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Meet Jessica Puppe of Vendorama California in Southeast LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Puppe.

Jessica, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I got started with Vendorama in October 2018, at least that’s when the idea became a reality. I had gone to the SELA Art Fest in the LA riverbed and fell in love with the local vendor world I was able to experience.

As I began connecting with these people on social media and meeting new people, I found that there was a need and want for more events in the area…. yeah, we have some already, but oftentimes they have their set group and they are the same businesses returning month after month and I had even been told by some small business owners that they had been rejected as to not create competition with either the organizers business or other popular/favorite business already participating in the events. These experiences, along with my desire to create community and bring people together, opened the door for “Vendorama!” a BIG event with opportunities for the newest of businesses, and the veterans of the pop-up world, to come together and offer their goods in an environment where the small business and their supporters (customers) are the stars! Vendorama is and has always been a place for businesses to get their goods, food, services, etc. in front of the people in their communities. We focus on the idea that spending your money locally with small businesses is a way to create an economic boost right in your city and that coming together in an inclusive, diverse and community-oriented environment is the only way to break those barriers and build bonds where boundaries have lived for years.

We have been going over a year now and the vendors who participate have become more than associates, they have created a network in which they learn from each other, support each other and to spread information around the local vendor community. We have had an amazing experience with all the customers that have supported us and the participating businesses by shopping, eating, playing our raffles and telling their friends and family about us. I consistently get feedback from shoppers who feel so welcome and enjoy the happy, fun-filled, joyous vibe that our event and participants exude because of the healthy and happy environment everyone has made an effort to create. I always tell our participants that this is OUR event – and the effort they put into their customer experience is evident of how much they believe in their ability to touch the community through their businesses. We’ve all come a long way and are enjoying our ever-changing journey with our community and each other!!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
For the most part, the event has been a pretty smooth venture. I would say the most challenging thing can be getting the word out! Advertising is a huge part of how we get our customers… and customer turnout is how we get our vendors to keep coming back… it can be expensive and/or time-consuming to advertise. As a one-woman rodeo running the event, as well as working a full-time job and helping out with my family’s local candy store, the demands of the event and trying to advertise like a “team” would be able to, can be overwhelming. I just try my best to keep on track with what I know I need to do and trust that the advertising effort we put out, along with that of our supporters and all of our participating businesses, will be successful in bringing out the people who love events like ours! Hoping your readers love our feature and come out to see for themselves!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Vendorama California – what should we know?
We are a monthly pop up shop event. Every 2nd Saturday of the month we have over 40 small business come out and set up their booths for a 5-hour “pop up marketplace” where they sell their handmade goods, baked goods, jewelry, accessories, services, delicious food, and much more! We also often have community organizations come out to share their current or ongoing mission statements and causes with the community as well as local family-oriented businesses like Macaroni Kid who oftentimes hosts our kids zone where the kiddos can hang out and play on our playground while their parents shop and enjoy meeting new friends and stocking up on cool gifts or fun finds for themselves. We regularly have a large group of businesses and we consciously create an environment where our vendors don’t have heavy competition in any one category of goods and the chance for sales is fair for each and every participant.

We are most proud of the friendly, inclusive and supportive environment that Vendorama is… everyone is welcome and everyone FEELS it – which is what is most important! We allow businesses of all sizes and all experience levels to participate and price our booths in a fair, low price (in comparison to other events) and we allow two businesses to share one booth space. This gives a chance to those who have had a rough start elsewhere or can’t afford an entire booth themselves. We pride ourselves in being for the people, not for profits. We want the profit part to trickle down to our vendors…. and the people part is our focus! We take the time to teach our vendors how to use social media if they need help, we share our resources and make ourselves available to help them succeed – even when it’s not related to our event. We want to make a difference and be a force in our community – fighting for inclusive opportunities and deep connections.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
The quality I feel is most important to our success is generosity. I truly believe if you give more than you take from any situation, you feed the fire that’s needed to succeed and you feel good doing it! Along with generosity – honesty and being real and sincere goes a long way. Being able to relate and empathize with others creates a connection that is paramount for a business like ours where you’re selling not only your products but yourself, to your customers, in the sense that the experience is much more personal than just buying from a big box store or online.

Pricing:

  • Vendor booths are currently $60 for a 10 ft x 10 ft space
  • FREE ENTRY TO EVENT
  • FREE PARKING (at OLPH School, across the street from event venue)

Contact Info:

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