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Second chance creates new opportunity for small businesses and local artisans

<i>WJZ</i><br/>The Second Chance Inc. Warehouse in Baltimore
WJZ
WJZ
The Second Chance Inc. Warehouse in Baltimore

By WJZ Staff

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    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Second Chance Inc. is making good use of the extra space in its 250,000-square-foot retail warehouse.

The Baltimore non-profit corporation, which is known for selling reclaimed materials while providing job training to those that may have trouble finding employment, will be offering a section of its warehouse to local small businesses and organizations so that they can get more exposure.

“It’s just to cement the idea of community and community support especially during these difficult times,” said Chris DerDerian with Second Chance Inc.

They call it their Community Spotlight festival. Each month will have a theme and with February being Black History Month, it will feature Baltimore-based black artisans, business owners, and community organizations.

“Any visibility like Second Chance is giving us—like your station is giving us—is greatly appreciated and necessary,” Akos Sunday, the primary designer with Regal Clothes, said.

Sunday is set up just a few booths away from Black Women Build-Baltimore, a homeownership and wealth-building initiative that trains Black women in carpentry, electrical, and plumbing.

“This is great, great exposure for us because we are relatively new so we want to see more Black women learn about what we do and apply,” Tonika Garibaldi, with Black Women Build, said.

Nina Ross is taking advantage of the festival to show off her custom cookie company, Nina’s Cookies Explosion.

“It’s really important to show local businesses because I think people want to support them more, they just don’t know where to find them,” Ross said.

In total there are nine companies featured in this month’s festival, highlighting people and organizations that make Baltimore great.

Here is a list of the artisans and business owners showcasing their products at the warehouse this month:

Afrothreads

We created Afrothreads in order to preserve traditional African Textile Art, promote creativity, and increase Black ownership within the textile and fashion industry. We also aim to spread awareness about fast fashion, textile waste, and cultural exploitation.

BYKE Collective

The BYKE Collective is a youth-enrichment program dedicated to personal and professional development through learning bicycle mechanics, practicing safe ridership, and building community. BYKE is black-led and youth-centered to increase access to bike maintenance and youth employment for Baltimore City youth residents.

Black Women Build-Baltimore

Black Women Build-Baltimore was founded in 2017 by Shelley Halstead, who combined a law degree, skills and experience as a master carpenter, and a passion for economic and social justice. A homeownership and wealth-building initiative, Black Women Build-Baltimore trains black women in carpentry, electrical work, and plumbing, as they restore vacant and deteriorated houses and are helped to buy them. The organization offers its holistic training program to capable women who are ready for change and would not otherwise have the opportunity.

Ahyji Creates

I am Ahyji, an artist based in Baltimore who focuses on illustration. I’ve been drawing and creating since I can remember. It’s my purpose, without a doubt. Ashytj Creates is where I share some of that purpose with you as I grow as an artist and creator. My work is fun and playful, capturing the essence of everyday people the way I see them, regardless of what’s palatable for the general public. I hope that my work helps us all see a little bit of ourselves in each other despite our differences.

Regal Clothes

Regal Clothes is a Baltimore-based fashion brand that believes in the transformative power of fashion. We use the vibrant Ankara tribal fabrics of West Africa to create unique clothing and accessories. I was raised with one foot in Africa and one foot in the West, the memories of my diverse childhood are strongly reflected in the fashions. The Regal Clothes Collection is a representation of my vibrant worlds coming together. Our mission is to reconnect culture and self-awareness through fashion.

Drama MaMa Bookshop

The Drama MaMa Bookshop is a stationery manufacturing company that promotes mental and emotional wellness through the art of journaling, bookbinding and creative writing. Our mission is to create a safe space for people to express themselves authentically and to map out how they will enact change in the world within and around them. Creating a safe space for authenticity is what we do and the mission behind each journal we bind.

Nina’s Cookie Explosion

Nina’s Cookie Explosion is a Black Woman-owned Baltimore-based business that has a big emphasis on helping the community. At Nina’s Cookie explosion, you can express your creativity by mixing and matching any dough and topping to make the perfect cookie for you! Cookies and cookie dough are always made in small made-to-order batches.

It’s Major Creations

It’s Major Creations Apparel was created to express our pride in being HBCU alumnus. With each design created, our continued mission is to provide quality apparel that highlights African American culture, expressions, and experiences.

Taylor Made Enterprises

Mission and logo to come.

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