Indie Market Creates Cultural Shopping Experience

A woman sits at an exhibit stall in a market

By Lainey Elliot

Lainey Elliot is a student at Kennesaw State University

Multiple vendors set up at the Indie Market to show off their handmade products. From natural body butters, to lipgloss, to crocheted hats, every vendor had something unique for sale. This market creates a welcoming community for small businesses to show off what they have created and to learn from others.

“I am from Kenya and kids would tease me and call me Kastone which means small stone, so then I thought I would make it my business name to show them up,” Kamawe said.

Wacera Kamawe studied Respiratory Therapy with a minor in Polysomnography from the University of Alabama Birmingham. In the 14 years of her profession she found that she had many side talents like holistic healing. She had a hard time finding products that didn’t irritate her skin, so the conscious efforts of finding extremely natural products is what kick started her career with Kastone Beauty.

Kamawe sells natural body butters, oils, mists, lip balms, and lip scrubs. She explained the process behind the scents involved and discussed what products she used. She typically sets up shop here at the food hall and many festivals with two to three pop-up shops a week.

“I don’t use fragrances because they are a skin irritant, so I use essential oils, dry herbs, and shea butter.”

Fania Parandi started her business called SarfariJoy about four years ago. She creates handmade accessories for adults and kids, but specializes in knitted hats. Parandi said. Her hand knitted beanies have been her best seller throughout the years.

“Some days I want to make a hat and some days I want to knit because I just enjoy everything,” Parandi said.

Parandi just recently started hand knitting plush animals. She said it only takes about 15 – 20 minutes to make each animal. She usually sets up her pop-up shops at bigger markets in Virginia Highlands, but enjoys the Atlanta area the most because of the diverse culture and community.

Precious Frazier started her business RedLipTherapy four years ago. She creates and sells lipsticks, lip glosses, lip scrub, along with body and facial care. She has multiple shades of red, but RedLipTherapy is known for their bright and bold colors.

“It started out as an online movement where I was encouraging people to start wearing red lipstick again,” Frazier said.

Frazier makes each product herself with clean ingredients. She avoids using harsh fragrances that cause the lips to dry out. Currently her best-selling product is her new color changing lip stain. This lip stain has a blue tint that turns to a shade of bright pink when applied. She thoroughly enjoys the Atlanta area, so she sets up her shop at the food hall often. She enjoys the large number of different types of people that she connects with while sharing her business and products. Frazier has a clear mission with RedLipTherapy

“I want to encourage Black women to feel confident in bright colored lipstick,” she said.