Spotlight: Pallette Market Brings Unique Cultural Products to People Around the World



pallette market cultural products

There are tons of diverse businesses providing unique products and services. But finding them can sometimes be a challenge – especially if they’re not active in your particular neighborhood. But Pallette Market wants to make this easier for everyone from the city to the suburbs. Read about the company and its origins in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.



What the Business Does

Provides a marketplace for products from diverse sellers.

Co-founder Donnie Chen told Small Business Trends, “Pallette Market is an inclusive marketplace that makes it easy for shoppers to discover and support products from sellers with diverse cultures and backgrounds. It can sometimes be hard to find cultural products in the city, imagine living in the suburbs!”

Business Niche

Building an inclusive platform.

Chen says, “It’s about time there is a marketplace that focuses on equal representation, rather than putting these products in the back section and labeling it “international.”



How the Business Got Started

After a pandemic realization.

Chen explains, “During Covid, I wanted to eat Jamaican roti and jerk chicken, but restaurants were all closed, I couldn’t go out! That’s when I realized, where do I find Jamaican products? Even if I want to cook it myself, who can recommend authentic products to me? The web is a black hole, that left me more confused than when I started.

“I live in the city, so before Covid, if I wanted to eat Jamaican food, I’ll go to a Jamaican restaurant. But ever since Covid, I realized if I couldn’t leave my house, or if I live far in the suburbs where there is no access to cultural foods, what do I do?

“That’s why we started Pallette Market. To make it easy for shoppers to find culturally diverse products, and for entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds to feel like they are well represented.”



Biggest Win

Reassurance from the community.

Since the company is new, they haven’t experienced major wins yet. However, they have spent time doing research.

Chen adds, “When we were validating our idea, we received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback. This surprised us, and made us really pumped to get the platform up and running!”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Accomplishing a variety of goals.



Chen breaks it down, “??1. use 20k for marketing
2. 15k for freelance developers to ramp up platform updates
3. analyze marketing effort then inject another 20k into targeted marketing
4. analyze the second tier marketing effort then inject another 20k
5. 5k to improve system infrastructure
6. 5k to improve software infrastructure
7. 10k outsource customer support
8. 5k for miscellaneous”

Background Story

The founders used to host a children’s podcast.

Chen and co-founder Eiji Mine have been friends for over 20 years. In fact, they used to run a popular children’s podcast together.



Chen says, “The podcast became one of the top children’s podcasts on Apple Appstore and was used in 2 US public elementary schools’ curriculum. When major broadcasting companies saw the opportunity, they started creating children’s podcasts with bigger budgets, and effectively squeezed us out.”

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Image: Pallette Market, Facebook Comment ▼



Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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