South London local Jenine Baptiste is founder of the Black Culture Market – two days to celebrate and support Black businesses.
It will be hosted Downstairs at the Department Store on Ferndale Road over the weekend of 5 and 6 June.
“We’ve got toys, stationery companies, African- inspired prints and crafts from places like Ghana, jewellery, skin care using natural ingredients from West Africa and the Caribbean, and books for kids with more diverse representation,” says Jenine.
Demand from customers and traders alike has increased massively, partly because of Covid regulations preventing markets from taking place until now.
More than 100 business owners applied for a space and as many as possible will be fitted safely into the room available.
“I’m getting a lot more new businesses,” says Jenine.
“Obviously with what’s been happening over the last year with Black Lives Matter, I’ve seen a lot more people want to support businesses too.
“I grew up in South London, and Brixton has always been the heart of the African Caribbean community.
“The reason I started the market is because a few years ago I really wanted to do something for Black History Month.
“I reached out to the community and I didn’t really get that much back – it just dawned on me that I should do it myself.”
What started as a one-off has continued to grow.
“Some of the traders have gone on to be stocked in permanent shops in Brixton, or retailers such as Paperchase and Moonpig,” says Jenine.
“I wanted to help the person that’s maybe transitioning from doing something at home and having a hobby with the first time they are selling in public.”
Jenine herself has been a fashion designer for around 15 years, beginning her own Brixton-based brand Baptiste a few years ago.
“I would love to put on markets more regularly, I think the traders would love it too,” she says.
Tickets for the Black Culture Market are free – available from Eventbrite.
The line-up of traders for each day is currently being finalised.
Downstairs at The Department Store
248 Ferndale Road, SW9 8FR
Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June, 11am to 5pm each day