Eastside Church Invites You to Think Globally, Shop Locally
By Ansley Brackin
Eastside Church will host its third annual Holiday Bazaar and Fair Trade Market on December 6th. This is a unique opportunity for Christmas shoppers to put a little more thought into their gifts. Holiday Bazaar coordinator, Natalie Jackson, encourages anyone with the same passions to set up a table in Eastside’s beautiful historic building in East Atlanta, and explains the importance of fair trade shopping.
“It is important to shop locally always,” Jackson explains. “However, it’s not always easy. We are busy and are strapped for cash, and we are human. It is for all these reasons that it is not always possible to purchase local or fair trade goods. Christmas, however, is a time when people are naturally more apt to shop or seek out specific things. We want to grab shoppers attention, we want them to seek out fair trade or handmade goods and make it a habit.”
Jackson hopes that by attending the Holiday Bazaar, the community will become more supportive of local businesses that work hard to provide authentic handmade products.
“We wanted to make the greatest impact for both the fair trade and handmade vendors as well as customers, so they could start small and then continue to make smart purchases throughout the year as well,” Jackson adds.
The idea behind Eastside Church’s fair trade market was inspired by one of their own sermon series. It left the congregation wanting to make smarter decisions when it comes to purchasing goods.
“We realized then that purchasing locally made or fair trade goods is actually not very easy for the average person,” recalls Jackson. “So we created a space for anyone to be able to purchase these goods.”
can still apply to set up shop, but crafty locals shouldn’t be intimidated by the formalities. All creative, passionate people are welcome to sign up for a table.
Jackson says being a wiz and handmade goods is not necessary.
“Just be passionate about what you do and your mission. We love supporting anyone we can with a dream and a desire for fair trade/ handmade shopping to become more of a household habit.”
Tables are available at very affordable prices. While many markets charge vendors around $150, vendors can reserve a large table at the Holiday Bazaar for $50 or a small table for $35.
This year, Eastside UMC has included another way to support the community during the event.
“Shoppers will be given tags as they enter the marketplace,” Jackson explains. “They will be given the option to purchase items from vendors, get it gift wrapped from our gift wrap station, write what the item is on the tag, and place the gift under a Christmas tree in the center of one of the rooms. These gifts will then be donated to local non-profits to be distributed during the holidays.”
Attendees will find the church filled with a variety of locally made products from 10AM-4PM on Saturday, December 6th
from businesses like Ties That Matter, Karma Cozy, and Be the Change PEOPLE. Santa will be in attendance for photos, and live holiday music from Eastside’s worship band will be playing throughout the day.
Those interested in becoming a shopper or a vendor can learn more HERE