The soul of the planet is calling us toward a collective, a point of unity, exchange and cooperative economics. The age of individual materialism is slowly morphing into alternative models of financial prosperity. The Sable Collective, an eclectic boutique in the northern part of Philadelphia embodies the tenets of Ujamaa (cooperative economics) by showcasing local artists and craftsmen, allowing a platform for profit sharing and mutual advertising.
I joined The Sable Collective for their Black Friday event this past week to take a firsthand look at this collective concept in action. The event was scheduled for 3-6, but as I departed at 7:20, the buzz in the space was still alive. In waves throughout the afternoon, countless shoppers, men and women from many ethnic backgrounds and class distinctions clamored about the store, picking out items for themselves as well as gifts for family and friends. Several patrons espoused a personal connection to the visionaries behind The Sable: Shanti Mayers and Syreeta Scott. The people did indeed come out strong. Denise James spoke intentionally about the location of the Collective, 3133 N 22 Street adjacent to Duafe Hair Salon near the corner of 22nd and Allegheny, stating that the boutique was a necessary beacon in the community, “A place where we can see reflections of ourselves.” Positive self-image seems to be a natural consequence of the work they are doing. Shayla Amenra, one of the featured jewelry makers says she started out making items that increased her own sense of pride and beauty, creating crowns and amulets out of copper, garnet and quartz. Samira Joji, an advocate for the Collective, brought a friend to the event because she believes adamantly in their mission.
Shanti Mayers admits one year in, The Sable Collective is not easy, likening the experience to birthing and raising a child. The disciplined gained and the lessons learned, though, make it all worth it. For Jewelry, house goods, soaps, apparel, hats, African cloth, bags, postcards, books and more, you must check out The Sable Collective. Sign up for updates at thesablecollective.com/. You will not be disappointed. Ashe