The Pop Up Shop At Arden provides opportunity for Sacramento’s Black entrepreneurs

Patrick Posuniak

Drue Goncalves and Alan Trinidad

On Saturday, Feb. 27 The Pop Up Shop opened inside of the Arden Fair mall, where it will remain open for the next year.  The shop is Black-owned and will offer many cultural products that range from traditional African clothing to hair and skin products to casual wear and jewelry. Many of the creators featured will be local African American entrepreneurs. 

According to the co-creator of The Pop Up Shop at Arden, Ayesha Ransom-White, the shop is an extension of The Retail Pop-Up Venue, a venue on Florin Road that allows entrepreneurs to host their own pop-up shops. 

“We noticed that due to the pandemic, we had a lot of business owners that were not able to back their locations,” said Ransom-White.  “The Retail Pop-Up venue just wasn’t busy, it didn’t have a lot of businesses coming in as it did in 2019.” 

Looking for a way to help solve this issue, Ransom-White and her husband ultimately decided on opening their own shop that allowed other entrepreneurs a space to sell their brands.

“We decided to have one retail location that we could house vendors in,” said Ransom-White.

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James Edward Clothing, located at The Pop Up Shop at Arden can be seen showcasing the “Dope AF” yellow hoodie and an assortment of different colored adjustable ball caps Saturday, Feb. 27 2021. The Black-owned retail store provides a retail space for local Black entrepreneurs to display their products and goods. (Alan Trinidad)

According to Ransom-White, merchants pay to stay in the location for 60 days. After those 60 days, Ransom-White will then determine whether or not she wants to purchase from that company at a wholesale price or move on to a new entrepreneur.

Christopher James Edward Christian, owner of James Edward Clothing, said he was quick to jump at the opportunity to be a part of The Pop Up Shop at Arden. 

“To get a store in Sacramento in Arden Mall is big, you know what I mean? So, I had to jump at an opportunity,” said Christian.

Christian said he also was excited for the impact the pop-up shop could have on the Black community in Sacramento.

It definitely impacts the Black community in major ways, I don’t think there has been a Black-owned store inside the mall, where African Americans are able to come up with their brands,” Christian said. “So that’s a big opportunity to put some money in folks’ pockets or to spread around.”

The impact the shop has on the community is not lost amongst its patrons. A local customer, Brendan Cooks, was grateful for the positive light that the pop-up shop is shining on Black creators. 

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“We see so many negative things in the press news about Black young men and women, you know?” Cooks said. “So, this is a positive step.”

Ransom-White is also very aware of the impact her business could have.

“These entrepreneurs having the opportunity to build their funding, to then expand their business is so important for our community because once an entrepreneur gets to that point, they’re hiring more underserved families, underserved community members,” Ransom-White said.  “And so the process is that stepping stone for them to allow them to be able to hire, to be able to take care of their family, to be able to fund their dreams and other things that they know as well.”