Roc-A-Natural hosts annual Small Business Saturday in a cozy backyard: “We are small businesses without walls”

Staten Island, NY – Dozens of people stopped by a Small Business Saturday Mini Flea Market hosted by Rock-A-Natural, where three pop-up shops were set up in a cozy backyard in Clifton.

“The reason why I’m doing this is because we are a small business without walls. We don’t have brick and mortar and we can be overlooked, but I’m here to show you that we have quality products.” , “said Dorcas G. Meyers, founder of Roc-a-Natural.

NWS Small Business Saturday

Dorcas G. Meyers packs Roc-A-Natural products for a customer. (Staten Island Advance/Priya Shahi)Priya Shahi

For the past four years, Meyers has opened the doors of his home to numerous small business owners for an annual weekend long event: “Small Business Saturday” and “Super Savings Sunday”. She sets up her own shop in her backyard with other vendors, where friends and families are welcome to stop by and shop.

Today, Meyers was selling afrocentric fabrics, sea-moss, and natural oils for skincare—all products from her Roc-A-Natural business, which she says is dedicated to promoting a natural and healthy lifestyle. There is also a movement for

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NWS Small Business Saturday

Roc-A-Natural’s skin care products were featured at the Small Business Saturday event on November 26, 2022. (Staten Island Advance/Priya Shahi)Priya Shahi

“We want to make sure to promote natural products. I don’t want to use any chemicals that could make us sick in the long run,” Meyers said.

Using products like aloe vera, grape seed oil, turmeric, vitamin E, ginger, and more, Meyers stresses the importance of using the proper nutrition from nature in her products.

NWS Small Business Saturday

Roc-A-Natural’s Sea-Moss products featured at the Small Business Saturday event on November 26, 2022. (Staten Island Advance/Priya Shahi)Priya Shahi

Pop-up Shops:

youngest seller on the market

NWS Small Business Saturday

Lowell Harris, 16, is the creator of UniquelyMebylove and the youngest vendor at the Small Business Saturday event on November 26, 2022. (Staten Island Advance/Priya Shahi)Priya Shahi

The youngest seller at today’s flea-market, 16-year-old Lowell Harris, is the creator of the beaded jewelry business Uniquelymebylove. She started making bright, vibrant bracelets just five months ago.

“I love making jewelry and I love wearing jewelry, and I think that looks a lot like you,” Harris said.

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NWS Small Business Saturday

Uniquelymibylove bracelets were displayed at the Small Business Saturday event on November 26, 2022. (Staten Island Advance/Priya Shahi)Priya Shahi

Harris started selling her jewelry this month and a number of people at her school – Curtis High School – are buying her jewelry, some even asking for costume designs. She has sold over 50 bracelets till date and is planning to expand her business online.

“I’m trying to build a website, but I’m waiting to get a laptop and printer,” Harris said.

Her father, Felix Harris, is excited because opening the pop-up shop today is a “big step” for her.

“Especially with what COVID showed us and how many people are out of work, we need to teach our youth about small businesses,” Felix Harris said. “Passionately, we have to start investing in ourselves because we all have talent and it is in us… if you want to generate capital on your own.”

Afrocentric decor by V Dazzle Designs

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NWS Small Business Saturday

Felix Harris buys a gift from Valerie Dudley’s small business, V. Dazzle Designs. (Staten Island Advance/Priya Shahi)Priya Shahi

Valerie Dudley, owner of V. Dazzle Designs, creates Afrocentric decorations on mugs, bookmarks, wine glasses, wine bags, and more. Selling her products mostly through an online store, Etsy, and through word of mouth, setting up a pop-up shop is something she enjoys. She has participated in the Mayor’s Small Business Saturday event for a few years now.

“I love coming here because it’s a nice, small environment, we get some foot traffic, and it’s an opportunity for people to learn about my business,” Dudley said.

Much of Dudley’s product designs can be attributed to his love of rhyming-stone and glitter.

NWS Small Business Saturday

Mugs by V. Dazzle Designs featured at the Small Business Saturday event on November 26, 2022. (Staten Island Advance / Priya Shahi)Priya Shahi

“I’ve always loved crafting. I’ve always loved decorating. And I’ve always loved bling. I want to gift something unique,” she said.

independent beauty consultant

NWS Small Business Saturday

Barbara Riffel, a freelance beauty consultant for Mary Kate, sets up shop at the Small Business Saturday event on Nov. 26, 2022. (Staten Island Advance / Priya Shahi)Priya Shahi

Barbara Reiffel, an independent beauty consultant, was selling Mary Kate cosmetic and personal care products at a flea market.

Raffaele receives gifts every three months as well as 50 percent of all sales made for the company, but making new friends and gaining confidence in her abilities as a business woman is what she says keeps her going. What she treasures most about her part-time job is this.

“It empowers me and it’s also motivating. They provide us with classes that show us different ways to sell and they give us creative control. I get to watch people make baskets and, really, for me , it’s a way of working on myself as a person,” Reiffel said. “You have to trust yourself. I learned how to be a little more assertive.

Raffel says she hopes to use the expertise she’s learned from being an independent beauty consultant to help build up other areas of her life, especially her homeland of Liberia.

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