Local woman organizing first Christmas craft show


‘Tis the season for Christmas craft shows.

New to the Jackson County slate this year is Jingle Ball 2021, set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 27 at Girls Inc. of Jackson County, 956 N. O’Brien St., Seymour.

It will feature 21 vendors selling handmade items or direct sales products. There also will be a vendor selling baked goods, and there will be children’s activities, too. Admission is free.

The show is being organized by Marissa Barger, a 2019 Seymour High School graduate who is in her third year studying elementary education and special education at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus.

Last year, she was asked by her dance teacher, Sarah Arnold, to help run a show at her downtown studio, STEPS Dance Center. It was small and featured 13 vendors.

“I was thinking, ‘I could probably do this on my own,’” Barger said.

In May, Barger organized her first craft show at Girls Inc.

“It turned out really well. It was the weekend of the U.S. 50 sales, and it ended up working out in our favor. There was a lot of foot traffic,” she said. “I had about 35 vendors, so I thought, ‘Let’s do one for Christmas.’ After the event, I had a lot of vendors reach out to me saying, ‘Hey, if you do another one again, I would love to be a part of it. I had such good success with this one. If you do another one, let’s do it again.’”

She offered a small discount on booth fees for vendors from the spring show who reserved space for the Jingle Ball.

“That was an incentive to bring a lot of people back,” Barger said. “I got about half of the people that did my last show coming back.”

Those who attend the event can expect to find a variety of Christmas crafts, including personalized resin cups, wreaths and signs. Barger makes scrunchies, earrings and personalized elves and will sell those at her booth.

“I’m obsessed with Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday,” she said. “Nov. 1, I was already telling my fiancé, ‘I want the tree up,’ so I wanted to do a Christmas craft show, and I’ve been telling my vendors, ‘Let’s get some Christmas-themed items in there,’ and I think everybody is on the same page with me about being obsessed with Christmas, so that worked out really good for me.”

Direct sales so far include Tupperware and Scentsy. Barger said she’s still accepting vendor spots for handmade items and direct sales. To reserve a spot, call 812-216-6936 or email [email protected].

“I know a lot of vendors are going to be taking orders, too, so if you see something like, ‘Hey, maybe I’d like this in this certain color’ or ‘I’d like it with my name on it,’ they’ll be taking orders,” she said.

New to this show is children’s activities, which will include storytime and a craft at noon. Barger also hopes to have face painting and Santa.

“I really love working with kids,” she said. “I’m in school to be a teacher, and I have a kid myself, so I’m trying to think of what parents would want to bring their kids to do.”

Like the spring show, Barger is donating the vendor fees she collects to Girls Inc.

“I really appreciate them letting me use their space,” she said. “STEPS moved buildings and I’m a coach there, and they let us use their gym a couple of times, so it really meant a lot to me that the girls were still able to dance while we were moving studios.”

Barger said she’s selling items at a craft show the following weekend at the Knights of Columbus in Seymour.

Looking forward, she said she hopes to continue to organize craft shows, too.

“I definitely want to,” she said.

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