Seanie Sheppheard founded The Black Market in February 2021. Her goal? To establish a Black-business marketplace in the Twin Cities.
“Our mission is to help increase the visibility of Black-owned businesses in the Twin Cities and help with closing the wealth gap between Black and white communities,” she said.
Artwork, clothing, jewelry, and cosmetics are some of the many products sold by vendors at the market. Sheppheard brings in musicians and food trucks to create a positive shopping experience for customers. She says managing The Black Market is an enormous undertaking.
“We manage it alone; it's myself, my business partner and then my husband as well,” she explained. “And when you have a small business, you do not have a ton of funds to pay people, and it's hard to get volunteers. So I work full-time, period, but on this work, I work around the clock at home… on campaigns and marketing and the behind-the-scenes work, and then we also have to manage the market every month.”
The community has been supportive of the market, leading to increasingly good business. Sheppheard is now able to accommodate over 65 vendors. She hopes to eventually expand The Black Market into its own space where she can continue to create a positive environment for families to shop with Black-owned businesses.
The Black Market is back on Saturday, July 9th from 2-7 PM at the Case Building in St. Paul. The Case Building is located at 767 N Eustis St, St Paul.