I had the opportunity to go to the NOBO Arts & Gifts Festival at the King Arts Complex in December. I’ve never been before so I was excited about going. I really wanted to be a vendor but they had their quota of bath and body vendors. Oh well, got to sign up earlier next year! Since I couldn’t be a vendor, I figured I might as well do some Christmas shopping and support the Black Owned Businesses represented as I intend to do every year. I was amazed at the various vendors I saw. The items presented were a lot different than what I saw previously at a few other events. There was a wide variety of EVERYTHING! There was art, home decor, books, clothing, purses, jewelry, shoes, and the usual candle and body lotion vendors. (I think my presentation would’ve stood out, but at least I won’t be intimidated at an event like that.)
While I didn’t do ALL of my shopping there, I did get quite a few items for those in my household and they were UNIQUE items. I later realized I should’ve picked up a few more Black History shirts, cause I haven’t been able to find anything else like the ones I bought. I have to dig the card out! I collect them at all the events I attend so I can continue to support. I bought a one of a kind mirror for my son that you could hang up and realized I should’ve bought 2! It was a wonderful accent to the bathroom wall when not in use. I saw beautiful purses and wallets, but was taken aback by the prices. These were quality, handmade LEATHER purses and wallets.
Here goes my EPIPHANY! I do not own a lot of designer purses but I do have a few purchased by loved ones. I realized the purses and wallets I saw at NOBO Arts & Gifts were no more expensive than the popular designers that many do pay a lot of money for and they are not even real leather! I know VEGAN leather is in now, but would you normally buy a no name purse made of fake leather or does faux make you feel better about your purchase? We called it pleather back in the day. Regardless of what you call it, it’s still not leather. The purses and wallets I saw were real leather and intricately handcrafted. While some were a little rich for my blood I did purchase a wristlet, which I absolutely love! The vendor I supported had designs I’ve never seen before, therefore I will get another purse in the future.
To continue with my epiphany. Before you say WE charge too much, remember the last expensive item you purchased from someone who doesn’t care about your plight or your cause and ask yourself what is your money contributing to? Is it their next million? Their children’s trust fund? Their next travel home, yacht or private plane? If you support a small black owned business, you could be contributing to someone’s next vending fee or their next thousand to get into an actual store. Their children’s daycare or tuition payment. Their rent, or down payment on a home, or a bigger vehicle to transport their items to the next vending event. I hope this helps YOU have an Ebony Epiphany too!