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Featured Localist: Jamiel Robinson

Featured Localist: Jamiel Robinson

Erin Smith
11/14/14
Local Business, Social Entrepreneurs, Holiday, Diversity

Jamiel Robinson recognizes the challenges of redirecting shopping habits from non-local to local, but he celebrates the benefits.

“To find local treasures, you have to dig,” he says, “but when you do find a treasure, it’s the most rewarding.” For him, the knowledge it takes to shop locally opens up possibilities for unique gifts. “There’s more exclusivity.”

Jamiel hopes that the Grand Rapids Area Black Business event, The Second Annual Black Market Event and Pop-Up Shop, will enable community members to easily jump-start their ability to shop locally -- and discover hidden treasures along the way. For him, the event is a way to ensure that entrepreneurial ventures from people of color are visible in the community. “The business owners value the exposure to the community, and the community values the exposure to the businesses,” he says. It’s a win-win event.

His goal is for the benefits of shopping locally to extend beyond the Black Market Event and influence the entire community’s holiday shopping habits. He encourages local gifting because of “Triple Impact”: The community member gets a better gift, supports the business owner, and supports the business’s employees.

Thanks to smart, driven individuals, Grand Rapids enjoys a wealth of diverse businesses. Jamiel hopes that community members will step outside their usual habits and treat themselves to new discoveries for the holidays.

ACK: A great place for clothing and accessories for anyone on your list. Jamiel plans of stopping by to stock up on gifts for friends and family.

G W Greetings: Sending out holiday cards this year? Jamiel reccommends this shop above all else for holiday cards. It’s a wonderful store to find a range of products related to African-American culture.

Smell Good Cafe: When it comes to smelling great, this store has you (and anything else you can think of) covered. Cologne, perfume, incense, oils, health products, and all kinds of scented products are available for gifting.

Honorable Mentions: Serenity BoutiqueMalamiah Juice BarDaddy Pete’s BBQ

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