Visiting vendors impressed with local holiday bazaar

Authored by Jim Langham on Nov 4, 2013

Dawn Grubb and Jessica Hirzel have been friends and enjoyed doing things together for a long time. Recently, one of their most enjoyable connections has been that of combining hobbies and setting up booths in area craft shows and bazaars.
One of their primary products is that of, Scentsy wickless candles. They also enjoy selling products such as gourmet cupboard, various mixes, drinks and deserts.
The friends love to exhibit at the local Holiday Bazaar because they enjoy the large crowds and friendly atmosphere.
“I think it’s great; it’s a lot easier than shopping at the mall,” said Grubb. “It’s a lot more fun.”
They have also shown at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. This weekend, they will be taking their products to Portland.
“Going to big shows like this brings us new friends,” added Hirzel.
Ashleigh Snowden enjoys giving tours at Swiss Heritage Village. Snowden said that she sees all of those associated with the village, where funds from Saturday’s bazaar helped with various products, as a close family.
At the bazaar, Snowden spent much of her time packing things in boxes and in drying tables.
“I love helping with anything I can for Swiss Heritage Village,” observed Snowden. “Everyone here is so friendly.
“I love helping at the village because I am pretty good with history and dates,” noted Snowden.
Vendors such as Cindy Habegger are at home in the bazaar for more than one reason, mainly because she has exhibited at the exhibit for many years. She laughs when she points to all of the places where her booth has been located over the years.
This year, she was assisted by her sister, Connie Gremaux, and her daughter, Dusty Gremaux.
“I think it went really well this year; I was really pleased with the crowd,” observed Habegger. “I love coming here because I love meeting the people. I see people I don’t see every day.”
One individual selling a product unique to the bazaar was photographer Joni
Bollenbacher, who stressed that she was much busier on Saturday than she had been in previous years.
Bollenbacher said that she loves seeing facial expressions, in each age group, newborn children, adults and family pictures. She noted that she sells her pictures on discs with the intention of the purchaser creating cards and pictures.
“I love being able to catch that moment for parents, especially that of a newborn photo for parents,” Bollenbacher said.
The first thing that caught the attention of Swiss Village long-term worker Fred Lehman was the number of cars in the parking lot.
“I was surprised with how full the parking lots were,” said Lehman.
Lehman said that reactions he had received from the day’s sales were totally mixed. He said that some vendors sensed that there was still a little hesitation to purchase, due to economic and health care concerns.
“Other vendors told me they had a wonderful day,” Lehman said. “We had good weather, just perfect, it was good but it wasn’t so good that people would tend to stay home and work in their yards. They still came.”
Becky Nussbaum, in charge of vendors, said that Saturday’s crowd was one of the best she had seen in a long time.
“The vendors seemed pleased in their sales; many felt that the numbers were up,” commented Nussbaum. “It’s a good bazaar for a great cause; each year it seems to get better.”
In the cafeteria, Gretchen Lehman said that lunch sold out early. Executive director Debby Neuenschwander said that she had received many comments concerning the success of the event. She noted that profits for needs at Swiss Heritage Village is based on booth rental and the sale of food.
Tickets at the door raise funding for the Swiss Heritage Village Scholarship Fund.

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