INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Need to grab some Christmas gifts for friends and loved ones? The 51st Annual Holiday Mart begins Thursday at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Holiday Mart is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Indianapolis Junior Leaguea women’s organization that uses volunteerism to develop the potential of local women and improve the lives of local children and families.
This year’s Holiday Mart, which runs through Saturday in the Blue Ribbon Pavilion, will feature homemade goods from a few enterprising young Hoosiers, as well as items from nearly 90 vendors and artisans.
JLI says the event will also highlight its commitment to helping children in central Indiana who are involved in the foster or kinship system. In fact, the wintry artwork on display at the Holiday Mart was created by children supported by Villages of Indiana, the state’s largest nonprofit children and family agency.
For the first time ever, guests stopping by Holiday Mart can purchase one-of-a-kind items from some very special young Hoosiers.
The “Enchanting Entrepreneurs” are children between the ages of 5 and 17. Selling their handmade goods at Holiday Mart gives them a chance to start their own business.
One of the young owners is Ella Grace, who stopped by Daybreak on Tuesday to talk about the event.
“I’ll be selling handmade hairbrushes,” Ella Grace said. “I have all sorts of varieties. I have some white hairbrushes. I have some black hairbrushes and even hand mirrors.”
Ella Grace says things really took off when she was in second grade.
“In second grade they had us do a market for the first graders and I did a hair and nail salon. But I didn’t want to spread hair lice, so I made hairbrushes that people could buy,” Ella Grace explained. “Then I said, ‘Hey mom, can I go on?’ And my mother said, ‘Sure.’ Then I got business cards and gave them out at a concert and surprisingly got 100 orders.”
Holiday Mart also offers several special events, including a shopping night celebration on Thursday, a charcuterie workshop and cupcake workshops on Saturday, and a ballerina breakfast on Sunday. Tickets for all special Holiday Mart events are available online.
General admission tickets to Holiday Mart can be purchased in advance for $12 or at the door for $15. Entry is free for all children under the age of 10.
Proceeds from Holiday Mart support JLI’s mission and help fund community projects, grants and programs.
Visit the Junior League of Indianapolis website for more informations.