STATEN ISLAND, NY – If you’re wondering where you can find the local small businesses of Staten Island, you don’t need to look far. Starting July 7, vendors selling wares including photography, soap, jewelry, home decor and mock-tails, among other things, will gather to showcase their artisanship at the Empire Outlets every other Friday until Sept. 22.
The vendor market is hosted by Created For You Artists Market, which is hosting this event for the first time during the summer. “We want to take advantage of summer and support local businesses. . . These are the businesses in Staten Island,” said Marcie Delapaz, president of Created For You. “This is where people can find them.”
Created for You Artists Market started out small. “This business is not an easy task,” its website says. “We’ve faced challenges along the way…Thank you to all of our wonderful talented vendors and entrepreneurs who encouraged us to continue to stay above ground. You’ve inspired us to continue creating a platform for you . . . We want everyone to have a chance to grow their business.”
Knowing the harsh reality of growing a small business firsthand, Delapaz said he wanted to help give entrepreneurs the exposure every small business needs in order to grow. Through interactive spaces like Friday Summer Nights, Delapaz hopes that this event will not only be an opportunity for local businesses, but for the entirety of Staten Island. “[This] is more important for the community…we want to do more events like this in the future,” she said. “[To] create an atmosphere where people can come after work to sip, shop and eat.”
Each week’s market will feature a mix of repeat and new vendors. One of the vendors is a longtime partner with Created For You: a small baking business called Lullo’s Sugar Rush. Amanda Lullo, owner of Lullo’s Sugar Rush, was inspired to start a baking business for humans and dog treats when her 15-year-old daughter, Sariah, began selling jewelry.
Soon after, the mother-daughter duo began participating in Created For You’s vendor markets. “When I’m not doing my other things, this allows me to spend time with my daughter, to just sit there, relax, and enjoy time with other people,” said Lullo.
Why have the Lullos partnered with multiple vendor events? Because of the safe space Delapaz creates for business owners not only to grow as entrepreneurs, but also as individuals, he said. “Marcie adores me for who I am,” Lullo said. “She doesn’t tell me I’m too much…she’s such a joy to work with.”
All kinds of businesses are still welcome to come and join the Friday Summer Nights’ lineup. Local performers are welcome to showcase their musical talents, and Delapaz says she’s especially open to supporting restauranteurs and food businesses.
In looking toward the summer and the future, Delapaz said he wishes to continue doing collaborative events such as this to further expose local talent and businesses to the Staten Island community and beyond.
Anyone who is interested in their business being a part of Friday Summer Nights can register on the website www.createdforyouartistsmarket.com or email [email protected] for further information.