Saturday, November 21, 2015

Holiday Bazaar

My workplace is involved in a few charity events throughout the year, such as collecting groceries for the local foodshare and working with Habitat for Humanity. For the holidays, they usually set up a "giving tree" with requests from children. Of course, these days, kids want electronics such as gaming systems and iPads... expensive items that not everyone can (or wants to) give.

This year, they decided to try something new. One, the giving tree now holds requests from elderly people at a local low-income retirement home. Some of those requests will bring a tear to your eye -- washcloths, socks, hair conditioner. You could fulfill the wishes of probably 10 people for the price of one iPad.

Two, they held a holiday craft bazaar yesterday. This was a bit of an experiment as my employer is a technical company largely populated with male engineers -- not the usual clientele at a craft bazaar. There were two main charities supporting women and children in Africa, and tables were available to other vendors.

I helped set up for the bazaar, which was held in one of the conference rooms. We hung a blizzard of paper snowflakes from the ceiling and moved the tables into place.

There were 10 vendors total, some employees and some family or friends of employees. Not a huge number, but not too bad for the first year at a tech company.

The Batty Crafter had a table. :)

I had decided to make roll-up totes and gift bags for bottles of wine. I intended to get three fabrics for each, but I found so many fun fabrics that I ended up with five for each. :)

The totes are shown below, plus the red with black paw prints you can see in the photos above.

I made the wine gift bags in Christmas/holiday fabrics. I included a pretty gift tag and a cute little ornament with each one. (The two on the right look a little wonky because they contain Coke bottles. :P I don't drink wine and had only two empty wine bottles a coworker gave me for display.) People liked the bags, and I sold 15 of the 19 I made. :)

In total, I made $295, which I will donate to the local Humane Society. I think that's pretty good for a short (only two hours), first-year event. :)

I heard that the vendors for the two main charities (one selling jewelry and one selling children's books) did well. Overall, I think the bazaar was pretty successful for its first year. We already have some ideas for making it bigger and better next year.

20 comments:

  1. Sound like a wonderful idea and so kind of vendors to donate profits to charity.

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  2. I'm glad you did so well, Bane! My last market I only made $100 and it was an entire day. Next year maybe I should make totes and gift bags, as I certainly don't seem to be able to guess what people are going to like at all. LOL

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    1. Thanks! I think it helped that the gift bags were inexpensive.

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  3. What great crafts! I am glad the money will go to the humane society! <3

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    1. The Humane Society here does great work. They even bring dogs in from other places which don't have enough resources and find homes for them.

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  4. This is great, I love it! Wish I could have gone.

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    1. I'm looking forward to next year. :)

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  5. :) What a great idea! I'm glad that your company also includes the low-income elderly on their giving tree and not just kids. People forget that there are many elderly people who have no one to share the holidays with, no where else to go, and hardly any money to spend on necessities. I think next year, when I'm definitely feeling stronger and more grounded, I'm going to start volunteering at the elderly home ... especially for the holidays.

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    1. So true. There is a lot of child-focused giving around the holidays. I'm very pleased that we are giving to the elderly, who are too often forgotten.

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  6. I've just discovered your blog, Bane. It's great fun! I too wanted to comment on the appropriateness of gift giving to the elderly. My family switched to gifts for elders some years ago when my youngest daughter read tags on an elderly gift tree and said, with big sad eyes, "Mom...This lady only wants a blanket!" She got a beautiful blanket, warm socks and several gift cards. Nowadays my sister and I make it the highlight of our early December ritual, last year buying for four seniors. We are blessed as much as our gift recipients! Thanks for participating, and for donating your proceeds to animals!

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  7. I've just discovered your blog, Bane. It's great fun! I too wanted to comment on the appropriateness of gift giving to the elderly. My family switched to gifts for elders some years ago when my youngest daughter read tags on an elderly gift tree and said, with big sad eyes, "Mom...This lady only wants a blanket!" She got a beautiful blanket, warm socks and several gift cards. Nowadays my sister and I make it the highlight of our early December ritual, last year buying for four seniors. We are blessed as much as our gift recipients! Thanks for participating, and for donating your proceeds to animals!

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