Black Beauty: San Diego's Melanin Made Marketplace Celebrates Black Artists, Businesses

NBC Universal, Inc.

A new boutique with the goal of enriching the Black community has opened in the College area.

The Melanin Made marketplace, which was designed to support products from people of color, is located on El Cajon Boulevard between 67th and 68th streets, and features work from local designers and artists, everything from jewelry to clothing to art objects to health and beauty products to ball caps -- even a chipotle rub. And don't forget to pick up some of the shop's own Melanin Made swag while you're there.

"This store, we are supporting Black-owned companies, so you'll find things from designers, crafters, artists -- we have a lady in here right now who makes spices -- so it's just more of supporting the Black community and keeping the money to circulate in within our community much longer," said Melanin Made co-owner Min Vanta.

The motivation behind the business was the year 2020, which motivated them to create a positive space that also improves and educates the community, the owners Kandise Thompson and Vanta told NBC 7.

"2020 just threw some crazy stuff at us –- and just woke us up a little bit," Vanta said. "It just brought us together, and now we’re trying to focus more on each other and our community, and just strengthen us."

Melanin Made, which had its grand opening on Saturday, is open from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. on weekdays, except Mondays, when it's closed. The shop is open on weekends abut opens up an hour later.

"Money only circulates only six hours in the black community so we want to try to keep that circulating more, like, at least a day, more, and having more options for everybody to come to a one-stop shop and have an experience here," Thompson said.

Vanta said that they expected to offer items from bigger companies in the future so that could carry some essential items that would allow them "to truly be that one-stop shop where you can find all your needs."

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