BLCK Market Houston, the nation’s largest bi-monthly gathering of Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs, is getting its inaugural storefront location in Pearland.
Set to open Labor Day weekend, the 3,000 square ft. marketplace will host 25 vendors. “A big part of creating a storefront for BLCK Market was changing the narrative of Black-owned businesses,” J.O. Malone, founder of BLCK Market tells Houstonia. The shopping hub will house brands centered on fashion to food, and in efforts to support small businesses, has expanded to its first brick & mortar.
“I want to help shift the perception. When I walk down the street in my own community or in Pearland Town Center, and I walk in BLCK Market and turn the key 一 every time somebody sees me, they get more comfortable with understanding that Black people can own these spaces,” Malone explains.
Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, entrepreneurs co-opting with the marketplace were able to remain profitable through pop-ups held twice a month at the Buffalo Soldiers Museum in Midtown, and its e-commerce site. The flagship location is a true landmark for BLCK Market as the concept was founded in 2017, and according to Malone, “started with seven small brands in a hallway.”
The process for BLCK Market is seemingly simple. Businesses partnering with the marketplace pay a shelving fee, and all of the profits will go straight to them. Once brands pay the shelving fee, the vendors are able to keep all of the profits made with BLCK Marketplace. "If a business makes $100,000 at BLCK Market, they’ll receive the full payout of $100,000,” says the founder.
Malone says that not only will businesses have space to sell their products and services, entrepreneurs will also have access to workshops in order to help improve day-to-day business practices, customer service, and workflow. The feat comes as a culmination of lessons learned throughout Malone’s schooling and career. As a native of Pearland, Malone says the flagship location for BLCK Market is a triumph for the organization.
“It was important for me to bring everything that I learned in the decade, and bring it back to my own hometown,” Malone concludes.
BLCK Market is located at 11200 Broadway Street, Suite 940, in Pearland Town Center and is set to open Saturday, September 4th. For more information on BLCK Market, visit blckmarkethouston.com