Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bizarre Bazaar

Vintage Treasures make wonderful Christmas gifts.  Our handmade soaps, vintage aprons (pinnies)
sparkling silver and vintage diner cups, all wrapped up with hot chocolates for gifting. 
 Have you been to a Church Bazaar lately?  Pretty well the same from coast to coast and country to country I imagine.  Hand knitted mittens, wreaths, angels and the usual bake table with banana breads wrapped in a poly bag with some red curly ribbon. A great way to raise money for the church, but seriously, many of them leave me yawning.

We decided this year to breathe new life into the starchy Church Bazaar
by having a booth of our vintage smalls. 
You would have thought we were selling panties and dirty magazines.
 Despite prior approval from the Bazaar Board of Governors, we were met with considerable hostility and great unfriendliness by several of the members.
Told on one hand to get our stuff into the basement with the "garage sale bits", then told we wouldn't sell anything because our prices were outrageous, I was smoking mad and ready to pull out before we had even finished setting up. 
 Handmade gift bags, a gorgeous oil painting......
 Vintage milk bottles with Christmas greens.....a perfect recycled gift for a teacher or friend.
This morning, feeling quite uncomfortable about spending the day in
"hostile" territory, we arrived at the church fueled with strong coffee, with my beautiful daughter in tow for added support, (and to show that the 20 somethings love vintage) and wearing our little vintage pinnies (aprons) which by the way are making a BIG comeback.

When the doors opened and the people flooded in, they gravitated towards our booth and we entertained the crowds with snippets of history about their purchases, ideas on how to "gift" vintage, and stories of our adventures in finding them.

They LOVED it.  We were by far the busiest booth and did quite well. 

Was it my bottle of Henricks Gin (empty) that got them worked up?

 So, having donated to the Church and put our hearts into making this day a success, I want to say that I am sorry if we don't look like Presbyterians in our cowboy boots and pinnies, or whatever it was that got your goat, but the Church Bazaar is a-changing.......Handmade is wonderful, and Vintage is a way to recycle and re-use, and people love it. The Church Bazaar needs to get progressive and keep up with the times.

We had a blast.


  1. Aahhhh the church bazaar, that takes me back. I'm sorry I missed it.

  2. Oh, I love the look of your booth and I wish more bazaars would do the same. I am tired of crocheted hot pads and badly painted ornaments. I wish I could have shopped in your booth. You go girl! Kit

  3. Chania, some people just don't like matter what it is! But I wish I'd been there to see their faces when your booth took off like wildfire!

    My sister's church held their annual Chinese auction today and they embrace everything that people bring, and are grateful to have the extra cash generated by the sale. She said that one of my mother's old 1960's dip dish was a hot item. The girl who bought it said that she would love and use it, we know our mom would be happy about that!

    Glad you had a successful sale despite the negativity!

    Kat :)

  4. Chania, I can relate to your frustration and am nevertheless shocked that you would be treated in such a way. How wonderful that despite the unpleasant reception you and your daughter held strong and still donated and worked the booth - for the benefit of the church. I personally would welcome something different at the church tag sales/or whatever. Love it. Great stuff. Ann

  5. wOW I would never thought they would respond like that, but if they are of the older variety my mother in law thinks it is junk and would be just as astounded. I am sure she hates my stuff but whatever. good thing you stayed even with your pinnies on!

  6. Not a church bazaar, but a senior community center is where I blew the roof off last year with a white canopy strung with lights and an all white booth. We were jam packed all day, customers could not move.

    We were next to a card table booth with the plastic barbie dolls with the crocheted skirts and hats. Bless their hearts those gals made maybe 40.00 but they were so sweet to me and my gal helpers, as our crowds spilled over into their space.

    Not all seniors are behind the times and not all church going ladies practice the good book. Can we spell envy church ladies?

    Good for you!


  7. I am afraid that was about territory. I am glad you pressed on.

  8. That is a shame you were treated with hostility. The church of all places, should have a welcoming spirit. I'm glad you were really successful. I'm sure your booth was a breath of fresh air and the old church biddies were just jealous.

  9. I can see lots of lovely things at your stall I would have loved to have bought. Good on you for pressing on and trying something new x

  10. Good for you for ruffling the old hens' feathers! and changing the status quo (something Victoria believes the Universe is calling all of us to do right now).
    You both must have looked adorable in your pinnies and cowboy boots!
    My daughter Jessica, aka the chef, has a collection of beautiful aprons that, in her last job as private chef to a film editing company, she wore every day instead of her chef much more chic!

  11. Your stall looked wonderful, I would have loved a good rummage. Our local church Summer fete has great bric-a-brac stalls and I have found some wonderful bargains. The stalls are always the busiest and usually run by some older ladies from the church. We also run our own Vintage and Home Made Fair from the church rooms and are always given a warm and friendly welcome so we are obviously lucky.
    Ann x

  12. I think it's so sad that they acted like they did, Chania. What on earth did they think they were on?The goodies are gorgeous. I'm on the 'gifts' stall at ours on 5th December. We would welcome you with open arms, honestly we would!

  13. Chania,
    What a great post it goes along with my posting of RECYCLED HOLIDAY GIFTING!!
    Come for a creative visit.

    How have you been girlie, and how is your beautiful Canada doing :)

    See you soon for more holiday goodies to come.

  14. Ahhh, I did a church bazaar this weekend too- selling my sea glass art, seashell and beach inspired holiday decor. Right along side all the banana breads and knitted/quilted items.

    Many of the old time vendors were skeptical and told me they had each had a year at the bazaar in the "room" I was set up in and they had done horrible.

    Yet as the customers began to arrived, they gasped and oohed and ahhed and and embraced my love of the sea as a new way to decorate and celebrate the holiday season.

    If I was not one of the most successful financially (which would suprise me), I was certainly one of the busiest- we had crowds that were so packed in, they were bumping into each other and my tables, trying to get in to see what I had on display.

    I think you're right- it's time someone started raising the bar at these things, why not us? :)

  15. Sounds like it was fun and a "not to be missed" feature of the bazaar. Good for you for going in even after the negative reactions of your fellow exhibitors.
    Way to go!!!!

  16. Glad you went ahead with your booth and it was a success! Looks like lots of treasures. You're right that those church bazaars need to reinvent themselves a bit! Glad you did just that. :)

  17. looks brilliant! man i wish this was just down the road from me - that oil painting would be all mine! : )


  18. You just described perfectly the Presbyterian Christmas bazaars that I used to go to when I was a little girl. Stuffy ,red/white/green hand knit pot holders ect.
    I LOVE your stand!

  19. Yaaay! What a wonderful ending to your story. I was getting so worked up reading at the top of the post. I absolutely hate it when people are so judgmental about ridiculous things. What business really was it of theirs? Uggh. Your daughter is beautiful and yes, I see plenty of young people out vintage shopping. They are usually the most stylish ones. Anyway, I'm so happy to hear that your success completely proved those naysayers wrong. I hope at least one of them had the moral fortitude to apologize. I would have been one of those people spending my time - and money - at your booth.


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania