Northeast “shops small” on the Avenue

Abby Hoover
Managing Editor


Northeast Kansas City’s shoppers headed to the International Marketplace on Independence Avenue this past Saturday to support small businesses.
At the Economic Growth Gallery (EGG) at 2659 Independence Ave., small businesses without storefronts hosted a holiday market.


Dulce Ortuno, owner of the online Dulce Boutique, coordinated the vendors for Saturday’s event. Earlier this month, she hosted a pop-up in Kansas City, Kan.


“For our community, we have small businesses, we want people to get to know us, share with them what we have available, to offer, to sell,” said Faviola Lopez, who owns Sparkle Masters, a carpet cleaning business. “That’s why it’s so important to get to this gathering so people come and get to see us, meet us, and build relationships.”


Sonia Garcia-Mota has been a beauty consultant with Mary Kay for three years.


“This is a great company. I love it. It’s been around for 59 years and I’m grateful to be invited here, it’s my first time,” Garcia said.


She had visitors to her booth spin a wheel to win a variety of small prizes, and was sharing samples of lotions that would make the perfect gifts.


“We have skincare products, men’s care, lipsticks, cosmetics, just a little bit of everything, you know, hand lotions,” Garcia said. “Our skin product is awesome. This is something really great because it’s something that’s going to nourish your skin. This is a great holiday gift for anyone.”


Some of her gift sets came in holiday wrapping, others with fuzzy socks to wear after applying lotion to dry feet.


“Our product has been out for 59 years, a lot of people know this product, so it’s great for everyone,” Garcia said.


Garcia-Mota can be contacted at soniagarciamota1977@gmail.com or (816) 349-0637.

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY. Jewelry artist Camila sold her handmade bracelets at a booth with her family members, who were teaching visitors about the benefits of essential oils.
x ABBY HOOVER


Camila, the youngest vendor, has been making jewelry since March. Her colorful, fun bracelets and earrings caught the eyes of many shoppers on Saturday.


“I started planning and I started having ideas with these type of beads, the big ones, and then I moved on to some tiny little beads,” Camila said. “It was something I was really passionate about and I really loved it because I found out that I was patient, making the bracelets, when the beads would go all over the place. I’ve really enjoyed it.”


By April, she had decided to sell her jewelry, and she hopes to continue growing her business, Jewelry Love.


Karina Soto has built her business selling Pure Romance, and was happy for the opportunity to share her products.


“It actually does help a lot, especially when you know you’re not able to get out there – other people are really popular on social media and everything, that’s their way to get in out there – so to me, I like doing it more on face-on, type of thing.”


Soto said Pure Romance is the perfect gift for the holidays because their products are high quality and affordable.


“I will say, if you want to give somebody something, might as well make it something that it’s going to work for them and something that’s going to help them in the long run,” Soto said. “Most of our products have a background to it, our enhancements. There’s a lot of couples that sometimes are about to get a divorce because they can’t get together in the bedroom and everything, so our products help them to come together.”


She also sells CBD oil, moisturizers, massage oil, and soaps.


“Our CBD oil, so that helps me a lot with relaxation and all that, we have our miracle oil that is good for skin problems and helps a lot with eczema,” Soto said.


She hosts product parties in both English and Spanish. Those interested can reach her at 816-433-9441 or view products at pureromance.com/karinasoto.


Ortuno also had children’s characters, face painting, and other activities organized for kids by Confetti Rental & Entertainment.


“Balloons were full, as were the shopping bags,” said Bobbi Baker-Hughes, president of the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. “Mickey and Minnie were there, so there was some picture taking going on.”


Other budding business owners like Celia with IRacel KC, had the opportunity to share their businesses. Celia sells high quality apparel, stickers and accessories with original artwork promoting her Hispanic heritage, and is hoping to grow her business. Find her shop at iracelkc.com.

Carmen González, a Spanish speaking representative for Young Living Essential Oils, had a booth with oils, cleaning products, diffusers and much more. Those interested in supporting her small business can follow
@del_carmen_glez on Instagram.


“I think it was a great Shop Small Saturday in our neighborhood,” Baker-Hughes said. “Our small businesses that were located in the EGG did really, really well. The community turned out well for them, including Councilwoman Melissa Robinson, who gave some inspirational words to our Shop Small businesses.”


Baker-Hughes said the businesses on the Avenue, decorated with flags and balloons, were appreciative of the focus the Chamber put on them.


“There’s great opportunities here, make sure that our Third District economy is strong,” Third District Councilwoman Melissa Robinson said. “Our [Community Improvement District] in Northeast on Independence Avenue is doing everything… and I’m so excited to help our Northeast Chamber support local businesses.”


The Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce supports local businesses year round through networking opportunities, pop-ups and other resources. Find more information about the International Marketplace on Independence Avenue and beyond at nekcchamber.org.

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