EAST WENATCHEE — More than 20 small businesses will set up shop at Annie’s Fun Farm in East Wenatchee next weekend, offering everything from sweet treats and crafts to boutique clothing.
It’s the latest Central Washington She Se Puede Pop Up event organized by a group of women looking to encourage and support female entrepreneurship. Previous events have been held in Quincy, Ephrata and Moses Lake. A pop up also was held in late July in the parking lot at La Mexicana Super Market in Wenatchee. They also were invited to participate at the Grant County Fair.
Baneza Uvalle is one of the Wenatchee-area organizers. Her business, Que Bonita, is a “make-it-at-home michelada cup kit,” with a mobile cocktail service in the planning stages.
She, like many of the other organizers and participants, started her business during the COVID lockdowns.
The idea for the pop-up events, she said, came from Lydia Pearson of Spokane, owner of La Pica Chica, a candy company with outlets in Quincy and Spokane. She had the idea for an all-female pop up after seeing many pop-up events starting to emerge in California. The Spanish name translates in English to “She Can Do It.”
Pearson teamed up with a Quincy restaurant, Andaluz, to bring the first-ever pop-up event to the area. Other organizers include Karen Vazquez of Ephrata and Alexandra Hipolito and Breanna Verduzco from Moses Lake.
“We are all stay-at-home moms and we all agree it has been a challenge to balance work, home and our own businesses,” Uvalle said. “We each have our own duties, but work together over Zoom meetings to plan out an event. Planning starts with connecting with other businesses to host our events. We then figure out how many vendors will fit. We work on announcements to search for vendors, create flyers to advertise. We work with local businesses for props such as balloons, music and more.”
The hope, she said, is to organize more events this fall — in October and November.
“We are also currently looking for sponsors for a big event we have planned for December in Quincy,” she said. “Our goal down the road is reaching out to different cities all over Washington.”
Longer-term, she said, wholesale production and retail storefronts are being considered, which would help grow their businesses outside social media.
They are keeping focused on the main goal, she said.
“We hope to empower as many female small businesses as we can and give them an opportunity to take their small businesses to another level,” she said. “We hope to connect with local community groups and bring more awareness and learning opportunities to other females wanting to start their own businesses.”