With March being Women’s History Month, it’s a great time to celebrate women in a special way. Lucky for us, Austin has an answer for not just this month, but any time of the year you want to support women, shop local, join a community party, or participate in a multi-generational event.
Frida Friday ATX started as a monthly women’s market, offering the opportunity for local women of color makers to show and sell their work. With this founding mission, Frida Friday ATX developed a space that’s not just a market, but a creative, communal space. The women vendors give back, as well, with a local cause and/or community partner selected as a beneficiary for each event.
Frida Friday ATX celebrated its two-year birthday this month, with multiple events including a week-long popup shop at Magnolia Café on South Congress and a two-part birthday bash. The later included an evening market at Vortex and afternoon party at Gather Venues. When the event isn’t a special birthday bash, fun themes are chosen for each market such as “Frida and Friends,” “Bidi Bidi Balentines,” or “Caliente Vibes.”
The Beginning of Frida Friday ATX
Frida Friday ATX was born during South by Southwest 2017 with 14 vendors gathering to show their work at Kebabalicious.
Founder TK Tunchez was, and remains, inspired by a few ideas. First, that Austin women of color deserve a place to show their work. And second, that such a market could both narrow the wage gap and allow working class families to remain in their Austin communities.
With these big, yet simple, ideas and a home-grown, local approach, Tunchez stepped into a long lineage of Austinites searching for a locally-fueled solution to better our community.
As of this month, 50 vendors are showcasing during the market portion of the event. Events include music, raffles, crafts, and sometimes specific talks or showcases. At this month’s event, there was a sewing workshop, an empowerment workshop by the joyful cactus, exhibit on local history from Austin History Center, and crafts for the kids from Co.Lab Projects.
Each participant, from vendors and food supplies, to workshop and location, is related to the mission of Frida Friday ATX. The event has even grown to span more than just Fridays, with talks and exhibits sometimes happening on different days of the week or during multi-day markets.
What to Expect at the Event
Walking into a Frida Friday ATX event is a magical experience. As you approach, you know you’re in the right place by the music you hear coming from the venue. You might pause briefly to question whether you should be bringing something, like you would to a friend’s backyard gathering. Someone greets you at the door and lets you know about the beneficiary organization, any raffles, and the vendors for that day. Immediately, you’re enveloped by the spirit of the event, as you’re surrounded by people doing their craft, from painting, to DJing, to braiding hair.
As you walk around, the vendors are friendly and engaged, happy to talk about their items, inspiration, local events, or whatever else may come to mind. Each time I’ve attended, it’s been with young children. The vendors have all taken the time to explain their crafts to the young audience.
Frida Friday ATX includes food and drink from local vendors. As you eat, you might take pictures, help your littles do a craft, or shop and socialize with the other patrons. At the December 2018 event, I took three generations of my family, who all participated in their own way. The kids made bookmark crafts with ojitos de pulga, a local up-cycler. We ate vegan tamales from Cool Beans and then took pictures in the photo booths. After the event, we stayed and watched a movie together.
In true neighborhood party fashion, you’re surprised when the music stops. You might think, “It’s over? Didn’t we just get here?” But then you understand that it’s really time to go when people start loading out and the lights come on. It’s then the feeling of immense pride descends: you got the coveted invite to this party. Perhaps in reviewing the experience, you realize these are the events where community is made, and you smile and make a note for the next gathering.
Join In Next Time
The next Frida Friday ATX will be on (Saturday) April 13, 2019. To stay up to date on events or even apply to be a vendor, visit the Frida Friday ATX website or join the Frida Friday ATX Facebook group. Vendor, musical guest, and workshop announcements are updated regularly on Facebook.
Events are always free and open to the public with children, strollers, and pets welcome. Frida Friday ATX strives to be as accessible and welcoming as possible to all.
@theAustinot wants to know:
What are you looking forward to at the next Frida Friday ATX?