BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Small businesses are among those hit hardest by the pandemic. But local vendors are banding together to grow stronger. For many years, the Brundage Swap Meet near the valley plaza mall has created a space for local vendors to sell their product. Now, those vendors and others are coming together to show their support.
“We organized this to help bring business to the Brundage Swap Meet,” said Shameka Garner, Co-founder of Ocean Bay Skincare and Lingerie. “Recently since the pandemic, it was closed, so it had just opened back up.”
Garner helped organize a pop-up weekend every Friday through Sunday right outside the Brundage Swap Meet. Their first pop up was in the middle of February.
“We’re like a big family out here, we have fun, we buy from each other, we put each others posts out,” Garner said. “It’s like teamwork.”
Many of the vendors who came have been part of the swap meet for years. Others are new to the business.
“It allows a lot of small businesses to get out there to expand their business and get known more,” said Maria Gonzalez, local vendor and owner of Yanes Boutique and Tailoring.
Patricia Milligan has been making and selling jewelry in Kern County for more than 9 years.
“For those who are just starting out, we have people out here who have been doing this,” Milligan, owner of Elder and Oak said. “So we get to learn from each other, we get to boost each other up. The more people who come out here to sell, the more people it brings out to buy.”
She says the pandemic has pushed local vendors to connect with the community online. She helped organize this pop up through facebook.
“Small businesses are important because it gives the regular person to do something great with their lives. The tiniest nut can become the greatest oak if it’s given enough sun and water. And that’s what we are just a bunch of nuts, out here trying to make it.”
If you’d like to support your local businesses, they’ll have another pop up next Friday from 10am to 7pm.