Safe Space Market

Home Sweet RVA is a local small business. We know how vital it is to our business to shop locally and the value that buying locally brings to our community by directly investing money where we live, work, and play. It is important to us to support local businesses with a commitment to making our community a welcoming place where everyone has an equal place at the table, especially those who have historically been excluded. As a result, we are committed to sharing our resources with fellow small businesses whose missions align with ours. That is why we are super excited to announce our sponsorship of Safe Space Market over the next several months and to encourage our clients and friends to join us in supporting this cool collective endeavor!

What is Safe Space Market?

It is an incredible grassroots pop-up market, event, and space that supports and celebrates under represented small businesses. It’s held at Lakeside Farmers’ Market every other Friday each month from 5 - 8pm. The Market’s mission is to celebrate and promote the visibility of Richmond’s Black, POC, LGBTQ+ and other marginalized makers, artists, organizations, and small business owners. The Market was founded by Andy Waller, the owner of Dayum Jam, whose delicious, punny jams and salsas have been a part of our closing gifts for anyone who has bought a home with us in the last several months. Andy is also a founder of Richmond Anti-racist Creatives and Businesses (RACAB RVA), a collective of Black, Queer, Trans, Indigenous, and other marginalized Richmond Creatives and Businesses that believe in and support Black Lives Matter and racial justice, support and affirm LGBTQ+ folx, and have faced hardship since Covid-19.

Safe Space Market was created during the pandemic to provide a safe space in two key ways:

  1. To be a welcoming and safe place for all individuals, especially marginalized groups.

  2. By continuing to have strict mask and social distancing requirements and limiting the number of people permitted inside the market at a time to respect those who’ve not yet had access to the vaccine for various reasons or the immunocompromised who are struggling to develop antibodies even after vaccination.

Andy shared with us a bit about the importance of The Market’s mission to them personally: “Safe Space’s mission means everything to me. As someone who has been fired and experienced violence because of my being queer and trans — I heal from those wounds by doing this work. Beyond our mission and work to celebrate those often overlooked or harmed by society — we also aim to offer a safe space to live our truths, to celebrate the joy of being exactly who we are — to celebrate and lift up one another.”

Each month the market collective works to support a local organization doing important antiracist work, support work for LGBTQ+ folx, and working toward Black/Queer equity. In May, they partnered with Frank Community Farm, a Black-owned, community farm that creates a work environment which celebrates and values the differences of its workers. During June, the Safe Space Market has been holding an “August’s Fund” Store all month long to raise funds for the gender affirming surgery of the market’s fellow vendor and friend, August, a Black trans woman,. We can’t wait to see who they partner with in July!

The market is a great spot for those really missing their community and those looking for a way to support under represented communities to come be among those that love and affirm them! There’s live music and a food truck each week, so besides shopping for local goods of all kinds, you can also enjoy local singers/musicians and grab dinner to-go after shopping.

At my most recent visit to Safe Space Market, I bought some summery pina colada jam that’s perfect to use in a dipping sauce for coconut shrimp, a beeswax candle that smells like my childhood summers, and some gorgeous earrings! We encourage you to follow Safe Space Market and make it a priority to visit them to show the talented vendors there some love by shopping with them. Tell them Home Sweet RVA sent you! Tag us, the vendors you love, and the Market in your posts. Also, keep an eye out over the next several months for an announcement about when we’ll be hanging out at the market so you can pop-by and see us there later this year.

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