The 5th annual Guilty Girls Warehouse Sale was bigger, better – and louder! – and this year they will give away more money than ever to a non-profit.
As some 800 eager shoppers entered Arsht Hall on Friday, February 3rd, they were besieged by pop hits by Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry and friends from wall to wall who turned out for what has become the best Girls Night Out of the new year.
Unbelievably, Opening Night sold out two weeks in advance – breaking the previous sell-out record by a week. “We do everything we can to make it fun!” said said Amy Kanzleiter, one of the Guilty Girls Giving Group founders. “We’re just so glad that year after year so many women return to shop, see their friends and have a really good time.”
The once a year Guilty Girls Warehouse Sale started five years ago as a clothing, home decor and gift show, offering steep discounts on last season’s and surplus merchandise. Over the course of the weekend, they sold more than 1,000 tickets to their two-day event, and they sold more Saturday tickets than they ever have before.
The DJ from Wired Up Entertainment (with a funky step-and-repeat photo booth) wasn’t the only fresh idea this year. There were a few new vendors (some from outside of the Wilmington area), a popular prize wheel offered by WJBR, and new sponsors this year.
Blo Blow Dry Bar, Delaware Cadillac, Diver Chevrolet of Wilmington and Trash Tech (coat check sponsor) came on board as new sponsors this year. As they have done every year, the Mottola Group sponsored the bar and beverage service. Adding a few new sponsors has really helped their bottom line. “We will be giving away more money than ever this year,” said Kanzleiter. Event totals have not yet been tallied.
This year’s show will benefit the Moms House of Wilmington. Last year the Guilty Girls Giving Group gave $32,000 to A Better Chance for our Children. Charitable beneficiaries must earmark something specific that the money will go towards; the donation does not support operating costs or ongoing program management.
Amy Kanzleiter, who owns Mamie Boutique in Wilmington and Kennett Square with fellow Archmere alum and Guilty Girls co-founder Megan Corey, said they wanted to do something more than just consider the requests by the many organizations who regularly request auction donations. “Guilty Girls is our way of giving back. We’re really supportive of women-owned businesses,” said Kanzleiter. “This is a way we can really impact an organization. And it’s fun! There’s nothing else going on in January and February!”
Some of this year’s vendors included Ashley Austin, Charlotte Shoppe, Two Sisters, Houppette, Kurtz Collection, People People, and Scout & Molly’s. Thirty-one exhibitors in all, and each booth was filled with shoppers on Friday night.
A committee of the six women – all friends – launched Guilty Girls in 2012. The committee members are Amy Kanzleiter, Megan Corey, Colleen Corrado, Kerry Wendel, Cathy Killian, and Lena Salus. Kanzleiter said their friendship has been invaluable. “Maybe above all else, I really feel that so much of our success is attributable to the fact that we are such good friends.”
Guilty Girls would like to thank the many volunteers, including staff at Moms House, who helped with set-up and show logistics on Friday and Saturday.
Unfortunately, Guilty Girls will have to find a new location next year. University of Delaware has decided to use all of their space at Arsht Hall for continuing education programs going forward. (The Perfect Gift, whose 2016 show was held at Arsht Hall in October, will also have a new location next year.) “We need 10,000 square feet for exhibitors and shoppers, and we’re open to ideas!” said Kanzleiter.