Each year, NAYA’s gymnasium transforms into a bustling and festive marketplace – showcasing work from some of Portland’s finest Native American artists.
In response to multiple requests from vendors at our Winter Marketplace, last year NAYA’s Community Development team decided to offer a Spring Marketplace to provide greater opportunities for Native business owners to meet new customers and get their goods to market.
Our second Annual Spring Marketplace took place on May 12th this year, showcasing 28 vendors offering everything from fine hand-crafted jewelry and prints of original Native artwork to clothing, tinctures, and essential oils. Our outreach efforts, in partnership with KBOO and the Northwest Area Foundation, proved successful, drawing about 600 people to the event, more than double the traffic of last year’s Spring Marketplace – a good sign for Native-owned businesses.
Some vendors, like Rodi Bragg of Rose Alchemista, participated in the Marketplace for the first time. Bragg reports high satisfaction with the event – and not just because of her sales.
“I had a wonderful time at the NAYA Spring Marketplace. NAYA has been such a great resource in the short time that I have known the organization. I met amazing fellow artisans and such sweet customers at the event. I felt like I was truly welcomed into a family. I am originally from California, and didn’t have access to my own Chumash heritage growing up as much as I would’ve liked, so it was very heartwarming to be accepted into a diverse native community.”
“I’d definitely do the event again,” Bragg added, “and I look forward to continuing to work with NAYA. Thank you NAYA and Portland for showing up to support native artisans!”
“The NAYA Spring Marketplace allows new entrepreneurs to test demand for their product or art. For many people, it’s their first time selling to the public. It also provides a steady and reliable source of income for more established businesses. We are happy to provide affordable selling opportunities to Native entrepreneurs and artists,” said Sky Waters, Business Innovation Coordinator.
Would you or someone you know be interested in securing a table or booth in this year’s Winter Marketplace? Our space is limited, so please apply in advance to participate. For more information please contact Santiago Vazquez at VazquezS@nayapdx.org, or Sky Waters at SkyW@nayapdx.org.