Every other Sunday the Center for Resilient Cities host an event known as the Badger Rock Community Market where Black entrepreneurs, startup companies, and small businesses sell their products. When I arrived, I was in awe of all of the tables lining the perimeter of the space with items from skin care products, to greeting cards, to fresh produce. Tara Wilhelmi, the owner of Reflections of US and the coordinator of the market, spoke to me about all about the market and other resources within the Madison community.
She is a part of a small business organization called the Pop-up Co-Op that brings in the vendors. The Pop-up Co-op gives support and peers education to those who have or want to start their own business. They have the opportunity to attend workshops on sustainability and professional development. Another focus of the market is to provide clean and locally sourced food. Tara expressed that “other farmers markets start to close down towards the end of October but we’re going to keep going all the way up until April.” The Center of Resilient Cities also doubles as a space for Badger Rock Charter School where the students help and learn how to grow the produce.
While speaking to Tara, she stressed that she wanted to circulate Black dollars within our own community. There is a lack of visibility on Black businesses in our society due to white supremacy and this is exactly why she started her wholesale greeting card company Reflections of US.
“Five years ago, I was online trying to find some Christmas cards that were reflective of me and my family. Nothing against anybody else but it would be nice to give my daughter a picture of a young black girl on the front of the actual card instead of something that doesn’t look anything like her.”
This spoke to the whole spirit of the event. Creating our own products and building our own brands for our own people.
Throughout the duration of the market, there were multiple talents that performed that are from the local Madison area. Urban Community Arts Network (UCAN) is an organization that finds opportunities for up and coming artists and assist them with their individual branding. Acts such as Homemade (a rap duo), Alise Mosely, and SooDoNIM displayed the rich artistry that Madison offers through beautiful vocals and witty punchlines.
The next two markets are on Sunday, November 3rd and 17th. Below are the businesses that were present on October 1st. Vendors tend to change.
- Cocoa Bean & Co.
All Natural Hair & Skin Products
- Sweet Sorrel
Stationary & Art
PO BOX 45468
MADISON, WI 53744
- Sophisticated Lady
Whipped Shea & Mango Butters, Events for 30+ and Up
Love the Skin You’re In
- Reflections of US
Local Shades of Color Dealer
Unity = Strength
- The Obeah Woman Collection
- Madre Yerba
Bringing the science of natural healing with the sacredness of the fruits, herbs, & fabrics of the Earth.
Offerings: Freestyle Henna Tattoos,
Body products for the whole family
Skin, hair, scalp, & nail care products
Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram/ Etsy: @MadreYerba
- ThyCSelf Design
Book Markers/ Gifts
Face/ Body Painting
Paint/ Craft Parties!