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Patrona Jones-Rowser came up with the idea of creating a market space in Syracuse for black-owned businesses in 2017. While visiting her sister in Atlanta last March, Jones-Rowser stopped by an open-air market space.
“We went to a very small mall, and there were two small vendors in a grassy area,” Jones-Rowser said. “And it opened my eyes. I said, ‘You know what, I’m going to do it this year.’ ”
Urban Market Space, created by Jones-Rowser, will operate every other Saturday at Sankofa Park in Syracuse’s Southside neighborhood starting this weekend. Market hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will run until August 28. The market will include around eight companies, as well as music and food trucks. Jones-Rowser’s desire to launch the bi-weekly market stems from a desire for more black-owned and black-owned businesses “to come together in one space,” she said.
The market space will offer a variety of products including organic teas, baked goods and jewelry. Jones-Rowser is the owner of the event planning company StayMonet Opulent Events. Because she is in the event planning industry, she already knew of companies to invite to attend, she said.
Shankevia Dean, owner of Kevi’s Treats, said part of her participation in the market was because supporters of her company tagged her in a Jones-Rowser’s social media post. Dean, who sells treats like lemon cookies and banana pudding, expects his customers to come and buy his products as well.
“I expect to sell,” Dean said. “My clients follow me everywhere I go.
While the market is supposed to provide a platform for black-owned small businesses and other black-owned businesses in Syracuse this summer, it is also an opportunity for vendors to network and acquire. new marketing skills, Jones-Rowser said.
She would also like to organize meet and greet events in the fall so that business owners can continue to network, nurture the relationships they have established over the summer and develop their marketing skills, in especially on social media.
“They can say, ‘Oh, I know someone who does that,’ and they’re able to pass names based on who they’ve met in the market,” Jones-Rowser said.
The idea of creating a shared space for black entrepreneurs in Syracuse is important to Stacey Bailey, owner of Touched By Honey, which sells organic teas, soaps and candles intended for cure pain and inflammation.
About 75% of the purchases Bailey makes on a regular basis are from people of color, she said. She also likes that the market is a space for the black community to spend money on black-owned businesses, but she hopes the market attracts a large following as well.
With the launch of the Urban Market Space, Bailey, which will sell at three Saturday markets, including this week’s, is pleased that there is space for black entrepreneurs to showcase their products, support others. black businesses and interacting with customers in person.
“This is one of the times when we can go out, present (and) spend our money with each other so that we can elevate our run,” Bailey said.
The market logo includes the Sankofa bird symbol, designed to show the bird’s paws facing forward while its head is turned back to reach for an egg. Sankofa is a word from the Akan tribe in Ghana, and it means “look to the past to inform the future. “
Jones-Rowser added two rings, which signify excellence, around the bird and filled them with Kente prints to signify the return of black excellence, she said.
“Our logo was designed to really speak to what we’re trying to do,” Jones-Rowser said.
Originally, Jones-Rowser had a space in mind to host the market near Martin Luther King East and South Salina Street, but she finds it fitting that he eventually land in Sankofa Park.
As a child, Jones-Rowser remembered going to her community’s markets in Syracuse and shopping from people she knew. The proximity of Jones-Rowser’s home to the park contributed to his decision to host the market there.
“I probably live within 1,000 feet of the park,” Jones-Rowser said. “And for a few years now, I have wanted to do something in the park because the park is not being used well.”
Now she has the chance to reconnect with the tradition of her childhood in the Southside of Syracuse.
Posted on June 5, 2021 at 12:20 a.m.