A fun and relaxing evening of downtown Athens Christmas shopping is just around the corner on Jackson Street this Friday. Three stores - Community, Dynamite and Whole: Mind. Body. Art. - will provide not only lovely gifts, lively music (featuring Carl Lindberg), and tasty treats for shoppers, they'll also offer - get this - a special room for the little ones to work on crafts and play while mommies, daddies and friends can mingle and browse.
The sense of community that ties these shops together (a hallway literally connects Community with Whole: Mind. Body. Art., while Dynamite's just a doorstep away) carries into the holiday spirit of their market.
"What sets this market apart from other markets is the focus on sustainable goods," says Michelle Sharkey Vaught, co-owner of Whole: Mind. Body. Art. "This applies not only to the components of the item, whether it's a vintage sweater or a bag made of cassette tapes or an artistically revamped piece, but also to the sustainability for the artist. It's such a great opportunity to find something special that you can feel good about."
All three stores will host several of their in-house local artists at the event, including jeweler Laurel Hill, pillow designer Emily Newdow and Umano T-shirt designer Jonathan Torrey at Community, Jack Hudson (creator of beautiful hand-turned wooden bowls) at Dynamite, and clothing designers Wanda Thompson, Leyla Alexander and Brianna Isbel at Whole: Mind. Body. Art.
Students from UGA's Phi Beata Heata from the Lamar Dodd School of Art will be selling their jewelry designs, and the shops' other gifts will be available. Dynamite will offer 15% off the total bill with the donation of three or more cans of food (people or pet), while Community is offering 20% off their vintage clothing collection and Whole: Mind. Body. Art. offering 20% off all fair trade items.
And in addition to cookies, candy and Carl Lindberg music...
"We'll have crafts for the kids led by Kathleen Sadler, who teaches our kids' Zumba classes," says Michelle. (Kathleen will also be offering a Christmas break minicamp later in the month, where people can drop off their kids for some downtown shopping.) "She's great with kids. They always have fun."
And, it sounds like, so will the grown-ups.
The Holiday Market on Jackson Street with Community, Whole Mind.Body.Art. and Dynamite will take place Friday, November 30, from 6 PM to 9 PM. For additional information and updates, check their Facebook event page.