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Home Local Living Local Living Home parties may be out, but the trade show's in
Home parties may be out, but the trade show's in PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kourtney Tateson   
Friday, 16 April 2010 12:52

The days of home parties for Tupperware and candles seem like they may have disappeared. But one Calgary woman has found a way to work with vendors’ limited schedules.

Kimberly Gardippie used to hold home parties with her friends, until the gatherings started to get bigger and bigger.

In response to the demand, Gardippie founded Calgary Business Women.

Gardippie organizes trade shows that are held in various community centres around the city. The vendors consist of only women who run a home-based business or service.

“It’s important for women to get their name out there,” Gardippie said.

The Bridgeland Riverside Community Centre was host to the group of women on Saturday.

Although the space is small, the atmosphere was inviting and the tables that lined the walls and the centre aisle were full of interesting products, such as The Pampered Chef, Avon and Silpada jewelry.

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Julie Wilkes creates unique works of art for children, or the child at heart.
Photo:Kourtney Tateson/Calgary Journal

Others included Jube Jubes — original artwork for children or children-at-heart — and Canadian Callanetics — a body sculpting exercise program provided by Rhonda Bleau, who is a certified instructor.

Callanetics combines movements from ballet and yoga and consists of small, delicate movements that are designed to elongate muscles and develop strength.

Bleau is a painter by trade but teaches the classes in her free time. She goes to the trade shows to spread the word about this alternate form of fitness, as well as see what other women offer through their home business.

“Women need that social aspect, networking and getting to know people,” Bleau said. “You learn about each other’s products and services, then you have a list of people when you need something like that.”

Julie Wilkes attended the show as a vendor on Saturday for the first time.

Wilkes makes hand-painted artwork featuring cute little animals and bugs. Her paintings are called Jube Jubes and can be found at www.jubejubes.com. She said the paintings began as a hobby but continued as she found they were great to give as gifts to friends.

“My daughter loves them, and my nephew,” Wilkes said.  “All my friends’ kids love them too, so my mom said ‘why don’t you sell them?’”

She started advertising the paintings on the website Kijiji. Gardippie discovered the ad and invited Wilkes to set up a display at the trade show.

“It’s neat to go out and see everybody and their stands,” Wilkes said.

Gardippie is always looking for new vendors to attend the shows but said she wants to stress that they are not craft fairs.

“I’m looking for something that’s unique, something that’s different,” Gardippie said.

This past Saturday, the proceeds from the door charge, $2 per person, went to the Sonshine Community Services, a non-profit organization that offers community counselling and services for those affected by domestic violence.

For more information visit www.calgarybusinesswomen.com.

 
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