Shoppers looking for unique gifts, and aspiring entrepreneurs who want to learn about free business training, can attend the inaugural Shop Start:ME Market on Sept. 29 in Clarkston.
Eleven businesses groomed by Start:ME, an intensive 14-session business training program will showcase their businesses. They include businesses in fashion, arts and crafts, skin and hair care products, handcrafted jewelry, clothing, accessories, catering, cooking and handmade housewares.
Start:ME, connects entrepreneurs to knowledge, skilled mentorship, networks and early-stage capital necessary to build and grow businesses. The sessions explore business planning, accounting, legal structures, marketing and storytelling, understanding customers and accessing finances.
Since its inception in 2013, Start:ME has supported more than 150 local businesses and awarded nearly 40 capital investments. It engages more than 75 volunteer mentors with significant professional and/or entrepreneurial experience to provide critical support for entrepreneurs participating in the program.
Organizers say the market, which takes place 9 a.m. to noon at Refugee Coffee, 4170 Ponce de Leon Ave., will feature alumni from all three Start:ME communities – East Lake, Clarkston, and Southside Atlanta.
The businesses that will showcase their products include:
- Sunavworld - Arts and crafts made by women from Nepal
- Johari Africa - Ethnocentric, ecofriendly handcrafted jewelry
- Rochelle Porter Design - Home decor and fashion textiles
- Frey’s Handcraft - Ethiopian art, clothing and accessories
- Suryana Cuisine - Syrian catering company
- Kathmandu Chew - Natural dog chews
- Arbitrary Living - Vintage, handmade housewares
- SHWAXX - Professional grooming and handcrafted products
- Allergy Friendly Vegetarian - Dry baking mixes, baked goods, consulting services for people with common food allergies
- Carla’s Boutik - Fashion, art and beauty products from around the globe
- Fruity Ice Treats - Mobile dessert catering focusing on Italian ice
Applications for the upcoming Start:ME session will open that day, and visitors will also get information about the organization and how to apply.