Virtual farmer’s market supports local, women-owned businesses

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Photo courtesy of Jefa Market

Jefa Market is a virtual marketplace to shop women owned local businesses in one place all from the comfort of your own home.

Alyson Rodriguez, Contributor

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, more stores are adapting to the new normal and moving their sales online. Businesses are looking for creative ways to adapt to social distancing rules, while staying afloat. Farmers markets are some of the businesses trying to adapt to this new way of life.  

What used to be an early morning weekend event for shopping fresh produce and homemade local goods, can now be done online from the comfort of one’s bed. 

One farmers market that is adapting virtually is the Jefa Market, a local nonprofit ran by Chicachat. Jefa Market is a virtual marketplace with over 20 different businesses owned by women.  

The main purpose of Chicachat is to advance women in social, entrepreneurial, and wellness positions. It is a safe networking space built by a community of women who support one another and provide friendship and mentorship.  

The mission of Chicachat is to serve female entrepreneurs and economic growth. It does this by hosting a networking event every month for its members, but due to coronavirus Jefa Market has moved online.  

“When our in-person event had to be put on hold due to the pandemic, we later decided to adapt and make it a virtual experience to do our part in social distancing and not take any risks,” said president of Chicachat, Zoë Gemoets, who is also a UTEP alumna. 

Chicachat helps businesses in the community through Jefa Market, while helping promote each other’s businesses. It uses a small vendor application to help businesses through fundraising, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone. 

Jefa Market offers a variety of products and services from local vendors, like clothing, art, photography, accessories, hand-made candles, bakeries and more. 

Some of the businesses featured include Bomb Beauty, Chuco Relic, De Lo Mio Masks, Sleepy Sloth Bakery, Stitched by Sela, Her Vision, Drips by Liv, Designs by A’ Diva and Mama Mama. Some of the vendors have websitesEtsy shops, or can be contacted through direct message on Instagram for people looking to purchase their products.  

“Chica Chat is simply the host for the marketplace, we don’t handle any transactions,” Gamoets said. When you’re on the Jefa Market and you find a vendor, you’d like to shop at, using the links provided will take you directly to where you can place your order, said Gemoets. 

The first virtual market ends Oct. 1, however, Chicachat is planning to host another Jefa Market in October. The application is available on the Chicachat’s website, both on the home page and on the Jefa Market page, for vendors interested in participating. 

For more information about Jefa Market and the other vendors, visit www.chichachat.org/jefa-market or follow Chicachat on Instagram and Twitter @letschicachat. 

Alyson Rodriguez may be reached at [email protected].