New weekly holiday pop-up market in Ypsi spotlights diverse local businesses

A new Ypsilanti pop-up market called Show Love Saturdays will host a rotating cast of food, clothing, and beauty vendors throughout the holiday season, while also providing some space for local nonprofits.

Show Love Saturdays is spearheaded by local comedian Gordon "Big" Dooley, who wanted to capitalize on the gift-giving season not just for his own business, but others in the community.

"I knew so many other businesses facing the same kind of problems as myself," Dooley says. "We wanted to have a centralized and affordable downtown location for vendors to come in and showcase their products."

Dooley operates Husky Life, a designer clothing brand specializing in sizes 1X-5X, but has mainly been selling clothes through his website or at comedy shows. He wanted to utilize space provided by Travis Willis at Ypsi Marketing and Print Company, 105 W. Michigan Ave., for his business while also highlighting other businesses.

"We want to highlight the types of businesses that you would normally see in downtown Ypsi," Dooley says. "We want to give as many businesses as we can the opportunity to sell, and encourage people to come out downtown to support them."

Show Love Saturdays kicked off Nov. 25 and is scheduled to run weekly through Dec. 23. But based on the pop-up's success so far, Dooley hopes to bring it back for more gift-shopping seasons such as Valentine's Day.

"We want to make sure the demand is still there, and we know right now people are wanting to shop locally for the season," Dooley says. "If it continues to go as it did last week, we'll do it as many times as the demand and need is there."

Show Love Saturdays is accepting new vendors each week with the goal of presenting "variety and consistency" in each week's offerings. Previous featured businesses and creators have included local author and comedian Angela Verges and Confections Factory bakery, as well as nonprofits like Our Community Reads encouraging shoppers to pick up free books to promote literacy.

Show Love Saturdays runs every Saturday until Dec. 23 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Ypsi Marketing and Print Company. Admission is free. For more information, visit shophuskylife.com. To inquire about vending opportunities, email showlovepopupshop@gmail.com or call (734) 485-8889.

"A lot of times we have to travel to support things, and this is an opportunity to stay and shop in your own backyard," Dooley says. "We're trying to unite people and businesses in the community during this holiday season, and this is our way to give back."

Rylee Barnsdale is a Michigan native and longtime Washtenaw County resident. She wants to use her journalistic experience from her time at Eastern Michigan University writing for the Eastern Echo to tell the stories of Washtenaw County residents that need to be heard.

Photo courtesy of Gordon "Big" Dooley.
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