Pop-up holiday markets help shoppers find businesses that don't have a storefront

Pop-up holiday markets help shoppers find businesses that don’t have a storefront

In an effort to boost Madison Black businesses, Ujamaa, a collective of multicultural businesses hold holiday markets throughout December.

The holiday season is crucial for small business owners, but it can often be difficult for those without a storefront, said Tara Wilhelmi, the founder of Ujamaa.

“It takes money to get into a brick and mortar space. You need insurance. It has to be accessed,” she said. “So signing up and letting me do the hard work of advertising allows them to still have access without having to invest more than $25 and what they need for their display and inventory.”

All markets will be held at UW South Madison Partnership, 2238 S Park St., and will take place on December 4, 10, 17 and 18 from 1 to 5 p.m. Interested vendors can still register a booth for $25, Wilhelmi said.

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Ujamaa has been running vendors’ markets for several years. The business collective is part of Each One Teach One, a community recovery and wellness organization run by Wilhelmi. Ujamaa’s goal has always been to provide entrepreneurs with color resources and support, Wilhelmi said. With the holiday markets, Ujamaa hopes to capitalize on growing community support for black businesses.

“We’re trying to capitalize on people talking about black business and black entrepreneurship,” Wilhelmi said. “We’ve been doing this for seven years, but we’ve really seen a lot more interest from community partners and participants over the past two years.”

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Sarah Branch, owner of the Earthly Temptations, a body care company located at 1812 S. Park St., has worked with Ujamaa for two years. .

“It was a really good network for me to pretty much learn the business. So it was like a hands-on experience in Business 101,” Branch said. “A lot of people in the network just gave me advice on the first things I should have like credit card readers, how to set up my booth and how to price my items.”

earthly temptations

Sarah Branch, owner of Earthly Temptations, sells body care and self-care products. She has been involved in Ujamaa’s trading network and markets for two years.


For small business owners, it’s about being visible, Branch said. For this reason, spaces like the Ujamaa Holiday Markets are essential.

“The pop-up markets for the holiday season are necessary because they allow us to network and get exposure in the community,” Branch said. “Some of these companies that are on the pop-up shows, I would never have heard of.”

Ujamaa hopes to eventually open a shared retail space, but for now Wilhelmi is looking forward to the spirit that holiday markets will foster.

“There is so much camaraderie. People share ideas and just advise each other,” Wilhelmi said of the markets. “It’s a space to feel seen and represented.”

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