Black Girl Magic and Juneteenth Pop-Up Shops on July 3
Two different pop-up shops featuring local black-owned businesses run back-to-back Friday
Both events were organized independently by black female business owners, and similarly wish to boost local, black-owned businesses and welcome new customers.
She Vintage was founded in 2013 as an online shop by Erie resident Alexandria Ellis.
"Our mission is simple: To embrace personal style, push boundaries, never conform and live out loud," the website reads. "Always let your style make a statement."
This past December, Ellis opened up a physical location for her business which functions as a salon, boutique, and cafe. From the beginning, her goal with She Vintage has been to bring some big city vibes to Erie, similar to something one might find in New York City or Philadelphia.
"It is a space where people can come and shop, grab a coffee, or have a service done," Ellis says. "I want people to be able to feel that black girl magic when they walk in and feel the vibes."
Needless to say, it has been an interesting time for Ellis to transition her business into a physical space. Shortly after opening, she closed down for two months due to the pandemic. By late-May, she was able to open back up for to-go orders from the cafe. Now, with her BARBICIDE COVID-19 Certification completed, she is back working hard to establish her new location in the Erie community.
With Friday's pop-up event, the goal is to not only bring awareness to She Vintage though, but also to provide a space and exposure for over a dozen other black-owned Erie businesses, including Blvck Hippie Jewelry, Tiffany Marie Photography, Kidz Kulture, Chevy Scents, and many more.
So, if you are around on Friday, grab your mask and safely visit this outdoor event where you can shop, grab a bite to eat, get some coffee provided by Ember + Forge, and hear some good music, all while supporting local businesses.
You can follow She Vintage on Facebook and Instagram.
Erie's Juneteenth Pop Up Shop was organized by Angela McNair and her event planning business, Grand Central Events, and will take place outdoors and indoors at its 1225 State Street location.
This pop-up will include: Kidz Kulture, The G Spot, Luxurious Lashes by Lolita, Soul Food Queen, Total Life Changes with Coach Elaine, House of Confidence, A Taste of Love, Lady E's Jewelry Connection, Explicit Boutique, Face Beat by Ivory, Attack the Mane, Drip by Litty Lena, Cook's Custom Creations, Lcbcreations, LcbCosmetics, and Righteous Seed Customs 814.
"Juneteenth always offers a vendor style pop up shop every year during our main celebration," recounted McNair. Speaking to the events she helped organize, she noted that "however, this year Juneteenth was celebrated in an even more meaningful way, we hosted a protest/march in the Perry Square. The event started with a protest rally and ended with a march to the courthouse steps where we kneeled for 8:46 in honor of George Floyd and others who lost their lives to police."
Having hosted three different pop-up events last year (with previous events at the Booker T. Washington Center), McNair and Grand Central Events are no stranger to these kinds of entrepreneurial showcases, and have plans to continue to do so in the future. "It's a perfect and central location for people to have events such as a pop-up shop, as well as any other private events. I believe it will give perfect access to shoppers while providing enough space to be socially distant," she said. Speaking to the locale's downtown proximity, McNair wagered that "it also will give access to those who may not have transportation as it is located directly on the bus line."
McNair explained that "supporting minority businesses not only shows support for our community but gives those who may have taken a hit an economic boost."
This article was updated on Friday, July 3