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Friday, May 24, 2024

Big Big Swap Meet brings small businesses to locals

Heartwood Soundstage welcomed small businesses and vendors for a day of buying, selling and trading.

<p>The Big Big Swap Meet took place at Heartwood Soundstage Sept. 19.</p><p></p>

The Big Big Swap Meet took place at Heartwood Soundstage Sept. 19.

If you’re looking for another community market with everything from vintage clothes to fresh-baked pumpkin spice cookies, look no further. 

The Big Big Swap Meet, a Gainesville collective that has been allowing vendors and businesses to buy, sell and trade since 2010. These vendors specialize in a plethora of businesses that include vintage fashion, bakeries, and other local art. They returned to Heartwood Soundstage Sept. 19 to introduce locals to the many small businesses that Gainesville has to offer, showcasing a variety of local vendors and small businesses. 

Located at 619 S Main St., Heartwood Soundstage is a smaller vendor space than other local venues like 4th Avenue Food Park. For this reason, attendees had more time to look at vintage clothes and handmade earrings and get to know the business owners of bakeries like Doughboy Desserts and Cookie Riot.

“This is my first pop-up here and we’ve had a pretty solid turnout so far,” said Zachary Sasportas, 23, baker and owner of Doughboy Desserts. “Everyone is selling and doing a lot of cool things out here.” 

Doughboy Desserts has only done delivery so far, but Sasportas said after doing the Big Big Swap Meet, they plan on doing more pop-ups. 

Tomi Adesogan began selling her earrings with an online store, but she’s since started attending   in-person pop-ups. Adesogan, a 21-year-old UF health education behavior senior,founded her business, EarringsbyTomi in May 2020. 

Now, Adesogan has started to do more pop-ups.  She said that Big Big Swap Meet has given her another opportunity to meet the Gainesville community, which has helped her business become successful. 

“I think it’s a great way to meet people in our community and also showcase our [the vendors] talents that are hard to display in other ways,” Adesogan said. “I also like getting to connect with the community, whether that be through donations or interacting with others.” 

When the funds are available, Adesogan said she likes to take money from her business and give it back to the community. One of the ways that she does this is by donating. That’s why it’s important for her to sell at venues like Big Big Swap Meet — she said it helps her to get her name out there and build her community. 

It was Adesogan’s first time at Big Big Swap Meet, an event she said was smaller than the other venues she’s attended for pop-ups.

“I like that because I get to have more intentional conversations,” Adesogan said. 

After a year of mostly online business, events like Big Big Swap Meet gives vendors a chance to meet customers in person, along with  the opportunity to showcase their skills and build a community surrounding their work.. They also help the Gainesville community support small and local businesses, and they allow patrons to have more intimate conversations with the vendors. 

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For Big Big Swap Meet, they’re not stopping here. They plan on having future markets like the one they had on Sunday. 

Their next event, “The Big Big Spooky Swap Meet,” will be held on Oct. 14 and will feature more local vendors and small businesses. 

Contact Anushka at Follow her on Twitter @anushkadak

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Anushka Dakshit

Anushka Dakshit is a fourth-year journalism and women’s studies major and the general reporter on the University desk of The Alligator. She started out as an arts and culture reporter at The Avenue and hopes to pursue arts and culture reporting and print magazine journalism in her career. Along with The Alligator, she is one of the Print Editorial Directors of Rowdy Magazine. In her free time, she likes to listen to old Bollywood music, read and obsess over other writers’ processes whenever she has no idea what she’s doing (which is often). 

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