Santa with child on lap

As shoppers get into the swing of the holidays, it’s important to remember there are plenty of Black-owned businesses in Indianapolis that offer a wide array of goods and services. 

The Black Owned Holiday Bazaar, hosted by Art Haus Balloon Company, will give those business owners the exposure they need as they attempt to compete with larger businesses that usually get more visibility.

The free event is 2-6 p.m. Nov. 23 at Edna Martin Christian Center, 2605 E. 25th St. Register at Eventbrite.

Moriah Salisbury had lower expectations for her event, especially since it’s the first one. But she said over 200 people have registered to attend, and there are 20 businesses slated to attend. They include boutiques, candle makers and even a shop that specializes in organic oral health products.

“I just wanted to do something nice for the community,” Salisbury said. “To be honest, I thought I would be lucky if I got 50 people to come. That’s what I’ve been planning on this whole time. But now it’s blowing up into something huge, which is great.”

The event will also feature photos with Santa and a craft station. Part of the long-term goal for the event, she said, is also to help create a sense of community among Black-owned businesses.

Salisbury started her company two years ago and was a vendor before that, so she understands the struggle of getting products and services in front of people.

It seems like similar events usually include mostly white-owned businesses, she said, and they attract mostly white crowds. So if a Black owner is part of that event, his or her business isn’t reaching many Black people.

“You just don’t feel very included when you’re the one Black person,” Salisbury said.

That exposure can be especially helpful at this time of year, as people start doing their Christmas shopping. There’s Amazon, the big-box stores and so on, but an extra couple of minutes of research could show there’s a local, Black-owned business selling some of the same products.

“You don’t have to order this online,” Salisbury said. “There’s someone in Indianapolis you can get this from.”

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

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