West Philly’s 52nd Street corridor is a destination for seasonal cheer, thanks to a holiday pop-up market organized by The Enterprise Center.
Featuring products from over 30 Black-owned small businesses, the department store-meets-local market offers everything from art to accessories to apparel, much of it handmade by local artisans of color.
“The Black Holiday Pop-up is essentially like a Black-owned department store,” Daria Williams, senior director of The Enterprise Center Community Development Corporation, told Billy Penn. “The products in store range from candles to clothing to jewelry to other home goods. We have men’s, women’s, kid’s clothing — all kinds of really exciting things.”
With an entrance at 26 S. 52nd St., between Chestnut and Ludlow, the market is open to the public Tuesday to Sunday through Jan. 15. Unlike most street fairs, the pop-up is staffed by a team of sales associates trained to direct customers to the storefronts that best suit their needs.
“It kind of takes the pressure off the vendor to have to be in a space to sell their products,” Williams explained.
As envisioned by Enterprise Center CEO Della Clark, the idea is to attract the same buzz that has surrounded other seasonal markets around the city — think Christmas Village in Love Park — but this time to West Philly.
Williams also hopes the market will help restore the street’s reputation as a bustling shopping hub. “There are quite a few vacancies on our corridor, and we’d like to see them filled with some businesses that we’re connected with.”
“It’s been good so far,” said Waliyyah Muhsin, owner of Handmade Amazingness, which specializes in hand-crafted skincare products and knitted apparel. “I love the location, right on 52nd Street, because it’s a central location for the community.”
The Enterprise Center’s legacy of uplifting entrepreneurs of color was a draw for many of the vendors.
“I grew up in Philadelphia, so I’ve known about The Enterprise Center for over 20 years and their commitment to developing community and businesses — particularly Black businesses,” Mushin said. “When another community member told me about [the pop-up], it really was that reputation behind it that made me want to participate.”
Yvette Brown, a mental health advocate who also sells jewelry as Brown Bumble Bee Productions, said the pop-up has helped re-establish her brand in the local community after she recently relocated back to Philadelphia from New York.
“It’s is about community and helping people get their businesses off the ground,” Brown said. “So far, the pop-up has brought me new opportunities.”
Planning on visiting? Read on for some tips on what to look for.
For the friend who’s already got great home decor
Blending inspirations from pop culture, post-Impressionism, and the vibrancy of funk, hip-hop, and R&B, an original print from Philadelphia-based artist Dwayne Boone is sure to spark conversation. Meanwhile, a handmade soy candle from monaedesigns (available in jar or jarless form) will lend a sophisticated flare to its recipient’s coffee table set-up.
For someone looking to kickstart their self-care routine
The selection of bath and body products at the pop-up will put your local LUSH to shame. Whether you pick up a lavender sugar scrub from Donna Mary’s Soaps, a passion fruit body wash from CMarie Body Products, a Whip that Ash body butter from Handmade Amazingness, or a Radiant Glow Facial Oil from Mi’Laines, the market has a product to cater to every self-care need.
For a West Philadelphian who wants to show neighborhood pride
With merch ranging from crewnecks to stickers to canvas tote bags, Over in West has you covered with slogans that shout West Philly. A go-to for gifts for anyone who wants to rep the neighborhood in style.
For the person who’s never fully dressed without statement earrings
Specializing in one-of-a-kind polymer clay and macramé jewelry, Paint the Town Bleu has great options for the earrings obsessed. The Silk Tent features an expansive collection of eye-catching accessories inspired by cultural artifacts from Africa and Indonesia. The Brown Bumble Bee Productions sells original copper designs said to have healing benefits.
The Black Holiday Pop-Up is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7p.m. Friday-Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.