On the Saturday Nov 19, the organization Macon’s Artisans United hosted a “Bazaar Affair” on Napier Ave.
Vendors sold homemade and homegrown products to benefit local and national charities.
In total, six vendors pitched tents displaying goods such as sculptures, potted herbs and spices, paintings, jewelry, crochet, and baked goods.
Lita Rutland, a former trucker turned soap-maker, organized the first Bazaar Affair in September at her house to act as an alternative to the local Market on the Green. Rutland chose to start Bazaar affair to take advantage of the days when other local markets are not operating.
Her house on Napier Avenue also has heavier traffic and, therefore, more exposure than other markets. However, Rutland admitted that it is hard to get people to stop.
To generate interest, she posted fliers to various Macon websites and venues.
Rutland then invited several vendors that she met through Market on the Green to partake in the now monthly event. Most of the vendors at the Bazaar sold original art, but a few sold produce as well.
“Farming and gardening is an art form too,” said Rutland adding, “[and] these people are serious about their art.”
Every vendor at Bazaar Affair had a special charity to which a portion of the day’s profits benefited.
Ten percent of Lita’s proceeds went to benefit the battle against breast cancer. Other beneficiaries of the Bazaar Affair include the American Lung Cancer Association, American Red Cross, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, United Way, Alzheimer’s research, and Jay Jay’s Miracle.
“Everyone of them hits home, everyone knows someone who’s been affected,” said Lita, “we gotta give back to the community.”
Barbara Edwards, a friend of Lita, sold perennials and a spicy pepper plant whose fruit is affectionately named by another vendor (Jason Fowler) as the “China Cherry Bomb.”
Jason Fowler’s aunt, Polly Fowler ran the “Jewelry by Design” table. Polly Fowler, made her first piece of jewelry from a shoe medallion two years ago.
A friend encouraged Polly to continue her work. “She told me I had a gift from God,” said Mrs. Folwer.
Polly has been making necklaces, bracelets, and earrings from found items ever since.
Marlene Still started selling blueberries to supplement her family’s income after her husband was diagnosed with cancer.
Still expanded her enterprise as blueberries went out of season to include cakes (pumpkin spice maple cake with pecan glaze), peppers, collard greens, boiled peanuts, sea salt, and home cut fat lighter, a type of kindling.
Darlene Murphy, Lita Rutland’s sister and Mercer University employee, ran the studio ‘Freestyle art and design’. Murphy’s talents include painting, drawing, sculpting, and metal working.
“I do it for the joy,” said Murphy. She has taught art before and loves teaching children that art design is everywhere.
Nassira Love and her two daughters, displayed several pop art pieces along with homemade hats and bags.
Proceeds from her table will fund “Youth Handcraft Lessons,” a personal project in which she plans to teach children entrepreneurship through selling their crafts.
Lita Rutland also had a table set up to sell produce grown in her backyard alongside a separate table displaying more than thirty kinds of homemade soap.
The Next Bazaar Affair is scheduled for December 17 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, at 3356 Napier Avenue.