By Rande Archer
Hosting a warm atmosphere and flowing glasses of preferred drinks, the Baton Rouge Fashion Council hosted its “Sip & Shop” pop-up shop event Friday at the Blend wine bar to bring together a variety of local brands and boutiques.
“This was my first Sip & Shop event, but I certainly plan on attending many more,” said attendee Lenzi Liberto. “It was such an enjoyable night. The BR Fashion Council worked really hard to get some wonderful, local artists in one place and the hard work paid off. The turnout was great and getting to meet the faces behind these local companies I’ve heard so much about was the best part.”
Nine local businesses represented themselves with a booth at the pop-up shop, ranging from jewelry and clothing to accessories and baked goods. This event marks the councils second pop-up shop, and their first pop-up shop event at Blend wine bar, following their “Brew and Shop” at Tin Roof Brewery in May. This time, the pop-up hosted Sois, Annie Claire Designs, Hudson 1895, Girly Cute Boutique, Kismet Cosmetics, O Bag Factory, Hands Producing Hope, Whitney C Gaspard Jewelry, and Crave Fit Foodie.
“I was excited [to see] them all,” said Presnell. “I was really happy to see O Bag Factory products in person for the first time. They have really unique items that can all be customized for your personal taste.”
Greeting guests as they entered was Crave, Macaroons & More, tended to by owner Emily Hymel. Serving a delicious variety of macaroons, Crave was definitely a crowd favorite.
“We sold about three fourths of what I brought, so I think we did pretty good,” said Hymel. “Plus some interests in future orders. The overall turnout was pretty good too. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was a nice crowd.”
Coming from a cooking family, Hymel found her passion for macaroons when in school for physical therapy in New Orleans. After cooking for her friends for a few years, she decided to share her love for food with others.
“I started Crave, Macaroons & More pretty recently with the idea of selling macaroons, since there aren’t that many places in Baton Rouge that specializes in them,” said Hymel. “I hope to be able to branch out with other food products, along with some healthier options in the near future.”
Tucked away on the second floor, Hands Producing Hope sold a range of jewelry using internationally produced materials. Employing women in third would nations, Hands Producing Hope gives these women the opportunity to work.
“I [started] HPH after meeting some women from the indigenous people group we now work with and learning of the discrimination, lack of opportunity, and hardship they were facing,” said Hands Producing Hope Founder Rebecca Gardner. “Hands Producing Hope was started as a means for these women, and women like them around the world, to be able to have dignified work, educational opportunities, and to have hope for the future for themselves and their children.”
Gardner too saw a good turnout for the event and was pleased with the outcome of Sip & Shop Friday night
“I enjoyed visiting the other booths, not only to see what beautiful things they were selling but to get to meet the owners of the companies,” Gardner said. “It was also great to share what we do with more people in the community and to connect with other entrepreneurs in the area.”
For more information on the upcoming events from the Fashion Council, visit batonrougefashioncouncil.com.