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The Smelly Gypsy proprietor Kristine Brown with Calendula, one of the goats behind her Goats Milk Soap products.
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Handmade soap and pottery soap-dishes made by Artisans of the Blair Lair.
ALTON — Celebrate Small Business Saturday by gathering with your friends and family in Downtown Alton at the Green Gift Bazaar.
Alton Main Street is teaming up with the Sierra Club and the YWCA to continue the tradition of “going green” — don’t miss this special occasion to share the historic downtown shopping and dining experience with your loved ones this holiday season.
The 13th annual Green Gift Bazaar, featuring dozens of eco-artisans and green vendors, will be 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, at the YWCA of Alton, 304 E. 3rd St. Shoppers will be able to shop local and keep their money “home for the holidays.” Why go through the hassle of Black Friday or risk impersonal customer service of Cyber Monday, when you can make this season’s gift giving a fun adventure by shopping with friendly local artists and independent businesses in the district instead?
There is no entry fee to shop at the Green Gift Bazaar, and holiday craft activities will be provided to keep children entertained while their parents shop. From 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. children will be able to make a free pair of earrings, with materials donated by glass artist Kerry Ellen. Live entertainment will be provided by multi-instrumentalist Nancy Lippincott.
Below is a list of our earth-friendly vendors and some of the great gift ideas that they will be offering at the event:
The Smelly Gypsy — All natural handmade artisan herbal health care products including goat milk soaps, deodorants, lip balm, and organic beard oil. Using no artificial scents, colors or ingredients, many plants for coloring of the soaps are harvested from their property or from other small sustainable farms. Goat milk soap comes from the goats raised themselves using natural practices, and beeswax used comes from a local beekeeper.
Jabberwock Emporium — Wire wrap tree necklaces and ornaments, jewelry, art and home décor made from recovered defunct electrical cords, broken jewelry, Victorian photo album pages and more.
Tanya Fox and Sam Strack — Repainted and repurposed decorative glass mason and dairy jars, wine glasses and mugs, which have been salvaged from old estates and resale stores.
Blair Lair Studios — Offering a variety of handmade projects that incorporate recycled and upcycled goods, including soap, ceramics, jewelry, knitted, crocheted, tie dye, Shabori, felted wearables and home décor.
Gaia’s Cure — Organic health care and beauty products including healing rubs, lotions and sprays, using essential oils made from plants. Helping you stay away from unnecessary additives and chemicals in everyday products.
Indian Sunshine — Handmade patchwork corduroy bags, paper bead jewelry, and jewelry made from reclaimed metal and china. Also, trendy bowls made from old records and other found objects reworked into wearable, re-usable works of art.
Nueva Dia Alpacas — Warm and comfortable alpaca wear including hats, gloves, scarves and socks. Plus 100 percent alpaca yarn and raw alpaca fiber that can be hand-spun or used for felting and craft projects. Alpaca fiber is eco-friendly because it is biodegradable and does not require chemicals to process and clean. Sheep’s wool contains lanolin, which has to be removed before spinning.
Kerry Ellen, Glass Artist — Beautiful and affordable handmade fused glass jewelry; most items offered at a reduced rate of $10, $5, or $3 to clear out inventory.
Nocturnal/Diurnal — Rescued and recycled books containing captivating black and white ink drawings on the inside covers.
Fruitful Valley — Upcycled stuffed owls and cats made from old sweaters and buttons, purses made from sweaters and ties, fingerless gloves made from wool sweaters and knitted hats.
Jason Wood — Handmade collages and assemblages made with re-purposed wood and paper, using local photography featuring images of autumn in Alton.
Tangible Treats — A collection of handcrafted housewares, gifts and accessories that turn household items that would have been discarded into something useful and beautiful for a second time. They make beautiful wooden bowls and boxes from trees that were naturally removed by storms, cutting boards from scraps from construction jobs, holiday ornaments, upcycled glass candles, wooden pendants, scarves, key chains and hand-turned pens.
Uniquk gifts & Handicrafts — African art made using natural or recycled materials.
Suburban Chic Boutique — Specializing in recycled and upcycled vintage jewelry pieces, much of which is purchased from thrift shops like Goodwill and various estate shops and yard sales. Items that are broken or discarded become treasures.
Cope’s Country Soaps — Provides handmade, natural soaps and beauty products. They strive to provide products that delight the senses and have a low impact on the environment. Products are packaged in low-impact, recyclable or biodegradable packaging. They use sustainably harvested ingredients and local ingredients when possible.
Randy Hausmann — Jewelry made from old silverware and handcrafted canes use wood from downed trees. Fish prints made using fish caught by the artist, who also cuts his own mats and glass.
Creations from Wilma’s House of Wonder — Unique winter décor made from ice skates and other vintage items, wreaths made from wire hangers with ornaments, and stained glass.
Heartland Quilters — Handmade quilts and crochet items such as hats, scarves, and headbands. Plus, items made from pallets and reclaimed wood.
Burlap and Buttons — Fair trade items hand made by women in Uganda, such as purses, jewelry sets, beads made from recycled magazines and paper bits, and beanies made from recycled sweaters.
River City Savories – Artisanal cheese spreads, salsa, crab cakes and ravioli that are perfect for hostess gifts or easy holiday appetizers.
Nancee Heppner — Holiday decorations made from discarded and donated items, or upcycled supplies purchased at resale shops. Every piece is unique and one of a kind, and proceeds will go to veterans. The artist rescues unwanted “treasures” from Dumpsters and garbage cans, cleans them up and makes them pretty again.
Straight Up Solar — Info on solar panels for the home, which make a great gift for the environmentalist on your list who has everything. StraightUp Solar seeks to change the region’s energy and environmental paradigm by demonstrating and delivering for its neighbors and local communities the quality-of-life enhancing sustainable energy, environmental and economic choices available to them.
Sierra Club — Will have 2016 nature calendars for sale, and will offer information about joining the country’s oldest and largest environmental nonprofit committed to promoting sustainability and protecting the country’s lands.
Alton Acoustic Arts — Handmade clothing for adults, children and babies: tie dye, patchwork and bellbottoms. Also hula hoops, jewelry, upcycled home décor and music lesson gift certificates.
Grassroots Grocery — Purchase gift memberships to Alton’s first co-operative grocery store that opened this summer. Grassroots Grocery T-shirts and baskets of locally made food and healthy products make great gifts.
Volunteers on behalf of the hosts, the YWCA of Alton, will offer a bake sale fundraiser and invite guests to grab their tickets for the designer purse raffle — the bazaar is the last day that tickets will be sold.
“We are excited to have this great event back at the YWCA for the second year, and we hope everyone will come out to support our local artisans,” YWCA Executive Director Andrea Lamer said.
For information, visit the “Events” page at www.DowntownAlton.com.