‘Small Business Sundays’ event aims to highlight Stockton vendors

Coordinators are preparing to host more than 35 local vendors in downtown Stockton for the second ‘Small Business Sundays’ event on Feb. 19.

STOCKTON, Calif. — A new event in Stockton is aiming to mix local pride and support for small businesses while bringing positive activities downtown.

For Alexis Jones, a Stockton native and the event’s main coordinator, “Small Business Sundays” are about more than sales.

“If you are a small business and you’re interested in allowing the community to meet you as a maker, and to see your work, we want to create the space to allow that to happen,” said Jones. “I’m not gifted in the artistic way, but to be able to create a hub where people can share that those who are gifted are skilled or competent enough just to show the community, that’s all I want to do.”

For five hours, 35 vendors set up shop at 235 San Joaquin St. to make sales, network and meet people in the community. It’s an opportunity Jones noticed Stockton was lacking, especially after the pandemic.

“I think it’s extremely important, especially with inviting the younger generations to be a part of a sense of community,” said Jones. “But also for any other age to see that humanity still exists, it is still okay to compliment somebody, to greet somebody.”

Jones says she drew inspiration to take on the event from community members and her partner who operates a small jewelry business.

“Seeing her hustle and her grind while keeping a full-time job, but still wanting the community to see her and see her work and be inspired too… If you have all these things going on, you have a passion, you can make the way, you can make the time — seeing that made me want to recreate a space,” said Jones. “It took somebody saying out loud, me imagining myself doing it, to get really excited.”

Weeks of preparing for the inaugural monthly small business showcase led to a room bustling with activity and information exchanging on Jan. 15 as Jones held her first event.

“It was more than exciting. Any smile, any business card exchange, any Instagram following that I saw a vendor get, it was like a small win for me as well,” said Jones. “A couple of vendors got some custom requests from people that would have never met them because of living in a different city or never coming across each other on social media, but coming to that event, them meeting each other, they now made a connection .”

With the first event now in the rearview mirror, preparations for the next one are already in full swing. Jones hopes to make the event a monthly staple downtown.

“My partner actually saw somebody she hadn’t seen since she was in middle school in Sacramento, California. And that all happened under the roof of this beautiful building in downtown Stockton,” said Jones. “If you’re willing to experience and get back out into life and just take your baby steps out there, come out to one of our events. I’m pretty sure you’d enjoy it.”

Jones is currently seeking vendors for the next Small Business Sundays event, scheduled for Feb. 19.

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