Woodlawn Street Market, which suspended in-person events in response to COVID-19, will roll out its first virtual market and showcase both new and long-time vendors this weekend at woodlawnstreetmarket.com.
A product of the partnership between REV Birmingham and Woodlawn Business Association, the market usually takes place on 55th Place in downtown Woodlawn every other month beginning in April. Since 2014, more than 500 Birmingham entrepreneurs have used this business-proving opportunity to start small, test strategies and perfect their models in response to real customer feedback.
“Obviously we wish we were meeting folks at the market this Saturday, and I hope that day comes soon – but for now they can meet us online,” said Woodlawn Street Market co-founder and organizer Rebekah Fox.
Creating a virtual market space has long been a goal for the Woodlawn Street Market team. When in-person markets were postponed, the team redirected its energy from event prep to building out the virtual market concept.
“This market is a starting place for many entrepreneurs,” said Fox. “So coordinating a virtual market took extra time and technical assistance to implement to ensure the online version is just as approachable for our vendors as our live market.”
Fox and REV’s Business Growth team have been consulting with Woodlawn Street Market vendors who previously lacked a way for customers to shop online and have been connecting them with service providers for help with e-commerce and graphic design. Tahnee Eliot, an owner of a small Texas boutique, and Ryder Richards, creative director at Retail Strategies, donated their time to help several vendors build their first web stores.
“A virtual Woodlawn Street Market gives us a whole new way to engage with Birmingham’s entrepreneurial community,” said Taylor Clark Jacobson, REV’s director of business recruitment and growth. “A tangible platform like this combined with the market schedule gives us an easy framework to communicate and work with vendors in growth mode.”
Even when vendors and shoppers can meet face-to-face at the market again, the virtual Woodlawn Street Market will continue to feature vendors and encourage shopping local between market dates.
Shoppers can browse local makers as well as a few brick-and-mortar Woodlawn businesses that line the physical market space beginning Saturday, June 13 at woodlawnstreetmarket.com. Follow Woodlawn Street Market on Facebook and Instagram for updates throughout and between market seasons.
For additional information or questions, contact Rebekah Fox at [email protected].