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October 31, 2020

Shop for a Cause at The Junior League of Tampa’s Holiday Gift Market

By Suzy Mesmer

Now, more than ever, our community needs our support. With the holiday season upon us, The Junior League of Tampa (JLT) looks to help local businesses and small business owners while giving back to the area’s nonprofits.

Since 2004, JLT has put more than $2 million back into the community through its annual Holiday Gift Market (HGM). With more than 16,000 in attendance at the Florida State Fairgrounds last year, the HGM Committee was tasked with reimagining the traditionally week-long November event in the face of the global pandemic.

“This is The Junior League of Tampa’s largest fundraiser for our community projects and programs,” says Laura Walsh, HGM 2020 co-chair. “With COVID-19, we’ve seen a huge increase in requests for diapers, food and other resources.”

This year, HGM is going virtual with a month-long shopping event. Shop anytime, anywhere, from your desktop or mobile device. Tickets are on sale now at $8-10 for the HGM Online Marketplace Early Access Week Nov. 14 – 20. You can shop through Dec. 13. Discover unique items from a variety of local small business merchants that include apparel, home and holiday décor, gourmet food and cookware, children’s gifts and giftable services.

More than 100 merchants will be selling goods and services through a cutting-edge platform at holidaygiftmarket.org. Since 2014, one new merchant is selected each year for JLT’s Young Entrepreneurship Program (YEP). The program aims to grow the potential, leadership and influence of female business owners in our region.

The 2020 YEP winner is Marisol Arias, owner of Sustainable Market Place—an organization that helps Latin American women, who are paid a fair wage, promote and sell eco-friendly, handmade purses, jewelry and homeware.

hgm Holiday Gift Market
2020 YEP winner, Marisol Arias, owner of Sustainable Market Place

“This recognition confirms other women leaders in the community believe and support our cause,” says Arias. “We will work towards representing The Sustainable Market Place and our artisanal women to the highest level while at the same time being a leader and example to other young entrepreneurs.”

The award winner receives premium media promotion, a $3,000 grant from the Dorothea Adell Tinsley family foundation to grow her business, and six months of mentorship and training from The Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre. Previous winners include the owners of ElleLace Creations, Pawz Publishing, Old City Calligraphy, Base Culture and Southern Doe.

Says  2017 YEP winner, Lisbeth Pacheco of Ethos Coffee Roasters: “Our coffee sales doubled after the event, and we have been growing ever since!”

HGM includes both ticketed private events as well public events open to all. Virtual events will include merchant shopping videos, Zoom with Santa, Corks for a Cause wine tastings, cooking events and more.

JLT develops the potential of women leaders as well-trained volunteers, proactively engaging with community-based organizations, governmental entities, businesses and other funders to improve child welfare and education in Hillsborough and Pasco Counties through its 10 community projects.

“The more you shop, the more you’ll support many wonderful local nonprofits!” says Hayley Reteneller, HGM 2020 Co-Chair.


EARLY ACCESS TICKETS:

Advance purchase discount is $8 until Nov. 1. With Early Access Tickets, you’ll have first entry with exclusive access to claim the best items before they sell out! Remember, 100% of ticket sales go back to support The Junior League of Tampa’s community projects. Tickets are free (or rather open to all) after the Early Access Week, but we are encouraging the early ticket price. holidaygiftmarket.org/tickets


EVENTS:

See below for a list of our current events. We will continue to add events as we go such as shopping videos with merchants and virtual cooking classes. Visit holidaygiftmarket.org/events to stay up to date!

Corks for a Cause: $100 (multiple time slots, Nov. 14 and Nov. 18-20)
It’s time to sip, shop and give! Join us for Corks for a Cause, a Holiday Gift Market wine tasting fundraising event. Learn about and experience wines in the comfort of your home while socializing with friends near and far. Your ticket includes four bottles of wine shipped to you and a virtual tasting.

Zoom With Santa: $30 (multiple time slots, Nov. 14 and 15)
Santa will visit with your family for a 10-minute private Zoom session from the comfort of your own screen. This is a ticketed event and includes a special event bag with a Santa letter and cookie kit. The Santa Zoom Event bag must be picked up prior to your designated Zoom time at The Junior League of Tampa headquarters, 87 Columbia Drive. Tickets are purchased for an approximate Zoom time. Exact time within the hour will be communicated 48 hours prior to the scheduled Zoom with Santa.

Santa Grams: $10
Send a message from Santa to your children, friends and family, or prank someone! We will record Santa saying your personalized message and will send it to you via email video file by Dec. 1. Maximum cameo length is 125 words. Santa may add in “Ho Ho Hos,” “Merry Christmas” and other ‘Santa-isms’ at his discretion.

Win the Spin Peloton Giveaway!
Spoil your workout routine with a brand new Peloton bike, delivered directly to you! The Peloton bike brings you the most convenient and immersive indoor cycling experience, streaming daily live classes directly into your home. Donation for a raffle entry is a suggested $20 per entry. Sign up by Nov. 20.

*Enter to win a Peloton Bike includes Peloton Bike and (3) months of Peloton All-Access Membership. Raffle sponsored by the Junior League of Tampa and prize provided by Laura Walsh Events, LLC. Winner will be chosen on November 20, 2020 at 6:00 PM EST at The Junior League of Tampa Headquarters, 87 Columbia Drive, Tampa, FL 33606. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Restrictions apply. Full rules online at holidaygiftmarket.org. Void where prohibited.

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