LocalShops1 is on a mission to boost the Tampa Bay economy. At the start of this pandemic Ester Venouziou launched a brand new online market, think like an Etsy or Amazon exclusively for Tampa Bay makers.
In the first month of operation, sales were close to $6,500. But the organization has loftier goals. To help, That’s So Tampa, along with I Love the Burg, have partnered with LocalShops1 to launch the Million Dollar Mission. Infusing this much money into the local economy is simple math. In short, we need 50,000 people to each spend $20 (or more) with their favorite local makers and small businesses on our marketplace.
Local organizations partner to raise local economy
We’re not alone in partnering up for the launch. Rob Sanchez of WannaGo St. Pete, The EDGE District, Deuces Live, City Council Member Brandi Gabbard, and St. Pete DNA are all involved to help lift up our local artists, bakers, makers and businesses.
“As an advocate for our small business community, I have always stood with the owners, artists and makers who are at the heart of why St Petersburg is such an amazing place,” St. Pete Councilmember Brandi J. Gabbard told ilovetheburg.com. “Now more than ever it is important that we come together as a community and support those who have shared of their time and their talents with us for so long. I hope that the community will join me in shopping the virtual marketplace and putting money in the hands of those who need it the most!”
The new online shopping site is designed help local businesses in these especially trying times — and all Tampa Bay-based artists, makers and independently owned small businesses may participate for FREE.
LocalShops1 is subsidizing costs to develop, maintain and promote the sprawling website. Payments go directly to the small business, and LocalShops1 is not taking any cut of profit for the time being.
Sweets and handmade goods feature on the market
Makers can list up to 5 products each on the website. Current participating businesses include Sticker Bundles by Moonlight Stickers, St. Pete Mugs by MudJoy Pottery, Necklaces by Kapfer Glass Studio, Decorate Your Own Cupcake Kits from JB’s Sweet Addiction, and Hot Sauce from the Saucy Queen.
“All the exposure from the online market was helpful for my business but also my mental state,” said Beth Miranda, owner of MudJoy Pottery. “And when you support local art/artists you are complimenting them…You are saying they are worth your money.” Artists are in the fabric of our regions DNA, and so integral to St. Pete’s exponential growth.
Here are a few items to inspire your shopping:
Browse the full selection
You can browse the entire selection of locally made items on buylocaltampabay.com.
Those interested in selling products on the site can inquire online.
LocalShops1 is behind some of the best food and entertainment events in the region.