N.C. A&T Student Launches DeEtte Market, Redefining Holiday Decor with Inclusive Nutcrackers

By Markita C. Rowe / 12/12/2023 College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Dec. 12, 2023) – Grace Bullock isn’t just a junior at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University — she’s a holiday trailblazer.

Unwrapping the gift of diversity, Bullock is turning Christmas decor shopping into a celebration of inclusion with the launch of her business, DeEtte Market. She was inspired by the limited representation in traditional holiday nutcrackers, and now she's on a mission. At DeEtte Market, every nutcracker tells a story of breaking traditions and spreading holiday cheer.

This is a photo of Grace Bullock

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Bullock’s DeEtte Market was founded on the simple yet powerful idea of inclusivity during the holiday season. Unlike conventional nutcrackers, her creations feature a signature “popped” collar and attire, with the added bonus of customizable colors, allowing customers to infuse their personalities into these one-of-a-kind decorations. Since its inception, DeEtte Market has garnered attention globally, reaching customers as far away as London.

“Every time I would go Christmas shopping, they had the most beautiful nutcrackers in the stores, but none of them represented us, our culture or our people,” said Bullock. “This inspired me to create my own line of nutcrackers that represents brown and Black people.”

Bullock, who produces the holiday decor in her home with the moral support of her mother, uses various techniques such as paint, heat guns, epoxy resin and other materials to bring her unique vision to life. “My mom’s extremely proud that I have the courage to follow my dreams,” said Bullock.

Her mentor, Ecaterina Stepaniuc Ph.D., assistant professor in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, played a role in bringing her vision to life.

“Dr. Stepaniuc helped me lay out and edit colors for the nutcrackers in Adobe Photoshop,” said Bullock. “Seeing the designs like that is what really inspired me to push forward with producing a line of holiday nutcrackers.”

“I find it extremely important to believe in my students and to encourage them to use the skills gained in class,” said Stepaniuc. “There is nothing more rewarding than seeing how the knowledge you pass unto a student is applied, and ultimately gives birth to incredible ideas like the Brown nutcrackers created by Grace.”

DeEtte Market aims to be a leader in representing all ethnicities by creating luxury Christmas decor, providing an opportunity for Black and brown people to see themselves reflected in the holiday season.

Bullock, whose academic focus is on public relations, emphasizes her lifelong passion for drawing and painting, with plans to incorporate more art classes into her academic schedule in the future. She envisions a future where brown people will no longer have to hunt or create their own Christmas decorations.

“Christmas is a time for families to come together,” she said. “For Black and brown families to be included in something as simple as Christmas decorations is a big deal to me.”

For more information, visit www.deettemarket.com.

–  NBCU Journalist-in-Residence Nicole Watson contributed to this report.

Media Contact Information: mcrowe@ncat.edu

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