Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Local Market Helps Bring Women-Owned Enterprises To Community

Pictured: YeliCo and Armor of God shop owner Aiyelis Otero sells pop-culture bookmarks and stickers. Otero vendored at the June 2 “Camp Hot Girl”. (Lauren Evans)


Small businesses turned up the heat on June 2 for local Orlando women at “Camp Hot Girl”, a traditional summer camp-themed vendors market aimed at bringing the female community together.

As part of the recurring Hot Girls Shop Small events, founded and co-hosted by entrepreneurs Natalie Konopka and Hannah Jackovich, “Camp Hot Girl” offered a blend of summer camp nostalgia with shopping, refreshments, and free activities. After kicking off at 11 a.m., the event was held until 4 p.m. with female-focused vendors, including fresh florals from Maggie’s Greenhouse, handmade polymer clay earrings by Heart & Hands, and Taylor Swift-themed t-shirts from Paisley Lane.

Konopka, founder of Darling Authority, created her viral shop from her college dorm room in 2019. The idea for the Hot Girls Shop Small events stemmed from Konopka’s love for encouraging “all girls, everywhere, that they have the authority to look and feel good in the clothing they wear.” Konopka continued, “Every single event has a specific theme, usually centred around the time in which the event happens. We had one on St. Paddy’s Day, ‘Lucky Girl Market’, and we had one in April called ‘Springtime Soirée’. For ‘Camp Hot Girl’ we’re featuring woodsy, whimsical, nature-focused products and brands.”

Women spent their Sunday making friendship bracelets, buying books, and tasting their way around the market. Dayna Lugo, creator of sweet treat shop A Little Daynish, debuted her first ever in-person market appearance during the event. After moving to Florida in 2015, Lugo baked vegan macarons and gluten-free cakes for market attendees. Despite feeling “imposter syndrome”, Lugo said she was “really just looking forward to making more connections and meeting more like-minded women.”

As the founder of Charmed Permanent Jewelry, Jackovich stated, “In Orlando, there are very specific markets, but there wasn’t anything for the girls,” although the U.S. Census Bureau reports that 51.2% of Orlando’s population is female.

With small businesses on the rise, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reported significant contributions from women-owned enterprises to the economy in 2023. These businesses generated an estimated $2.1 trillion in receipts, employed 10.5 million workers, and an annual payroll of $499.4 billion.

Those who attended “Camp Hot Girl” dressed for the event’s theme of summer camp, with sun hats and sunscreen being a must. Yazmin Waneis, a teacher who attended the event, said, “Everybody is so friendly and welcoming, you can tell they put so much time and effort into it.” She stated, “if you come to one of these events, you need to stay hydrated, though.”

Jackovich says that she and Konopka are “constantly buzzing with ideas” when it comes to picking the themes for their vendor markets.

While the Hot Girls Shop Small events will pause for the summer “to keep vendors and attendees safe during the Florida heat”, Konopka and Jackovich are optimistic about their return, hoping for another vendor market this September at Darling Authority, 2322 Edgewater Dr Suite C, Orlando, FL 32804.

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About the Contributor
Lauren Evans
Lauren Evans, Reporter
Lauren is studying an A.S. degree in New Media Communication. Along with writing, she enjoys creating content about Florida theme parks and reading fiction.

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