Nachand Trabue has been grieving the death of her 23-year-old son, Makel Coleman, since July. Still, Trabue has once again brought back MELANnaire Marketplace, a mobile market store held during the holidays in Mall St. Matthews, one of Louisville’s largest malls.
According to WLKY, Trabue’s market sells items from various Black businesses, giving them exposure in a city where fewer than 3% of business owners are Black.
“It’s all underneath one roof, together,” Trabue said in an interview with WLKY. “You can find candles, clothing, golf gear, nurse apparel, books and custom gifts, whatever you need.”
Trabue, who is holding her market for the second year in a row, credits the community for making her idea her success.
“I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing if it wasn’t for the community,” she said.
The community is also grateful for Trabue. Tiphanie Grant, who is selling custom gift baskets at MELANnaire Marketplace, said Trabue is helping many small businesses grow.
“It was literally a leap of faith to say, I’m going to do this, and I want people to know about this great product that I have,” Grant told WLKY. “Most small businesses, we have so many obstacles we have to overcome. This allows us the space to grow and connect with other businesses in the process.”
While grieving the death of her son, who was striving to become an entrepreneur, Trabue is honoring him with her service to the community.
“This is part of my mission as I work around gun violence and tell people to put the guns down,” she said. “Let’s go ahead and learn how to be entrepreneurs, and we’re going to help people get trained to be that.”
This year’s MELANnaire Marketplace will run until Jan. 2, 2024.