New pop-up market helps Richmond small businesses bounce back


RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) – Starting Saturday, April 10, River City Festivals is partnering with the Richmond Flying Squirrels to put on a weekly pop-up market every Saturday at The Diamond.

Many small businesses are still trying to recover after COVID-19 pandemic closures and shutdowns.

Dozens of people walked around purchasing handmade products from local business owners at the pop-up market, open for five hours on Saturday.

Those business owners told 8News the market is an opportunity to help them bounce back from hardships they’ve faced during the pandemic.

River City Festivals CEO Bryan Sullivan said the pop-up market is the first large-scale market he’s been able to host since February of 2020.

Natalie Bullano was one of around 55 vendors at the market Saturday and has been able to make around 20 sales of her jewelry chains for face masks and 10 sales of handmade earrings.

A customer selects a piece of handmade jewelry from the Sorella Designs booth at a pop-up market in Richmond Saturday. (Photo: 8News Reporter Sabrina Shutters)

Due to the pandemic, she was laid off from her job as a Virginia representative at a large-scale accessories company, and although disappointed, she has now created her own business, Sorella Designs, to keep herself afloat.

“Participating in things like this gets your brand out there and you know, you get to interact with customers and I have a whole list of ideas that people walking by, you know, have just kind of came up with. So, it’s always a learning experience,” Bullano said.

River City Festivals has vendors scheduled for the pop-up market through May 29.

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