Local marketplace Frida Friday showcases diverse lineup of creatives

Michelle Facio, Life & Arts General Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared as part of the September 14 flipbook. 

As the sun sets on Austin, reggaeton starts to blare through the food truck park where local vendors sell aguas frescas, empanadas and tacos to excited customers. Across the way, tables decorate the lawn — each one with collections of handmade earrings, colorful canvases, art prints and displays of small bottles of natural oils, hand soaps or doormats. 

Throughout each month, Austin venues such as Lustre Pearl East, Central Machine Works, Cheer up Charlies, Meanwhile Brewing, Arbor Food Park and Veracruz All Natural host Frida Friday, a women-of-color centered marketplace and cultural event. For over four years, Frida Friday has provided Austin’s BIPOC creators an opportunity to come together to celebrate their communities and uplift each other’s voices through art, music and food. 

“(Frida Friday) morphed over time and expanded to supporting women of color, queer folks and BIPOC folks in Austin,” said Jasmin Porter, Frida Friday event production manager. “We’re trying to give a platform just for local vendors to have multiple spaces where they can showcase their work.”

Porter said vendors can apply to sell at Frida Friday on its website and check their Instagram (@fridafridayatx) for updates on events and marketplaces. Vendors can also sign up for the Frida Friday vendor email list on the official website. 

Nadia Ramon founded Dezynr, a small San Antonio-based polymer clay jewelry business, in July 2020. She said she wanted to showcase her work alongside other creatives, and she chose to start vending at Frida Friday because of the large presence of Latinas like herself.

“Every time I come to (an) event, as a Latina, I feel safe,” Ramon said. “I feel like there’s going to be another Latina right next to me. There’s going to be another woman of color right next to me with the same goals and the same mission.”

Ramon said Frida Friday helped her expand Dezynr, which just celebrated its one year anniversary, to areas outside of San Antonio. Though her business is based in San Antonio, Ramon said she familiarized herself with Austin small businesses through Frida Friday.

“I like to set up early (at Frida Friday) and do my rounds of meeting people and buying products whenever I can,” Ramon said. “(I) support small as well as buy small.”  

Roman Flores, co-owner of Que Rico T-Shirt Co., said his company started selling its T-shirts, hats, bandanas and pins at Frida Friday almost two years ago. Over the course of that time, Que Rico T-Shirt Co. has  created connections and celebrated fellow small businesses.

“It’s more like a party where you’ve gotten to know some of the vendors that do it all the time and new vendors so you get to celebrate, you get to share ideas, celebrate your products, connect with customers,” Flores said. “That’s why I feel like Frida Friday is more than a market, it’s like a celebration.”