrepreneurs.
The nonprofit Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO) will host a MESO Makers Market in February at Alberta Commons, 376 N.E. Sumner St. in Portland.
All the local small businesses represented at the free market are Black-owned clients of MESO. Shoppers will be able to purchase a variety of products, including beauty, body and hair care items; jewelry; art; and apparel. Vendors include Callie's Custom Hat Wigs, Drip Candles, Bobby Fouther, My Daddy's Sauces, and many more.
The market will run Feb. 17-19 and 24-26. The hours will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
For more information, contact MESO at (503) 841-3351 or go to www.mesopdx.org/events.
Black History Month in February each year pays tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society, according to the federal Black History Month website.
“This market is our way of supporting Black small-business owners who are working hard to achieve the American dream of financial independence and change the course of Black history in Portland,” said Jataune Hall, MESO’s Business Development Services manager.
This family- and community-oriented event is open to all ages. Shoppers will also be able to enjoy an affordable chair massage.
“We urge Portland area residents of all colors to come to the market and shop for some unique, handmade gifts,” Hall added.
MESO staff will work at the market, allowing the entrepreneurs to continue working their day jobs and/or managing their own store locations.
Prosper Portland will provide MESO the space at Alberta Commons. City Liquidators and Anthropologie will provide furniture and fixtures.
Based at 4008 N.E. MLK Blvd. in Portland, MESO provides a wide array of services and programs to small businesses, including micro lending, guidance with a MESO business development manager, educational classes on a variety of business-related topics, marketing assistance, networking, and links to other local resources. MESO started out as a grassroots initiative in 2005 under the umbrella of the Black United Fund of Oregon to assist small businesses that were experiencing challenges in the wake of gentrification, new development, and increased rents in North/Northeast Portland. The pilot’s success and the continued support from funders encouraged MESO to form its own non-profit in 2008. More information visit www.mesopdx.org.