Along with the electrifying concerts and inspiring seminars, the ESSENCE Festival is very much about the vendors. Whether you're in the market for art or seeking wellness information, the slew of vendors available to connect with Festival attendees is impressive. Here, we invited a selection of vendors, many who have participated in the ESSENCE Festival for years, to share about their appreciation for the event and how it benefits their business every year.
"This is my 15th year doing the Festival. You get to see an array of Black women. I've seen the Festival go from a few vendors in the Superdome to having some of the best people in the country showing their wares."
Adrienne Lockett of Adrienne Lockett Designs
"It's my third year and my biggest sales for the year. The promotion of my business is really good."
- Wil Terry of Bayou Soap Co.
"I've been here for 12 years. This is the only show I do for pure love. I get a chance to service the African-American community. I would come even if it was just for a hobby."
- Cathy Johnson of Cathy's Creations
"It feels like a community. Clients come back year after year. They know us and look for us at the event. It's a celebration of community, culture and art."
- Monnae Michaell of Jendayi Collection
"I like listening to people's comments on my work. I hope the Festival continues to be as great as it is. I will continue to come as long as I can."
- Joyce Lomax of Joyce Lomax Art
"We love it because we get to meet a whole new crowd. It's a mini vacation and we get to share some of our designs."
- Charlene Spence of Michelle New York
"The Festival has been really wonderful. I get to see what other vendors are doing. We are advertising and learning about other people."
- Leia Henderson of Sankofa Vision
"We're a non-profit and it's my first time doing it. It allows us to get exposure to a crowd that may not be our market."
- Jarlyne Johnson of SISTAWorks
"I love it. It gives me an opportunity to get mass exposure and have clients from all over the Southeast."
- Lydell Martin of The Art of Lydell Martin
"We've been doing the Festival for five years now and we wanted to do something for the community to spread the word about college preparedness."
- Arnika Jackson of UNCF (United Negro College Fund)