Spotlighting local good stuffs for the good of our locals
By Lele Galer, Columnist, The Times
This week’s Art Watch highlights Bizzigirls, a non-profit community marketing cooperative that has monthly art shows to benefit small local non-profits that provide services to local people in need. Bizzigirls a wonderful group of high energy women who get together to raise money and awareness for great causes and also help to support local boutique artisans and local restaurants and wineries. What a terrific way to bring attention to all things local!
Bizzigirls is the brain-child of two very busy women, Katee Boyle Mojica and Mary Veale, who scout our Chester County and Philadelphia area for inspiring new artisans and causes to highlight in their “Sip and Shop” fundraisers. This is a mission of love and dedication, not for profit, so all monies raised go to support a specific monthly charitable organization. “We love it! We are two moms running an organization from our kitchen while our kids are hanging off of our legs! Everyone has been so enthusiastic and supportive, and that just keeps us going!” says co-founder Mary Veale.
Bizzigirls events are always a lot of fun. The Bizzigirls venues set up in different restaurants and wineries in our region. If you would like to know where they will be next, just get on their email list so you can plan out your calendar: www.facebook.com/bizzigirls.
Last week, their scheduled event at Mendenhall Inn was cancelled due to the snow storm, so it is moved this week to Galer Estate Vineyard and Winery in Kennett Square for this Thursday February 13th from 6-9pm. They will be exhibiting seven artists in the fermentation room to benefit “The Best Dressed Tomboy”, alongside photographer Sara Bleemer who will be showing her work in the main Tasting Room (where proceeds benefit the Chester County Art Association’s New Building Fund).
“We started this from our preschool mom’s group with the idea of teaching our children about caring for others and passing on to others in the community” says co-founder Katee Boyle Mojica. Their first event was for “The Pajama Program” where they invited 40 families for a get together and asked each family to bring a pair of child- size pajamas and children’s book to donate to a family in our community. “It was so much fun and so well received that people asked us to keep doing it!” explains Katee.
This month’s Bizzgirls event benefits “The Best Dressed Tomboy” which was founded by local mom Nicole Wiley and her daughter. Their mission is to raise funds for 20,000 pounds of food for distribution this year to our local food banks. For more information please go to www.bestdressedtomboy.blogspot.com. Thursday’s event will highlight the mission of Best Dressed Tomboy and help them bring in 1,000 pounds of food towards their goal.
The $10 suggested entry fee donation and 20% of the artists’ sales will be 100% donated to the food drive. Past Bizzigirls “Sip and Shop” events have highlighted such worthy causes as The United Way of Southern Chester County, Unite for Her, The Kennett Food Cupboard, The Home of the Sparrow, Women’s Shelter in West Chester, The Pajama Program and Founder’s Day at Pocopson Park. Katee explains, “It all about engendering a sense of community and giving whenever you can to those in need. You never know who may be in need… we hear of something and it strikes a chord in us. We stay homegrown and local….almost a kick-start program for businesses, artists and of course important local causes.”
Recognizing that art comes in all forms, from sweaters, to candles, jewelry, paintings and chocolate, the Bizzigirls events try to showcase a little of everything. Some of the local artists and artisans that participate in Bizzigirls “Sip and Shop” events are: 3 Sisters Soaps and Scents, Kate Rose Customs, Neve Elk Hand Knits, Sweet Salvation Truffles, Arden and James and Vintage Fairie Jewelry Studio. Some of the items pictured in this article are from Arden and James of Unionville that makes one of a kind artisan bags and stuffed animals, Honeycakes Cupcakes and Confections out of Coatesville creates mouth-watering treats that are as delicious as they are beautiful Bog Berry Handicrafts that makes gorgeous bright colored woolen dryer balls.
Local restaurants and wineries are also very supportive of the Bizzigirls mission and provide a free venue for these events. Past Bizzigirls events have been held at : Brandywine Prime, Mendenhall Inn, Catherine’s Restaurant, Galer Estate Vineyard and Winery, Bailey’s Dairy and various township locations as well as at private homes. If you would like to host a Bizzigirls events for a specific local charity, or you have a local charitable organization that you are passionate about, please contact the Bizzigirls at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, please come to their event this Thursday at Galer Estate Vineyard and Winery. But local art, sip local wine and help support our local food bank!
This series of articles highights local artists every week. Lele Galer is an artist who has chaired numerous art shows, taught art history and studio art, public art and has chaired, written and taught the Art in Action Art Appreciation series for the UCFD schools for the past 12 years. She worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and wrote for the Asociated Press in Rome. She has been dedicated to Art History and art education for most of her adult life. Lele and her husband Brad own Galer Estate Winery in Kennett Square and she is President of the Education Foundation and co-Chairs the CCAA’s New Building Campaign.