Winterthur sparkled last night as volunteers of The Christmas Shop Foundation welcomed shoppers to opening night at their 99th annual fundraiser, The Perfect Gift.
The Museum’s welcome center was transformed into a beautiful shopping experience with 38 specially curated vendors from around the country selling women’s apparel and jewelry plus gifts for friends, family and teachers as well as home accents and delicious nibbles such as candies, nuts and oils.
The gift show continues tomorrow from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.
“We are so appreciative that year after year hundreds of people come to The Perfect Gift to see what’s new, and shop for gifts they can buy for family and friends, knowing that each purchase helps Delaware nonprofits. We were truly honored last year to award more than $70,000 to dozens of nonprofits,” said 2019 Co-chair Barb Dewson.
Vendors donate 20 percent of their proceeds to the Christmas Shop Foundation. Additional funds raised at the event will help support the Foundation’s efforts to award annual grants to local nonprofits.
Exhibits Chair Marian Cottrell says the vendor selection committee of five women decided to add a few higher-end exhibitors this year because large sales generate more revenue for the nonprofit. “And our shoppers, too, have provided feedback in prior years that some were looking for greater variety in price points,” she said.
For the first time, the show will have Saturday-only vendors this year including Hope’s Caramels and Mrs. Robinsons Tea Shop from Kennett Square. The pair will take the space of the silent auction which closes this evening.
East Coast Sweets, the first vendor visitors see when they enter the show, offers chocolates that are works of art. “She hand makes every single one of them, and she does a beautiful job. She sold out last year by Friday night,” says Cottrell. Next to the candy maker is Fusions Tasters Choice with a variety of flavored oils and salts and other food items.
Daniella Ortiz, raised in Argentina, offers luxury handbags — clutches made of snake and lizard skin and a colorful leather collection in a variety of shapes and sizes.
This is the third year The Perfect Gift welcomes La Cigale, who works with several small family sewing shops in
Southern France to create vibrant and elegant tabletop linens.
Lisette Hasbun Design sells colorfully-designed porcelain and has quite a following among shoppers who return to the event year after year.
There are also three men’s exhibitors this year: Three Islands from Watch Hill, RI, Rhoback Activewear and Bird Dog Bay, with men’s shirts, ties, belts and outerwear.
Event co-chair Pam Biddle says she is greatly impressed with the drive of several volunteers, many of whom have been with the organization for decades. “It’s really impressive that our gift show is having a resurgence — that we have been able to bounce back from 2008. And that is in large part due to the cohesive group of volunteers who are incredibly dedicated to the Christmas Shop Foundation. We are now giving away a significant amount of money to nonprofits, which is gratifying to all of us.”
With funds raised last year, the Christmas Shop Foundation now has awarded more than $5 million to hundreds of Delaware nonprofits.