A holiday shopping tradition has returned to the Shaw neighborhood after a two-year break during COVID: On Saturday, a steady stream of loyal customers browsed two floors of unique artworks and designs from Black businesses in 15 different states.
“For 30 years we’ve been here at Shiloh Baptist Church at 9th and P Streets doing the BZB Shop Till You Drop and its 100,000 square feet of artisans and designers,” said D.C. resident Juanita “Busy Bee” Britton, organizer of the event.
More than 90 Black businesses are represented, many featuring one-of-a-kind designs in clothing, jewelry, artworks, handbags and more.
“I love coming to Washington, D.C. every year for the BZB art and fashion pop-up shop. It’s wonderful to bring my new collection and my new hat designs here,” said Evetta Petty, a milliner and owner of Harlem’s Heaven Hats in New York City.
The shopping bazaar takes place on two floors of the church’s Henry Gregory Family Life Center, and the event offers free valet parking in a neighborhood where parking is at a premium.
“I’ve been doing BZB for the last 15 years … the clientele that comes through here is awesome,” said Carolyn Wilbourn of Wilbourn Sisters Design of Los Angeles.
A model assisted Wilbourn in displaying her line of suits and separates.
“My clothes are Afrocentric with an international flair … they have the culture embodied in them because one size fits most … but they’re kind of with a European twist,” Wilbourn said. “Most of them come with hats.”
The shopping bazaar opened on Black Friday and the sales continued into Saturday. The BZB Shop till You Drop will be open every Saturday throughout December up until Christmas, with the addition of Friday, Dec. 23.
“Right up to Christmas Eve, we’ll be here,” Britton said.