SACRAMENTO, Calif. — It's officially holiday shopping season! While big box stores may attract the biggest crowds for Black Friday with flashy deals, there are plenty of local small businesses that can add that special touch to your holiday gifts this year.
Here are just some BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) and LGBTQ+ owned businesses, as well as Black Friday and Small Business Saturday events you can support this year.
Retail Row at Florin Square
If you want a one-stop shop for every type of gift you could imagine, then look no further! The Florin Square Shopping Center in South Sacramento, also known as "Sacramento's Black Wall Street," is hosting its Retail Row at Florin Square Presents Black Friday event. You'll be able to shop for a wide variety of gifts, from clothing and beauty supply products to computers and household items, all from a collective of Black-owned businesses.
"A lot of us have products that are not in big stores. We have a lot of customized products, products that are handmade or that are crafted and that come from the heart," said Kenya Keola, the owner of Niko Necole Boutique at Florin Square.
Tracy Shaw, owner of Crowder's Variety Store at Florin Square, said Black Friday and Small Business Saturdays are some of the best times to shop small.
"This part of the year is what small businesses and retailers particularly need to survive through the beginning of next year," Shaw said.
Aside from shopping, you'll also be able to participate in hourly raffles to win big prizes and watch a fashion show featuring local brands! There will even be a special visit from Santa Claus and Mansa Musa.
Tenants at Florin Square say the event will be more than just a simple shopping experience.
"It's also a cultural experience. When you come here, it's not the same energy you're going to get if you go to a Target or Arden Fair Mall," said Kelson Patterson, the owner and operator of Tru Endeavors Computer Solution at Florin Square.
"It's the small businesses that know your name and know about your family. Here at Florin Square, everybody that comes here is family... it's not just a shopping experience, it's a family experience," said Aaron Boyce, marketing manager of Florin Square.
For the best deals, head to the event in the morning for early bird specials from 8 a.m. to noon.
- WHERE: Florin Square Shopping Center, 2251 Florin Rd., Sacramento
- WHEN: Nov. 25 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Brite Ideas Furniture and Home Accents
If you're looking to gift a truly one-of-a-kind item or looking to spice up your home, Brite Ideas Furniture and Home Accents surely won't disappoint. The business -- which is LGBTQ+, veteran and Latino-owned -- houses products made by artisans from all over the world.
Just some of the items you can expect to find include bolga baskets from Africa, ornaments made from magazine covers from Vietnam, and rugs made out of recycled sari materials from India.
"What I love to do when people come into the store is I love when I see them looking at the product and telling them the story. All of these unique items have a story," said Chuck Wood, the co-owner of the business.
The business operates as part of the fair trade organization FAIRE, which helps bring vendors together and gives them access to products made by artisans around the world. The Fair Trade Federation also ensures artisans receive fair pay, and safe and empowering working conditions.
"It's a win-win for everybody because we get all these beautiful products from all over the world," said Wood. On Black Friday this year, Wood says first-time customers will benefit even more with a $5 discount off a $25 purchase. You won't want to miss out!
- WHERE: 5675 Power Inn Rd., Sacramento
- WHEN: Nov. 25 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Black Friday deal)
- REGULAR HOURS: Wednesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Hunny Club
Make a stop at The Hunny Club in Midtown and you're bound to get inspired by all the colorful vintage art and designs. The shop, which had its soft opening just back in August, is mostly Latina-owned and all women-owned. Inside, you'll find custom hats, clothes, tote bags, digital prints and more, all made and curated by each of the four owners' personal businesses.
"I have been sewing full-time as my only source of income for two years now and I've always done pop-up markets. I have a lot of hats in the shop that I rework with really cool vintage pieces that were from my collection," said Brandy Bennett, one of the co-owners of The Hunny Club. "We're a fun art collective, and if you're visiting Sacramento, it's a nice place to get a piece to take home for memories."
While the business doesn't have any special plans for Black Friday, the owners will be hosting a "Small Biz Market" event with 10 local vendors for Small Business Saturday.
- WHERE: 2309 K St. Ste. 103, Sacramento
- WHEN: Nov. 26 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Small Biz Market event)
- REGULAR HOURS: Tuesday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Follow each of the owners' personal Instagram accounts below to learn more about their personal businesses:
Kulture, which has locations in Midtown Sacramento and Woodland, is Mexican-owned and is best known for Mexican imports, such as handmade leather purses, accessories and framed Lotería tiles.
However, the stores also feature products from local makers who have had pop-ups across California. Those items include stickers, coffee mugs and other trinkets.
"We try to support a lot of the local brands because we used to do that a lot ourselves and that's where we met a lot of people behind those brands," said David Garcia, co-owner of Kulture.
Garcia said his focus on selling Mexican products stemmed from his frequent visits back to Mexico.
"Knowing some of the products and seeing that we could get it, that it was available to us, we thought it was a good opportunity especially in the downtown area, there's nothing like that," Garcia said. "We love our culture and the items, and people seem to really want what we can offer and what we can bring from Mexico."
- WHERE: 2331 K St, Sacramento; 526 Main St, Woodland
- REGULAR HOURS: Tuesday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
What's a better gift to give someone during the cold winter months than something cozy?
KnittedByDasia is a Black-owned online store started by Dasia Stevenson-White back in June 2020. She specializes in knitted home essentials and accessories -- everything from throw blankets for you and your pets to produce bags -- and they're all handmade.
Stevenson-White first started knitting at the age of eight with the help of her mom, but her true passion for knitting came much later.
"When the pandemic hit, a lot of people picked up hobbies just to pass time and I just started knitting again just on my own without my mother's guidance," said Stevenson-White.
Two years later she still runs her entire business on her own, a quality she takes pride in.
"I know the quality of work I'm going to put out. I know the time, the effort and the passion I'm putting into something," said Stevenson-White.
Because of the handmade quality of every item she sells, Stevenson-White says every product is truly one-of-a-kind.
Right now through Nov. 30, the online store will offer $10 off a $50 gift card you can gift to your friends or family (or yourself) so they can choose the exact product they want from the shop!
The Colour Bar
While the holidays are a great time to show your appreciation for those in your circle, they're also a great time to practice some self care and love, too. The Colour Bar is a Latino-owned hair salon started by Lorena Martinez and her business partner and husband Alfonso Martinez back in 2010.
Lorena worked at a public accounting firm in Silicon Valley before she decided to make the life-changing decision and pursue a career as a hairstylist.
"I always did hair as a hobby, but this time it was going to be as a career so it came with some pressure. I also quit my job in the middle of the 2008 recession so it was a lot of pressure and guilt," said Martinez.
Since she started in the industry, Martinez's business has earned several awards.
Although Lorena won't be open for salon services on Black Friday, her business will offer deals on hair care products on her website.
AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander)-owned businesses
The Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce released its 2022 AAPI-owned holiday gift guide. If you're a plant lover, you can check out Riri's Plant Oasis, a Guamanian-owned business, for your indoor house plant and pot needs. You can shop at Tiny Soap Diary or Sun Kissed & Co. to gift fragrances for the home. From DIY home and office accessories to baked goods, you're bound to find just the right gift you need for all your family and friends (while supporting local small businesses)!