Zonta member and local business owner, Ashlie DeArmitt, showcases floral designs from her business, “The Scarlet Lily,” during the 2017 Zonta Holiday Vendor Fair. This year’s event will be held Nov. 15 at Christ United Methodist Church on Linwood Avenue in Olean and is free and open to the public.
OLEAN — Everything from handmade blankets, purses, soaps and scarves to branded products such as Avon and Tupperware will be sold Nov. 15 during the Holiday Vendor Fair featuring women-owned businesses from the region.
The event, sponsored by the Zonta Club of Olean, is slated to be held from 5 to 8 p.m. in the community room at Christ United Methodist Church, 633 Linwood Ave., and is free and open to the public.
Zonta member Ann Marie Wright said the event is filling up with vendors, but there are still openings for area women who own businesses.
“We actually have a few more openings, we’re limited to taking about 35 vendors,” Wright said, adding the event will host vendors from Cuba, Portville and Bolivar as well as Bradford and Shinglehouse in Pennsylvania.
She said the fair, now in its fourth year, is designed to promote businesses owned by women as well as help them network with each other and the community.
“I would say that for what Zonta stands for, helping women in need, we’re trying to bring a positive event to women and women-owned businesses,” Wright said. “Some of them are crafters and have home-craft businesses. We’re trying to help them succeed, help them build their businesses and get more customers.
“We want to do something nice to help them without charging them to get in. We provide tables and chairs for the vendors and give them a time to come in and sell their wares for about three hours.”
She said Christ United has been a big help to the program throughout the past several years by supplying the venue.
“We give (Christ United) a donation and they really step up, which is nice,” she added.
In return for the service, some of the vendors have donated items for Zonta to use for the breast cancer bingo fundraiser.
“It’s an optional thing (for the vendors), they give back to us, which is really nice,” Wright added, noting some items provided by vendors have also been used for door prizes.
Another Zonta member, Connie Cooper, added, “It’s a great opportunity for people to come out and see the amazing and talented women in the community and do a little shopping, either for themselves or for Christmas.”
Other items sold will include quilted items, home décor, food, pottery and jewelry.
Wright said a variety of refreshments will be sold by Olean High School students with the Zonta Club’s Z Club.
“We give them that opportunity to come in and sell refreshments to raise some money,” she said. “The students can put that (money) in with the projects they do for Zonta.”
For more information on the event, contact Wright at 560-5421.
(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)