First Made Here Market in the Everett neighborhood

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -Almost 30 vendors were set up in the Everett Neighborhood for the first Made Here Market. Most of the artists lived in the neighborhood, including two refugee women who said one Lincoln nonprofit helped them become entrepreneurs.

The event featured live music, food and local artists selling everything from hair clips to crocheted baby clothes.

“We’ve got pretty much anything you could want here,” said Allie Christianson, Organizer of the Event.

Christianson worked with a nonprofit that shut down a while back, but she still had it in her to give back to her community and create events bringing everyone together.

“We want to highlight the talent of our neighborhood. Some incredible makers live here and create here in the heart of Everett neighborhood,” said Christianson.

This event was the first completely grassroots market in Lincoln organized in part by nonprofit Echo Collective.

“Because this is a community driven event, we were able to raise the funds for them so that not one person was forced to pay taxes,” said Kelly Ross, Founder and Executive Director of Echo Collective. “That fuels our nonprofit mission.”

Their mission is to empower refugee and immigrant women through personal development opportunities and intercultural communications.

“It’s really important for us that we bring the woman that we serve and we create opportunities for them to create relationships with people who are living in their neighborhood,” Ross said.

Two refugees were set up at the block of 11th and B Streets with their designs and artwork on display.

“She said you can do this wood burning like a business, and I completed a class with her for “how to start your own business,” and I started my own business,” said Saja Kinani, an Iraqi refugee.

Kinani creates the designs on a computer, prints them, traces them onto wood and burns the design. She used to only make them for family and friends and she said without Echo Collective, she wouldn’t be selling them.

“Like they make my dream real,” said Kinani.

Allie Christianson plans on having more markets like in the community.

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