Over two dozen tables of some of the most sought-after giftware, custom-made or designed items, clothing, makeup, jewelry, toys, household goods, lotions and potions, and much more were on display at P.S. 312’s annual Vendor Market held on April 29th.
The second annual event, held outdoors last year, was moved to the gymnasium due to inclement weather, but a few raindrops didn’t stop the many eager shoppers who came to scoop up the best deals in town just in time for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or graduation.
The community-oriented event, held at 7103 Avenue T, was a team fundraising effort between the Parents Association, school administration, and numerous volunteers and entrepreneurs. According to Parents Association President Lidia Esposito, between the sale of raffles and tables, they collected about $3,000 last year for the school, while vendors profited too, creating a win-win situation for everyone.
Among new vendors this year was Highly Grounded Café, a recently-opened gourmet, locally sourced coffee shop in the neighborhood; Bear Magic Workshops, with custom-made stuffed Teddy bears and animals made to order; and McBlixky Studios, featuring all hand-painted anime art.
“We always want to support local businesses, especially the small mom-and-pop shops, and this is the best way to do it,” Parents Association board member and chair of the Vendor Committee Lauren Callahan said.
There were raffle sales, face painting, free balloon animals and a food truck. Many of the vendors donated raffle items to support the event and had a good time as they checked out each other’s tables. One shopper went bananas over the banana container at the Tupperware table, while another was pulled in by the bling of beautifully hand-decorated sunglasses and headbands found at another.
Even the kids got in the act. Esposito’s daughter, Savanna Esposito, 11, and her friend Ashley Crapanzano, 10, both graduating P.S. 312 this year, sold $122 worth of jewelry by early afternoon at their Bestie Boutique table fundraiser for St. Jude’s Hospital. Crapanzano said they got the idea with their teacher in an Entrepreneurs Club school project and decided to repeat it at the Vendor’s Market with all proceeds to go to the worthy cause of helping children less fortunate than them.
“It makes me feel great,” Crapanzano said with enthusiasm. “I know that I’m helping someone.”