SHOP LOCAL

Support Houston Makers at Mala Market in Montrose

This female-owned nonprofit has everything from home décor and eco-friendly cleaning supplies to clothes and upcycled accessories.

By Geneva Diaz

Recently open in May 2022, Mala Market has two floors with over 50 makers to shop from.

Image: Geneva Diaz

Houston neighborhoods seem to always be in a state of transformation, and for better or worse, there’s no doubt that Montrose is changing. While redevelopment occurs and community demographics change, one thing that remains is Houstonians' love for local businesses. 

The newest business on the block is Mala Market, located at 1302 West Gray, a nonprofit collective space for local makers and crafters. Director and founder Somya Gupta opened Mala Market with the intention of providing makers with an affordable and collaborative space to promote their goods, while creating long-term solutions for the community to always shop local and handmade. 

“Being born and raised in H-Town gave me a deep sense of gratitude towards my local community,” Gupta says. “From this, I set out to develop the concept behind Mala Market, to join together to provide our community with sustainable shopping solutions.”

Particularly, the market aims to encourage shopping locally and sustainably so that Houston can grow toward a more eco-conscious community. “By shopping local and supporting goods made by hand in small batches,” says Gupta, “we can invest in our community both socially and economically.”

Here are seven out of the over 50 primarily female-owned and operated Houston makers at Mala Market to support:

When shopping at the market, you will find Front Porch Succulents' handmade marbled pots.

Image: Geneva Diaz

Front Porch Succulents

To all plant lovers: yes, you need another one! Christine Nguyen and Alyssa Hoang, owners of Front Porch Succulents, both share a passion for creating affordable planters and custom arrangements for both beginner and advanced “plant parents.” When shopping at the market, you will also find their handmade marbled pots. Plus, if you’re looking to host a succulent DIY workshop at your next brunch party, Nguyen and Hoang will bring everything from the succulents and soil to tools and pots. Whether you have a green thumb or want a plant that requires minimum care, a succulent is a great bet. 

Gather + Sew

Made with vintage and secondhand textiles, Gather + Sew is a one-of-a-kind, slow fashion line for kids. You’ll find everything from vintage-style dresses to adorable patchwork waistcoats and button-ups, all crafted from durable and sustainable materials. Alison Spanner, owner and seamstress of Gather + Sew, comes from a family of makers, and her business is a culmination of passions and skills imprinted on her throughout her lifetime. On a community level, the clothing is ethically made, and according to Spanner, it’s a promise to do better. “The choices we make about the clothing we buy have far reaching impacts,” she says. “We all deserve health, a living wage, access to clean air and water, and employment without fear of abuse — but the fashion industry as it exists today threatens those rights for many of its workers.”

La Planta sells quality handmade jewelry with an affordable price tag.

Image: Geneva Diaz

La Planta

What’s a market without a jewelry line? La Planta sells quality handmade jewelry with an affordable price tag. All pieces are made by owner Cherry Jamora, using resin and pressed flowers. Aside from her jewelry line, you’ll find hair clips, resin planters, dishes to hold your jewelry, bookmarks, and plant hangers. You can purchase an earring set and a beautifully molded jewelry box to hold them in, all from one shop.

Posey Shop

Fresh flowers have a shelf life, and we all end up having to throw the dead foliage away at some point. Posey Shop, owned by Blair Truesdell, has figured out a way to create everlasting and more sustainable florals that you never have to say goodbye to. All dried flower arrangements are natural and hand-dried. Choose from a flower bundle or a wall hanging, or make your own arrangement right at Mala Market.

When it comes to choosing the perfect scent from Oils Earth, the options are endless.

Image: Oils Earth

Oils Earth

Get grounded and smell good all at one time with Oils Earth natural products. With a strong belief in the power of plants, founder and maker Catalina Alexandra made all items with pure therapeutic-grade essential oils. Oils Earth has everything from beard oil and roll-on sticks to room sprays and dog “perfume.” When it comes to choosing the perfect scent, the options are endless, and if you can’t find the smell you want, get a custom order of any oil blend, made specially for you.

Signature Sudz

As an ethically made and sustainable solution for your home, you can’t go wrong with Signature Sudz. They offer natural household cleaning products made with raw ingredients and zero artificial ingredients. Owners Robert and Jessica Tannan first created their own detergents to use at their laundry business when supplies dried up during the pandemic. Once they saw a need for clean and safe cleaning supplies, they started selling to their laundry clients and then expanded to grocers and venues like Mala Market. Signature Sudz has bulk detergents, scent boosters, wool dryer balls, and a variety of scented cleaning sprays. Plus, they are eczema-friendly and vegan!

All candles from Smell Club are made with a soy blend wax, paired with top-notch fragrance oils that are free from phthalates.

Image: Geneva Diaz

Smell Club

Who says candles have to come in a traditional jar? The magic of Smell Club is all in the playful shapes and bright colors that give the conventional candle a run for its money. Bring a little joy and comfort to your home with a hand-poured candle that will be tough to light at first due to how beautiful it looks on your countertop. All candles are made with a soy blend wax, paired with top-notch fragrance oils that are free from phthalates. As Asian business owners, founder Ann Wang and her business partner celebrate their culture with inspired products like the white tea bamboo scented bao candles. Each set comes with three baos inside a Smell Club takeout box. Another signature candle shape is the bubble candle that’s available in a variety of different colors and scents.

Mala Market in Montrose aims to encourage shopping locally and sustainably so that Houston can grow toward a more eco-conscious community.

For more information and a full vendors list, visit the Mala Market website.

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