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.
From the statewide roll out of Good for Michigan to celebrating Local First’s 15th Anniversary to kicking off our annual Fork Fest in the fall, 2018 was an exciting year for Local First, our members, and community partners.
Holiday markets are a wonderful way to find unique gifts while supporting local artists and businesses. Grand Rapids and surrounding communities are filled with talented artists and businesses that offer one-of-a-kind gifts, making holiday markets a perfect destination for shopping.
If you’re a business owner, you may be considering whether to send holiday cards. Many businesses have given up the tradition. Some regard it as a waste of time and money. Others believe it is an essential component of building and strengthening important relationships
The Midwest Tech Project has partnered with Theta Ventures to organize the 1st Annual "City Hacks GR" Tech Weekend & Hackathon Sept. 14th-17th.