I don’t know about you, but once the long, sunny days of summer slip away and are replaced by the dark, gloomy chill of fall, I can easily slide into a little bit of an energy slump. At the same time, demands are high here at the Foundation with end of year activities, budgeting, planning for the year ahead and let’s face it, rushing to accomplish a few tasks that suffered from some mild procrastination. The result? A weird combination of panic matched with sporadic bursts of energy. I’m doing it, crossing those to-dos off the list, but it sure feels like I am crawling to that finish line: the respite of winter holidays and start to a new year.
But crawling my way to the end of the year doesn’t have to be a painful process… in fact, this year, I plan on getting re-energized at the Northside Holiday Crawl. That’s right, we’re not the only ones with a busy schedule—Northside businesses and entrepreneurs are busier than ever, gearing up for the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping.
So…what is this Northside Holiday Crawl I speak of? It’s a 6-week long advertising campaign highlighting special sales and holiday events across the Northside. Heard of it? Maybe the Northside Holiday Boutique or Black Friday on Broadway rings a bell? If not, that’s okay—let me catch you up!
Aaaaalll the way back in 2014, various Northside organizations were pulling together events to showcase products and services of Northside entrepreneurs. As these events were taking place, a new entity formed in July of 2016: Blexit. This grassroots organization emerged after the murder of Philando Castile–community members came together to strategize about how to use economic action as tools for social justice. The top two priorities named by the membership were to establish a black led financial institution on the Northside and to create market opportunities for black led businesses—this gave birth to Black Friday on Broadway. In 2017, BLEXIT, West Broadway Business and Area Coalition, NEON, the Association for Black Economic Power/Village Financial Cooperative, and many other partners organized Black Friday on Broadway and a Northside version of Small Business Saturday, which brought in about $14,000 in sales and boosted awareness of the many amazing local entrepreneurs and small businesses. Because events were happening all over the Northside, not just on West Broadway, but also on Lowry, Glenwood , Plymouth, and other locations across the area, it became clear that creating a more inclusive brand would capture the true scope of the event! And this is how we got to Northside Holiday Crawl — Black Friday on Broadway reimagined. Phillips Foundation has proudly supported these efforts since 2012 and we’re more excited than ever to be a part of it again this year!
Last year, Patrick and I bundled up and made our way to our future home, 927 West Broadway, where one of the pop-up markets was located (there’ll be a market here this year too). As we weaved through the crowds to find the perfect gifts for our families and friends, we felt so energized to see such a great turn out. It reaffirmed what we know the Northside is and gave us a glimpse of what it can be more of, not just for one weekend, but every day of the year. We spend a lot of time thinking about the big picture—how do we change how capital flows? How do we move land into local black ownership? These are important questions, but equally as important is to change our daily actions, aka spending money and investing directly in black businesses. Creating platforms and events for entrepreneurs and business owners like the Northside Holiday Crawl gives space to test new ideas, to showcase products, to increase sales and reinvest in building up the community. That’s what a strong local economy is all about (among many other things, of course!).
So, if, like me, you are already giving some thought to what you might buy for the important people in your life, and maybe you were doing some browsing on Amazon, STOP and think again! You could #buildpowerwithyourdollar and #ShopNorthside. You can find something charming and unique AND you have a 6 week window to make it happen!
When, what, and where is everything going down?
Your first opportunity to do some shopping is Black Friday, November 23rd! There will be pop ups at NEON, Theodore Wirth Trailhead, My North Market, Wolfpack Promotionals, Wilson’s Image, and HWMR. After that, you can check out the entire six week calendar of events online and stay up to date through social media!
If you are also finding yourself overwhelmed with your to do list, I invite you to think about giving yourself a break and heading out to the Northside Holiday Crawl… I hope to see you out holiday crawling around the Northside with your family, friends and colleagues. It’s bound to be a great time… (sshhh, word on the street is that there might even be a holiday parade down West Broadway!)
Stay tuned for updates and, of course, HAPPY CRAWLING!