Community Voices
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CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles. (photo: CRAFTED / Facebook)

Small and family-run businesses have always been essential to San Pedro’s culture. 

With more people working from home, the urge to start a side gig that can lead to a dream job is spreading quickly. There are so many ways San Pedro’s makers, artists, chefs, and professionals can market themselves and connect with others. Here are a few great ways to meet like-minded local entrepreneurs.

The San Pedro Chamber of Commerce holds a Young Professionals Network event (YPN) every month. As one of the not-so-young, I find these events helpful to connect with folks of all ages looking to expand their network and make new connections. Choosing different locations for each event helps change things up and creates greater attendance. Last month’s was a happy hour at the Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club with around 50 attendees, just enough to meet everyone and schedule a few coffees with folks you want to get to know better.

Much like the YPN events, these are great networking opportunities for business owners to introduce themselves and their businesses to a wide selection of San Pedro’s movers and shakers. The buffet breakfast allows participants to sample a new caterer monthly from favorites like Miller Butler and Paradise Preserves. There is typically a featured speaker from a variety of professions and fields of work. Assemblymember Mike Gibson, U.S. Space Force Commander Mia Walsh, housing and harbor developers, LAPD, and LAFD representatives have been featured at these sold-out events.

San Pedro’s own Melissa Gjonovich-Hay, who has a candle shop in CRAFTED, has been amazing at bringing homegrown businesses out to the public square. With pop-ups on the West Harbor Promenade every third Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., she has allowed dozens of small businesses to sell directly and interact with their customers face-to-face. San Pedro Today, the Hello San Pedro podcast, and West Harbor help sponsor these events.

Open Friday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., CRAFTED is located across the courtyard from Brouwerij West on 22nd and Miner. More than 40 shops feature handmade wear for every taste and plenty of gift ideas for even the most difficult loved ones to shop for. 

A number of these small shop owners have gone on to open boutiques in larger spaces right in our historic downtown. If unique, high-quality handmade works of art are your thing, this is the place for you. 

If you are a small business ready to leave the house, CRAFTED is a great place to start. Visit for more details on opening your own shop.

CRAFTED also hosts hands-on events and classes where you can learn directly from artists and makers. These are great for friends and family get-togethers. There’s even a pottery class so that you can recreate the famous scene from the movie Ghost.

This open-air market occurs every Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the corner of 6th and Mesa. Food, crafts, soaps, dog supplies, fresh fruits, eggs, and veggies are featured at reasonable prices. Moving closer to downtown has made it more visible with more parking options. Now that they accept EBT, the market has been an excellent place for families to buy fresh produce that they otherwise may not be able to afford. 

The San Pedro Chamber of Commerce is a great resource for small businesses starting out or when they are ready to get more local exposure. Visit their website for more small-business-focused events and classes at spt

Lee Williams

Lee Williams leads The Lee Williams Real Estate Group at REAL Broker and is a Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner. He also serves on the board of directors for Boys & Girls Clubs of the LA Harbor, the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, Harbor Connects, and the San Pedro Education Foundation. He can be reached at