Black Vendors Make Holiday Shopping Magical at Bedrock Christmas Markets

What’s the first thing you think about when it comes to Black holiday shopping?

The nostalgia, the cultural connectivity, the special boost of giving back to one of your own?

It’s all of the above reasons to shop Black – especially during Christmastime – especially for Dessaray Seay, owner of Bow-Aholic Bowtique, who creates high-quality handcrafted accessories for mommy and me.

essaray Seay, owner of Bow-Aholic Bowtique

Seay and several other Black businesses are bringing holiday cheer home as part of the Rocket Community Fund and Bedrock’s collaboration of the recent return of the Downtown Detroit Markets as well as other winter activities through Decked Out Detroit.

“The biggest thing I can say … is when you buy Black you support a family,” Seay said.

The Cadillac Lodge by Bea’s and other shops are participating in the holiday shopping market at Cadillac Square for the 1001 Winter Wonders and Decked Out Shopping Days.

Now in its fifth year, the Downtown Detroit Markets have supported 119 small businesses that generated nearly $5 million in overall sales. The Downtown Detroit Markets have seen 13 small businesses return for multiple seasons, and many have used the opportunity as a launching pad toward a brick-and-mortar storefront.

Located beside the Monroe Street Drive-In, the Downtown Detroit Markets features 18 local businesses, the majority of which are BIPOC or female-owned and Detroit-based. Local small businesses like Seay’s are the reason for the season — making Detroit’s robust retail scene, even more, engaging for residents, visitors from Southeast Michigan, and out-of-town travelers.

“The first thing that customers can expect is smiles,” Seay said, adding that as a mom of four her journey with postpartum depression inspired her to start her blossoming business. “What I want, at the end of the day, is a little girl [or maybe another mom] to leave with a smile.”

Seay added that her beautiful handmade bows and accessories are the perfect Christmas gift with a purpose.

“Not only [are] the dollars [staying] in our community but breaking generational curses – helping small businesses,” she said adding that Christmas is her favorite time of the year. “[It] puts me in a midframe of the wonders of the world — everything that the Lord has done reminds me that … we need to be light ourselves.”

“Entrepreneurship is a key part of Detroit’s history and its future. Our community prides itself on celebrating our own talent and at Bedrock, we are honored to work alongside innovative individuals and brands to bring Detroit families memorable experiences in their downtown,” said Nadia Sesay, Bedrock’s chief community growth and development officer.

New Millenium owner Jerome McMillan

New Millenium owner Jerome McMillan agrees. He told the Michigan Chronicle that New Millenium Books and Holiday Market at Campus Martius encourages customers to shop local to keep the money flowing in the local economy. McMillan added that his business offers multicultural books for children and adults, along with stocking stuffers – all made with genuine leather.

“A lot of Black kids can read and see stories about themselves… all of our stories are uplifting, positive and inspiring,” he said.

Preva Body beauty supply shop owner Scott Boateng

Preva Body beauty supply shop owner Scott Boateng told the Michigan Chronicle that his all-natural, vegan and organic products are handmade.

“All of my products focus on things that are healthy for your skin — not just smell good,” Boateng said, adding that his plant-based ingredients help people with sensitive skin and include traditional and CBD-based shea butter. “Our products, we use very little ingredients and we’re not going to compromise on ingredients or anything like that. We want it to be safe for everyone.”

Decked Out Detroit is a part of Bedrock’s ongoing effort to support Detroit small businesses and the community at large.

New this year, Decked Out Shopping Days will bring unique holiday programming events to Downtown retailers. Running now through Friday, December 24, more than 25 retailers will host holiday activations including deals, giveaways, live music, and more. Black-owned Detroit Man and Woman Collection, which specializes in Detroit-themed apparel and goods, are also available at the market.

A different downtown retailer will be featured every week, and a full calendar will be posted on

1001 Winter Wonders, a trip through downtown’s version of the North Pole is open now through Sunday, January 30. The activation will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. on Fridays and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Text the Halls has offers available via text. To subscribe, text “DETROIT” to 313-000 to opt-in to receive reminders and discounts on Decked Out Shopping Days and alerts.

Kristen Collins, the owner of custom interior design decorations company Abode Impressions

Kristen Collins, the owner of custom interior design decorations company Abode Impressions, told the Michigan Chronicle that her 14-month-old home décor line features hand-painted items varying from serving trays to coasters, wine stoppers and more.

“The whole intention or goal behind my products is you have a piece of functional home décor that also doubles as a piece of modern art for your space,” she said, adding that the holiday market is a great space to test out new products and some fan favorites.

“The whole purpose of the markets is to be able to test out your products in a retail setting — I definitely think I took full advantage of that,” Collins said.

Bea’s Detroit will be the operator of the Cadillac Lodge, an open-air, family-friendly gathering space right next to the Downtown Detroit Markets. This year, the Cadillac Lodge will host unique programming events throughout the week, including trivia nights, magician appearances, and more.

Hours of Operation:

Monday & Tuesday: CLOSED

Wednesday & Thursday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

The Downtown Detroit Markets and the Cadillac Lodge by Bea’s will be open to the public until Friday, December 31.

All visitors who make a purchase from a participating brick-and-mortar Bedrock retailer or restaurant will receive validation for two hours of complimentary parking at Bedrock-operated parking garages.

For additional information, visit













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