'Jingle Bell Mingle' a great holiday shopping alternative
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Wed., Nov. 28, 2012
Thirty-five businesses took part in the Jingle Bell Mingle at the Gallery on Nov. 27, to give shoppers an alternative to the mall as they search for unique holiday gifts. Merchants from Glastonbury and the surrounding area offered specialized items, including some handmade crafts, as well as artwork, among the many potential stocking stuffers available during the four-hour event.
Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce President Mary Ellen Dombrowski said the event was planned to take place right after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, while people are still riding that wave of early holiday shopping. “It’s in tandem with the idea of shopping local,” she said. “We’re always promoting that, so there are a lot of local vendors. Some are retailers, some are hobbyists and some are people who normally would do shows in your home.”
The Jingle Bell Mingle was presented by Women Lead for several years, Dombrowski explained, adding that the Chamber had done a similar, yet smaller event last year. This was the first year that the two combined forces and made the event a larger and more successful one.
Ray Medeiros, of Lebanon, was selling hand-carved wooden utensils. He said he had been a vendor at the Apple Harvest Festival, and jumped at the chance to appear at the Jingle Bell Mingle. “It’s my first time here,” Medeiros said, adding that he has taken part in other events that were similar, but that were more geared for artisans only. “There’s a different kind of people and businesses here. It’s really nice. I like it. It’s a good town, and I’ve had good support from Glastonbury.”
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for local vendors to come out and get exposure for their wares,” said Jan Horahan, of Jan’s on Main – a consignment and specialty retail shop that started just over a year ago. “You meet new people and get exposure, and word-of-mouth is your best form of advertising.”
The casual nature of the event also lent itself to some networking and the ability to spread the word about businesses’ other offerings.
Pamela Crouch of Let’s Talk Event Marketing said that while selling electronic luggage scales she was also able to talk to people about the travel agent aspect of her business. “We are selling the scales, which are a great gift for anyone who travels,” she said, “and creating awareness about what I’m doing for travel – I’m working with Wethersfield Travel now, so I’m talking to people about cruises and trips that they can take.”
“It’s really good event,” said Tom Doukas of Artison Specialties, who was selling fine Greek olive oils.
“We’re very happy,” Dombrowski said, about halfway through the event. “The vendors are all happy. We’ve had a steady flow of people so far and we expect more later on.”
For more information, visit www.glastonburychamber.com.