October 4, 2022 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

New Plantiitas Market Holds Original Values, Becomes a Marketplace for LGBTQ, Immigrant and Disabled Vendors

Former Plantiitas shop in Belmont Heights which will house over 20 local vendors from underrepresented communities. 

By Susan Payne

In under two years, a DIY plant marketplace built inside of a Long Beach garage will have become a beloved brick and mortar business and expand to meet the demand of its market. 

The self-proclaimed “plant daddies,” Anthony Diaz and Kevin Alcaraz opened the Plantiitas Market located at the former Plantiitas shop in Belmont Heights which will house over 20 local vendors from underrepresented communities. 

“We’re trying to share our platform with them basically,” Plantiitas co-owner Diaz told the Signal Tribune. “We know it’s hard to start a business. There’s so much that goes into it that even we didn’t realize when we were getting started.”

The idea has been harboring for more than a year, Diaz said. During this process, Diaz said the two have been paying the lease on both locations, along with added fees and labor to turn the old storefront into a community-friendly layout, according to the Signal Tribune. 

Diaz said the need for a space such as this become apparent as they have been building relationships with many LGBTQ and Latinx vendors and residents on their Fourth Street location. 

“We poured so much time, effort and money for that space that we thought it would be wise for us to continue building and growing because we’ve had a successful shop this whole time,” Diaz said. “We were built on that corner essentially.”

The new marketplace will provide a permanent location for LGBTQ+, immigrant, disabled and other minority-owned vendors. In the coming months, Diaz said the space will also be used by vendors to host workshops, events and meetings with clients. 

“There’s so many intersectional barriers and challenges and a lot of people like us I don’t think feel seen on Retro Row right now. So I think things like that keep us motivated to know there are people who are being inspired, people whose businesses are being changed for the better,” Diaz said, holding back tears. “There’s a lot of people who are being touched by what we’re doing. And that keeps us going.”

More than 20 vendors of Plantiitas met in July for an open house to discuss plans for the marketplace, which eventually turned into a mission to lock down the location and start collaborations. 

“So my husband and I have been — we’re exhausted and we’re really tired. It feels like we haven’t had a day off in quite some time,” Diaz said. “As a matter of fact, we haven’t and we’re having to balance all of the work and the demands that we have coming our way, while still kind of maintaining our mental, physical and emotional health. And it’s a lot it’s a lot to juggle. It’s not easy.”

One vendor, Beau Beatrix, a queer, transgender Black and Filipino, neurodivergent and disabled artist, attended the initial July meeting. Beatrix became disabled after a work injury and couldn’t leave his home for more than a year due to being immunocompromised. From his pain, Beatrix started Owie Artwork, a hypoallergenic and size-inclusive jewelry business.

“I started making my own jewelry and then made things to give to my partner,” Beatrix said. “And then at some point, something clicked, and I was like I could sell this kind of thing. I could maybe find a way to support myself.”

Beatrix is one of the vendors who will get a chance at having a brick-and-mortar location through the marketplace. 

“I never expected to have physical space,” Beatrix said. “There’s something really special about a collective of artists being given equal footing, and a physical location to sell things. In theory, if it was successful, I feel like other spaces could follow the same model.”

Plantiitas Market hours are Wednesdays through Fridays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Vendor applications can be found here.

in NEWS
Related Posts

Trans Chorus of LA Lifts Voices High in Upcoming Three-Act Show

September 30, 2022

September 30, 2022

The Trans Chorus of Los Angeles is lifting its voice to distill the journey of trans and nonbinary people into...

Historic Gay Sex Bathhouse Building in Downtown LA Rumored to Close Soon

September 30, 2022

September 30, 2022

By Susan Payne A historic sex bathhouse catering to gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men, currently housing...

Anti-LGBTQ Temecula Councilmember Proposes Abortion Ban

September 30, 2022

September 30, 2022

By Susan Payne During a September City Council meeting, a known anti-LGBT councilmember proposed a resolution to attempt to ban...

Liberation Café Hosts Anniversary Celebration, in-Person Dining After Two-Year Pandemic Restrictions

September 22, 2022

September 22, 2022

By Susan Payne Two years after opening, the plastic partitions that separated employees and customers inside of Liberation Coffee House...

Long Beach Police Arrest Possible Suspect in Stabbing Death Outside of a Popular Gay Bar

September 22, 2022

September 22, 2022

By Susan Payne Long Beach Police have arrested a man in connection to a murder outside of Mineshaft gay bar...

Santa Monica Hotel Hosting Monthly Drag Brunch

September 22, 2022

September 22, 2022

Drag Me to Brunch at Lowes Santa Monica Beach Hotel on the third Sunday of every month By Dolores Quintana...

Famous Italian Singer Zucchero to Play Beverly Hills Theatre on Sept. 30

September 21, 2022

September 21, 2022

Zucchero will play at Beverly Hills’ Saban Theatre, one of several American stops on his World Wide Tour  By Susan...

Santa Monica Pride History: Public Panics Over Perceived Homosexuality at Muscle Beach

September 16, 2022

September 16, 2022

By Susan Payne In a scholarly article called “Muscle Beach prompted both fascination and anxiety,” Historian Elsa Devienne studies Santa...

LAUSD Releases Pride Calendar That Helps Educators Support LGBTQ+ Students

September 15, 2022

September 15, 2022

By Susan Payne  The Los Angeles Unified School District is giving schools and teachers a monthly calendar that promotes and...

Respect Los Angeles Hails JoJo Siwa as ‘Gamechanger for LGBTQ Advocacy’

September 15, 2022

September 15, 2022

By Susan Payne Come October, JoJo Siwa will be honored as a gamechanger at the upcoming GLSEN Respect Log Angeles...

West Hollywood Launches Initiative to Prevent Drink Spiking

September 15, 2022

September 15, 2022

By Susan Payne Drink spiking at bars and restaurant is a growing problem. To curb that problem, the city of...

California Candidate for Congress Seeks to Be First Transgender, Nonbinary Member

September 8, 2022

September 8, 2022

By Susan Payne More than 100 LGBTQ+ people have run or are currently running for Congress this year, including 13...

WeHo Gay Bar ‘The Or’ is Opening Soon, Accepting Applications

September 8, 2022

September 8, 2022

Bar owner foresees ‘cool, 1970s, ‘80s trashy cocaine chic’ vibes  By Susan Payne Set for a September opening in the...

Georgia Added to California Travel Ban Post Anti-Trans Youth Sports Law Passage

September 8, 2022

September 8, 2022

By Susan Payne California is restricting state-funded travel to Georgia as a result of its anti-LGBTQ+ legislation recently passed within...

QFilms Long Beach Screens Billy Eichner RomCom ‘Bros’

September 8, 2022

September 8, 2022

In partnership with the Art Theatre, 29th Annual film festival is happening now By Susan Payne Dozens of features and...