For two days, the highly gentrified street will return to its roots as more than 15 vendors—from clothing to food to arts and jewellery—set up on both the sidewalk and inside of businesses as part of Taking Blk Gottingen.
“I have a bunch of different things that I’m kind of working on,” says Tricia Crawley, who will be at HopYard selling her paintings, magnets and earrings from Tricia Crawley Art.
“I kind of started doing it as a hobby and when I was younger I always kind of doodled, drawing things, but in the last couple years I realized how much joy I get out of it when I do it,” she says.
Recently, Crawley began painting more and more, and taking custom requests like Black Lives Matter earrings and posters.
“All the stuff that has been going on has really spoken to me,” she says. “So I kind of used that as a platform to even push my art even harder, and that’s why I started doing like the key chains and the magnets.”
Crawley is so passionate about her work she often gets lost in it. “I’ll sit up all night painting, I’ve been up a couple mornings till like six in the morning. I get really into it, I’ll just paint until I can’t paint anymore,” she says.
The artist hopes events like Taking Blk Gottingen will continue to build support and awareness for Black-owned businesses.
“It’s so important, just for me like supporting local Black business is like, sometimes you don’t even know how many actual Black businesses are out there,” she says. “So this is a perfect opportunity to kind of figure out who’s out there and who’s doing what.”
At Independent Mercantile this weekend, Tanika Bundy will set up her table from Queens & Kings Natural Products. The body products range from shea butter to scents to a luxury hair and body oil.
“I wasn’t trying to start a business. I just started making it for myself initially, out of a need that I couldn’t find anything here,” says Bundy, who’s used to selling at markets like Christmas at the Forum and various summer events.
Recently, her products have seen an increase in demand due to being included in ACCE Halifax’s Black Box, featuring products from several Black-owned businesses around the city.
“I just feel like it’s taken me to more customers, and a broader audience,” says Bundy. “I’m going to make 500 shea butter, and usually I make about 60. Like I don’t think I’ve made more than 60 at a time, probably 50, so I do pretty small batches and small numbers. So it was a big task, but it’s been awesome.”
The products were originally for Black hair, but Bundy says their uses are wide-ranging: “I definitely came up with it for afro hair and then discovered how great it was for skin, it’s great for eczema. It’s great for anybody,” she says.
“I think people are maybe looking outside of their comfort zone to support people that they may not have in the past or to look for services that they may not have noticed or paid attention to before,” she adds.
Ranging from Seven Bays Bouldering to G Street Pizza, the Taking Blk Gottingen event will take place July 18 and 19 from 11 am to 3 pm.