DENVER – On Saturday, the Clayton Members Club and Hotel hosted a pop-up market called "The Block Party" for Black-owned businesses in honor of Black History Month.
Dozens of Black business owners lined the second-floor ballroom and welcomed new customers.
Event Organizer and Clayton Members Club and Hotel Founding Member Joce Blake said in Denver, it’s hard to find so many business owners of color in one place.
“We don’t take up space a lot in Colorado and I wanted us to really do that and the Clayton is the perfect place to do that because they empower me to take up space. So, I just wanted to invite some of my favorite people to do that with me,” Blake said. “I think Denver is brimming with so much potential and I want to share that with the world.”
Esther Lee Leach, Director of Membership for the Clayton Members Club and Hotel said the event will help the club further its mission.
“The Clayton, the whole idea behind it is that this is a different type of members club, it’s an inclusive club,” Leach said. “It’s just nice to have a gathering space that is safe and that is welcoming.”
While some of these business owners who participated in the event have been located in Denver for years, others like The Oula Company Founder and Owner Erika Massaquoi just arrived.
“I’m new to the Denver area so it’s great to meet other Black entrepreneurs,” Massaquoi said.
The Oula Company offers women’s clothing in vibrant colors and patterns.
“Everything we do is based on using African wax fabric, so we source in Ghana, India, as well as Europe,” Massaquoi said. “The Oula Company will now be available at Nordstrom at the end of March at the Cherry Creek Mall.
Blake said most of the businesses that participated in the event are already very successful and pop-up markets like this help show the community exactly what Colorado entrepreneurs of color have to offer.