The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness (FFBWW), an organization set on energizing, mobilizing, and supporting Black women to transform their health and lives through education, advocacy, support, and partnerships, will be hosting their second Well Black Woman (WBW) Market of the year on Saturday, July 30, 10 am-2 pm.
“For the foundation in the last 12 years, one thing that we know to be true is that our health and well-being is so much more than our nutrition and our fitness, that it’s shaped by social and economic well-being as well,” says Alia Stevenson, chief development and partnerships officer at the foundation. “So in 2020, forcing everyone to close everything down, we had to really think about what would opening our space look like after COVID. We thought about how impacted we were as a small Black women’s organization by the pandemic, and just thinking about even smaller, one-person, Black women entrepreneurs.”
To support Black woman owned businesses or entrepreneurs who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the team at the foundation worked on hosting their first ever Well Black Woman Market to reopen their space in 2021. With the help of a sponsorship from the CUNA Mutual Group Foundation, the FFBWW was able to host three WBW Markets the year they re-opened and were able to host one this past June with plans to host two more this weekend and in August. The market will also be featured at the foundation’s Black Women’s Wellness Day, a two-day virtual event held in September.
“We are creating an opportunity for the community to be exposed to all of the Black girl magic, all of the power, all of the authority that comes with these Black women, and giving them a fresh perspective on what entrepreneurship really looks like and the work that’s been put into it,” says Christine Russell, director of health and wellness programs at the foundation.
Aside from providing Black woman-owned businesses with exposure to the community, Russell also explains that the WBW Market actively supports these businesses and entrepreneurs with resources and opportunities, such as their mini-grants. The WBW Market mini-grants will range in sizes from $1,000-$5,000, and they’re intended to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses and have access to business mentorship.
“We didn’t want to just provide that financial support, we also wanted to align that with not only the resources here at the foundation, but resources within the community, bringing in the experts to really help them understand, help them structure and design their business and polish their business to take them to the next level,” says Russell.
The WBW Market this upcoming weekend will be hosted at the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness headquarters (6601 Grand Teton Plaza, Suite A2) and will be expecting up to 24 vendors attending the event. Guests should expect to see businesses who specialize in a wide arrange of products from jewelry to video and photography, and hair care to care packages for cancer patients.
“So it’s not just a charitable thing to come out. It’s amazingly high quality, beautiful, gifts for everybody in the families, from children, to men, to women. There’s something for everybody in the space,” says Stevenson. “This is an event where you’re going to run into the true picture of what Madison looks like and feels like. You can expect to be greeted, you can expect to feel welcome, you can expect to hear great music, you can expect to really experience community. So whether you come out to buy, or whether you come out to connect and enjoy your community, you will walk away really, really happy.”
While submissions to apply for the mini-grants and market this Saturday are closed, vendors can still apply to participate in future WBW Markets by emailing [email protected]. To learn more about the Well Black Woman Market visit Well Black Woman Market (ffbww.org).