Spring is almost here and Susu has BIG NEWS blooming for this season! A great start in the neighborhood thus far!
Susu has been working with so many great community partners this year and the fruits of the labor have been beautifully rewarding! Here’s a look back at a short list of the partnerships we are thankful for:
Flashback 1: This time last year Susu Incubator completed a season of PopUp Markets with a host of incredible local creative and cultural businesses. We activated vacant spaces throughout Oak Cliff with our unique market style of hand crafted and brand vendors in cultural retail, education and literacy, health/wellness and vegan foods. This popup market model was an effort to prove the economic viability of our ‘low income’ neighborhood.
2015 marked the beginning of partnerships that pushed us forward toward the goal of property ownership and developing a healthy neighborhood business hub. In January 2015, Susu joined the Small Scale Developers group led by Dallas developer Monte Anderson. March 2015, Susu vendors gave a presentation to the developers group and answered the question: What would you do with 1000 SF?
The small business owners shared with the developers group their storefront dreams to house jewelry, apparel, home decor and culinary goods. The vendors talked about the value of space to sell and to teach their craft to others, especially the youth.
Flashback 2: In late 2014, Susu participated in the event Dallas Faces Race (DFR), sponsored in part by the Embrey Family Foundation (EFF) as a forum to address racial equity. This monumental event introduced Susu to the value of a business coach exemplified through a series of workshops led by Rha Goddess of Move of The Crowd . And, most importantly, the DFR sparked a dialogue between Susu and the Embrey Family Foundation about developing space in Susu’s target area of South Oak Cliff to launch a healthy business hub with an initial project focused on food and food security.
This partnership with the Embrey Family Foundation provided Susu with financial support and technical assistance partnerships with The Real Estate Council Community Fund to access alternate means to traditional loans and capital to fund the initial development project.
(BIG OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT IN APRIL 2016!!!)
Spring Forward: One of Susu’s key partnerships is working with our neighborhood association,’Vermont Village’, named by one of the residents and shared dreamer Mathis Perkins. We have joined the forces of several of the neighborhood associations to form a ‘super neighborhood association’ called Cedar Haven to work in Vermont Village. So far, we have planned a 4-part series of neighborhood events for the last Saturday of each month. We started in January 2016 with a tree planting project in which close to 30 oak trees went in the ground down Vermont Avenue. (Big shout out to Ryan Behring of Grow South Vista, the neighborhood leaders Mathis Perkins, Lester Houston, Jeff and Audrie Mills, Jan Taylor, Tisha Crear and Wana Smith)
Our second event in February brought over 100 volunteers and the Mayor to the neighborhood for a clean-up and to start the mural project.
We are on the move! Join us this Saturday March 26 for more neighborhood clean-up and Part 2 of the mural. And, stay tuned for our big spring market and resource event on April 30, 2016!
Susu is infinitely thankful to the local vendors that we have had the pleasure to popup market with! Susu is thankful to the neighborhood and community partners for the working collaborations that are building our community stronger! Thank you EFF and TREC Community Fund!
It takes a village.