[dropcap size=big]B[/dropcap]efore you go to the mall or shop on Amazon this holiday season, take a look at these upcoming, all-local holiday markets, right here in Los Angeles.
In an effort to support our local communities, we chose to feature events that intentionally highlight vendors, craftspeople, artists, and entrepreneurs from these communities. Unlike some of the other major holiday markets in L.A., all of these are Free 99, or set an affordable sliding scale.
[dropcap size=big]E[/dropcap]ase into the holiday shopping madness at this cozy little pop-up put on by local herbalists Berenice Dimas of Hood Herbalism and Daisy Tonantzin Choc of Yerberia Myahuel. Here, self-care is a part of the experience. Come warm yourself by a fire and sip on some rose-infused hot chocolate, or sample the tastings at their herbal tea and elixir bar.
Because they are the only two vendors, take this intimate opportunity to make a connection and learn. Think about what ails your friends and family and ask what Berenice and Daisy might have up their sleeves. With the various homemade salves, oils, body care products, they definitely got something for someone you know. I know grandma could definitely benefit from Daisy’s Herbal Cold Flu Salve, a non-petroleum based alternative to Vicks VapoRub.
[dropcap size=big]I[/dropcap]f you missed out Friday night, but wanted to pick-up some natural self-care products check out the South East Mercadito. Herbal vendors here include, HoneyBee Botanical Healing and Pacha Mama’s Remedies, who has a line of CBD relief creams that includes one for menstruation and womb pain! Don’t just grab and go, though. Take your time, enjoy some vegan tacos by La Hoja Loca, even get your tarot cards read.
Other vendors includeOli Artesana, who is selling handcrafted jewelry, and Tienda Libre, who has a curated collection of gently used clothing, shoes and books, all of which are priced at a sliding scale. Before you roll through, consider picking-up some donations for the migrant caravan to help relieve some of the human suffering happening at our border. At the market, they will be collecting donations and delivering them in the next week.
[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap]s Self-Help Graphics is no stranger to the local arts communities, where you will find both veteran and up-and-coming artists selling their prints and paintings. A handful of which will be demonstrating their art-making processes, such as Daniel Gonzalez, who will illustrate his letterpress technique for his handcrafted holiday cards.
Besides artwork, you will find an array of vendors from the traditionally inspired clothing of Cultura en tu Ropa to craft salsas by El Machete. You could even have the opportunity to get tips for your own hot sauce from Oscar Ochoa of El Machete, during a workshop he is hosting. Don’t leave without taking a holiday pic in their pop-up photo booth, props provided, and four-legged furry family members welcome! More info here.
[dropcap size=big]M[/dropcap]ujeres Market (MM) celebrates their one-year anniversary, not once but twice. Curated by Nalgona Positivity Pride, the intention of the market has always been to acknowledge the resilience and drive of artists and entrepreneurs from communities of colors. With 40+ vendors lined up each weekend, it’s clear they want to support as many talented hustlers as possible.
Expect a lot of variety in terms of wares being sold, from the beautifully bound notebooks of Black Sheep Bindingto the vibrant handmade totes of Berim Bags. And yes there will be food! Tag-team chef sistersOjala Vegan will be selling the Salvadoran-Arab vegan cuisine that they specialize in. FYI bring cash, entrance fee is sliding scale $2-5, but kids and elders are free. Check out the complete listing of the vendorshere.
Melissa Dueñas has been both a participant and observer in arts communities from San Diego to San Francisco, as a musician, DJ, documentarian, and now journalist. She is the creator of the online radio show Lowrider Sundays and transmedia endeavor, East Side Story Project, both of which seek to contextualize the affinity for oldies music in Chicanx culture.
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Jesus Manuel "Güero" Mendez is the head taquero for Tacos Don Cuco, which has six locations around L.A. and the I.E. But he never forgets his humble beginnings selling tacos outside Tijuana's baseball stadium. A couple times a year, he still makes carne asada for the staff and players as a way to honor that.
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