As African Americans continue to dominate the craft market in the United States, a local craft store is bringing the craft to the neighborhood.
The African Craft Store at Pemberton in South Baltimore opened last week.
“This is our chance to bring this amazing African American tradition to the community and to our community,” owner Mary Ann Robinson told ABC News.
Robinson, who said she came to the U.S. when she was 14, said she was inspired to open the store after hearing about a “growing trend of people moving to Baltimore from other cities to be able to be a part of the craft community.”
“I’m looking forward to helping bring this community to a level that is not just a black thing, but a black experience,” Robinson said.
The African Craft store, which opened last Thursday, sells African American-themed items from African artisans to traditional African crafts.
“It’s not just African art, it’s the African American art,” Robinson told reporters.
“We wanted to bring the African spirit to the market,” she said.
“And we wanted to do it in a place that is authentic to the African people who have been here for generations.”
The African crafts shop is one of many African American businesses that have sprung up in recent years in Baltimore, including a clothing store, a beauty salon and a dry cleaning store.
African American business owners say they want to help African Americans stay in the community, but they also want to provide a cultural outlet for the African Americans that live there.
“I think it’s important that we make sure we bring something to the table, that we don’t just bring the products but also the people that are behind it,” Robinson added.