Holiday market at the Battery spotlights minority-owned businesses

Dec. 10—CUMBERLAND — At the Battery Atlanta there is an ongoing holiday double feature — Santa himself, behind the desk of one of his many remote offices, and a holiday market featuring minority-owned businesses.

Sponsored by Truist, through Christmas Eve, "Santa's Post Office" will be open at 800 Battery Ave. People can visit and take pictures with Santa while delivering their wish lists to Santa and do some holiday shopping, complimentary gift wrapping included. Visiting with Santa is also free.

Odette Shirley owns the self-care boutique Maison Jovence and said that on the first day of the holiday market, her business made about double what her pop-ups usually make. She sold out of many of her candles.

"This is like the best pop-up ever," Shirley said.

Another business owner, Omar "Chilly-O" Mitchell, said he was happy to see the support for Black-owned businesses.

"There's a really good vibe in here," he said about the market.

His clothing company, Chilly-O Culture Co, has been a mainstay of the Atlanta street wear scene, according to Chilly-O's partner for this pop-up, who goes by the name Lurchero.

Chilly-O and Lurchero said they go way back in the Atlanta art scene.

"It wasn't as diverse as it is now," Lurchero said, adding that he remembered days when the two would be the only Black people in the room at art events.

Lurchero is the creator and owner of Only Positive Energy, a brand that curates and produces art exhibitions and events around Atlanta. Only Positive Energy partnered with Chilly-O Culture Co for the holiday market, jointly selling Chilly-O's clothes bearing the OPE brand.

Kay Brown, an ex-Atlanta resident who attended the market while visiting family for the holidays, bought a hoodie from Luchero that read "ATLien" in the large bubble lettering featured in many of Chilly-O's designs.

"We brought the kids to see Santa, and it was a pleasant surprise to see all these Black-owned businesses," said Brown, a mother of three.

Santa, the ultimate holiday celebrity, was a major draw, according to parents at the market.

Avery Kaczynski, a 6-year-old from Vinings, said she asked Santa if she was on the good list. She added that she hopes to get a coffee-making set to practice her barista skills. She wants to be a barista someday.

"Because I really like Starbucks and the hot chocolate there," she said.

The market is open from noon to 6 p.m. most days between now and Christmas. For more information, visit