ELIZABETH, NJ - Fifty local vendors and small businesses gathered in Jackson Park in Elizabeth Sunday afternoon for a pop-up shop organized by local entrepreneurs Antoine Nelson and John Brooks.
“We started putting this together a couple of months ago,” said Nelson, “because we do a lot of work in the community we knew that COVID has birthed a lot of entrepreneurs.”
Nelson and Brooks put together the pop-up shop as a way to highlight local small business owners. All of the participating vendors were from Elizabeth and the surrounding towns.
Nelson’s grandmother, Mildred Hines, brought clothes from her shop, Mrs.Mildred’s Thrift Apparel, to the pop-up.
“I’ve only been doing it for a few months but enjoy doing this sort of thing,” said Hines. This was Hines' first time at a pop-up shop. “I mostly go to churches and flea markets in Elizabeth and Roselle,” she said.
Married duo Hassan and Cheryl Abdurrahman, owners of Eastwick Apparel Co., heard about this event from their daughter and were eager to be involved.
“Our whole family is involved in the business,” said Hassan Abdurrahman. They founded Eastwick Apparel in 2008, naming the company after the nickname residents have given Elizabeth.
Shanee Peoples was selling bath and body products from her company Sweet Bath Candy. Peoples, a Roselle resident, has owned and operated Sweet Bath Candy for the past two years selling most of her products online.
There was also a table where shoppers could register to vote or fill out the 2020 census, and grab free masks and hand sanitizer.
Nelson said that he and Brooks hope to be able to organize another event like this one in the future, to continue to shine a spotlight on local entrepreneurs.