Sankofa Urban Market offers black-owned beauty products and personalized baskets

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Zina Adjei started Artz’s Creative Lookz at home in 1997 when she ran into the problem of freebies. She said she couldn’t find gifts she liked enough to give to friends and family. As a result, Adjei started making her own personalized gifts, which eventually led her to start her business.

Artz’s Creative Lookz is one of the participants in the Sankofa Urban Market, which Patrona Jones-Rowser established in 2017. The market, which Jones-Rowser says promotes black-owned businesses, is open weekly on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. pm at the Natur-Tyme Community Corner, located at 3160 Erie Boulevard E.

Jones-Rowser said it wanted to help expand the market by not limiting its availability to just the summer. As a result, Jones-Rowser has partnered with Natur-Tyme – which provides the Syracuse community with affordable vitamins, supplements, herbs and healthy foods – for the first time this year to open the market through May. .

Adjei participated this year in the first Sankofa urban market at Natur-Tyme with her two young daughters. She said the Sankofa Urban Market has helped Creative Lookz of Artz – which offers bespoke gift baskets, jewelry, novelties and resin items – by informing her of pop-up events and opportunities. frequent.

The market will return to Sankofa Park, its original location, for the summer and hopefully return to Natur-Tyme for the fall, said Taina Black, one of the market vendors.

Black is an American veteran and owner of Secrets of an Imperfect Goddess. Her company offers all-natural, versatile skin and hair care products such as oils, pomades, butters, lotions and more, she said. She learned how to make her own skin and hair care products from her mother, she said, who also inspired the store’s name.

“My mother, God bless her, died several years ago of kidney failure. And, to me, she was always an imperfect goddess. And the secrets of a flawed goddess – the secrets are you never see the actual scent that’s on the packaging,” Black said. “(Instead,) they are named after the different fruits of the spirit, so you will have self-control, faith, kindness, and things like that nature.”

After years of making her own natural products for herself and her children, who suffer from skin conditions such as psoriasis and contact dermatitis, Black said she felt motivated and inspired by her loved ones to start her business and expand it during the pandemic. She loves sharing her products to help people and promote health, she said.

“People forget that your skin is the largest organ in your body and it absorbs a lot of the stuff that we buy off the shelf (which) is highly carcinogenic,” Black said. “My own belief is that that’s where we get a lot of these different illnesses and diseases from, because we absorb things into our skin that go straight into our bloodstream, whereas if I have a product that can prevent part of that, why not share it?”

Linda Betts came to Sankofa Urban Market with her mother for the first time on March 19. But she has known Black as a colleague and friend for some time, she said. Betts endorsed Black as a tester of her products two years ago and said she has been a loyal customer ever since.

Betts said her favorite product so far was the pomade, which helped thicken and hydrate her hair. On Saturday, she bought one for her mom with an oil, and she said another favorite of hers is the soaking tub.


Many different vendors were present in the market last Saturday, including AfricaSyr, Ecodessa, Creative Lookz of Artz and Secrets of an Imperfect Goddess. Courtesy of Vincenzo Hid Arida Suarez

“You can also put them in a foot tub or a footbath,” Betts said. “When I was sick…the little satchel they came in she told me to put them in the shower on the floor and let the steam out first then come in which helped open up my system respiratory.

Adjei said the best part of attending the market was the strong sense of community and family.

“We are all one family and we support each other at the same time. I can have something that someone may need (or) I can also present to someone else and say, “Hey, that person will be there next week or whatever,” Adjei said. “We (give) sister love, brother love, but you want to see it, it’s very family oriented, (what) we’ve grown (to become).”

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