West Philadelphia pop-up gives minority businesses a boost

TaRhonda Thomas Image
Thursday, December 1, 2022
West Philadelphia pop-up gives minority businesses a boost
This year, minority entrepreneurs are getting a boost in the holiday business all thanks to the newest store in West Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Many people who work in retail will tell you that the problem with working at a store is that you also end up shopping at the store -- a lot.

"Every time I walk in I'm like, 'Oh there's new candles,'" laughed Daria Williams when thinking about the purchases she's made at West Philadelphia's newest retail store.

But Williams actually doesn't work at the store, she's part of the reason the store is now in business.

"There's so much talent in our community, we really wanted to highlight that," said Williams who is the senior director of The Enterprise Center, which recently opened the Black Holiday Pop-Up store at 52nd and Ludlow streets.

The Enterprise Center owns the building. As a nonprofit, the center focuses on supporting small minority-owned businesses. Those are the types of businesses featured at the pop-up, which The Enterprise Center is operating for the very first time.

"The shop hosts over 40 Black-owned businesses ranging from jewelry to art to clothing to candles," said Williams.

All of the vendors are local, and they now get to sell their wares in the heart of West Philadelphia.

"It looks kind of like a department store," Williams said of the store which groups goods according to their categories.

The pop-up sits along the once-thriving 52nd Street corridor.

"It's been a historically Black business-owned corridor," said Williams. "Some of our hope and our work is to bring that back to 52nd Street."

The Enterprise Center sent out a call for vendors to apply earlier this fall. More than 80 applied, and just over 40 got spaces in the pop-up shop. Those vendors don't have to pay rent for the space.

"It's free to them to participate," said Williams. "They get the majority of the proceeds and we take a small portion for the operating costs."

Those operating costs include staff hired by The Enterprise Center to work at the store so that vendors don't have to man their tables.

"A lot of the vendors are full-time employees at other places or have other jobs," said Williams. "All the vendors have to do is drop off their items and reap the benefits."

The shop uses a barcode system to ring up each item vendors provide. Those items vary but the goal of the pop-up shop is the same: to give dozens of minority-owned businesses a "home" for the holidays.

"Our hope is that we're able to do something like this in the future to support these vendors year after year," said Williams

The Black Holiday Pop-Up shop is open Tuesday through Sunday at 52nd and Ludlow street. Hours are as follows:

Tuesday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Friday - Saturday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m to 5 p.m.