Spring bazaar about shopping local

Published 9:46 am Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hair accessories from Julia Henry's Sew N Love. (Submitted photo)

Hair accessories from Julia Henry’s Sew N Love. (Submitted photo)

BUCHANAN—“Shopping locally is what makes or breaks a small community likes ours,” said Ashley Gustafson, owner of Simply Homemade.

With that in mind, Ashley and fellow Buchanan High School alumna Julia Henry have teamed up to provide shoppers with the opportunity to support local businesses at their Spring Fling Bazaar.

The bazaar will take place on March 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bertrand Hall, located at 3835 Buffalo Rd. in Buchanan.

“We’re trying to help get people’s small businesses out there in the public eye,” Gustafson said. “We want to provide a variety of products for a wide range of shoppers. There will be many great local vendors there.”

Small business owners who will be selling their wares include Origami Owl, Mad Hatter Soaps and Mandy’s Madness, along with Gustafson’s company, Simply Homemade, and Henry’s Company, Sew ‘N Love.

There will also be local affiliates selling nationally-branded products like Tupperware, Thirty-One and Scentsy.

The cost for participating is $15 for those who bring their own tables and $25 for those who need a table to be supplied.

“We’re always open to new vendors,” Gustafson said. “People can send me an email at ASimply Homemade@yahoo.com if they’re interested in being a part of the bazaar. The money that we raise will go to helping promote the next bazaar.”

While Gustafson and Henry started their own companies separately, it turns out that they were motivated by similar life circumstances.

Both are mothers who wanted to find a way to balance raising their young children while still contributing to their household economies.

“I got into Simply Homemade because I was pregnant and I wanted to be a full-time, stay-at-home mom. So, I thought, ‘How can I do that?’” Gustafson said. “I love canning, and I thought, ‘Why not share that with people?’ So, now I sell homemade foods like apple butter, jams and baking mixes.”

Henry started her business selling hand-sewn items and hair accessories for similar reasons.

“I started the sewing business so that I could stay home with my children,” Henry said. “Once my youngest was born, I got into making hair bows and accessories as well.”

The women were brought together through their Facebook friendship.

“I noticed Ashley’s Facebook page and what she was doing with her business, and we started talking about doing this together,” said Henry. “We started seriously planning it about a month ago. We’ve had to work fast, but it’s coming together. Everything is falling into place.”

Admission to the bazaar is free for shoppers, and they can also pick up a lunch of homemade pulled pork sandwiches and other items while they are there. Organizers will begin serving lunch at 10:30 a.m.

“This is our first time setting up a bazaar,” Gustafson said. “We’re hoping to organize some more bazaars in the future at the same venue. We’ll have flyers about an upcoming event at the Spring Fling Bazaar.”

Henry said the hardest part of setting up the bazaar has been getting the word out to the community.

“We’re trying to get some hometown support,” Henry said.

Gustafson has high hopes for the bazaar, particularly since it’s one of the first ones to be held after a severe winter.

“It’s an opportunity for people to get out of the house after a long winter and enjoy the warmer weather while supporting local small businesses. We’re looking forward to having a great day.”