Walk into the Bronzeville Collective MKE, and every item, from the merchandise sold to the paper flowers decorating the wall, is authentically curated or handmade.
Even the colorful tapestries that adorn the tables and rest under merchandise have a story. They are souvenirs that the collective’s co-founder and Milwaukee native Lilo Allen brought back from her travels in Turkey, London and across Europe.
“It’s our Amazon-free model,” Allen said. “You don’t have to walk through two football fields to find what you’re looking for.”
Allen, who also owns Papyrus & Charms, is one of the 25 creatives of color who sell their merchandise at the collective, which is just one of dozens of businesses in the Central City that will be taking part in events this weekend to kick off the holiday shopping season.
Here are some ways to support entrepreneurs of color:
Sábado Soul: A Small Business Saturday Mercado
Vendors of Botanica Galactica, 719 S. 5th St., are “shimmying back your way” to their Small Business Saturday market, Sábado Soul. Join in the fun from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to celebrate and support local business owners. From bakery items to Tarot card readings, there are ways for you to treat yourself while you shop for gifts. Click here for more information.
Buy Black Friday at the Bronzeville Collective MKE
The Bronzeville Collective MKE, 339 W. North Ave., will host an entire weekend of shopping, featuring discounts on handmade items from more than a dozen black-owned Milwaukee businesses.
Deals begin on Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., continuing Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, click here.
Sherman Park’s entrepreneur hub has plenty to celebrate this weekend, including its one-year anniversary. The Sherman Phoenix, 3536 W. Fond du Lac Ave., will be hosting a Black Friday marketplace on Friday, Nov. 29s from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Phoenix will also host a Small Business Saturday marketplace from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with an anniversary celebration to follow from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Register here for the free event.
The Black Friday Extravaganza and “Shop With US” Saturday
Located in the Sherman Phoenix, 3536 W. Fond du Lac Ave., Vibez Creative Arts Space will be teaming up with the Milwaukee Brotherhood of Firefighters for their Black Friday event on Nov. 29. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., stop in to enjoy a raffle, free gift wrapping, music and local vendors. The Milwaukee Brotherhood of Firefighters will also provide on-site registration for the fire cadet program. Click here for more details.
Vibez also will partner with other businesses on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the “Shop With US” market. Featured products for sale by local vendors will include spa manicures, all-natural soy candles, handcrafted accessories, gourmet sauces and more. Check here to learn more.
Pop-Up MKE Shop Crawl
All three Pop-Up MKE shop locations will host Small Business Saturday events to kick off holiday shopping in the community. Here’s information about two events:
This Pop-Up MKE location is home to two participants: The Classic Shoppe and Elevated Healing & Massage. The marketplace will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Click here for more information.
Latinas Unidas En Las Artes, or LUNA, will be hosting Shop Small Saturday at its pop-up storefront. The day will begin at 10 a.m. with light refreshments. Stop in for one-of-a-kind art, clothing and jewelry created by local Latinx artists.
This event brings a collection of local black-owned businesses together. It will be hosted by United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County at the Johnson Controls Volunteer Center, 200 W. Pleasant St. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14.