Whale of a Sale is Delaware’s Shopping Catch Like no Other

Junior League of Wilmington 2019 Whale of a Sale volunteers Lindsay Lancaster, Shawn Matteo, Angela Gustavsen, Rachel ___ and Steph Graev

Whale of a Sale, the Junior League of Wilmington’s 39-year-old marquee fundraiser, has always been a bargain-lover’s bonanza. Anyone who’s ever shopped Whale knows that merchandise in every category – from apparel to holiday décor to toys to furniture, linens, lamps and housewares galore – can be found in all of its gently used glory.

This year is no different.

“Our furniture section includes a trinity of gorgeous gray velvet chairs, an enormous entertainment center that can be sold together or in parts and several complete bedroom and dining sets,” said organizing committee co-chair Angela Gustavsen.


“We also have yards of gorgeous custom drapery and decorator fabric, a mountain of throw pillows, a great selection of artwork and other décor and a fun holiday collection that could carry you from Halloween to Christmas to Easter,” she said.

And the ‘absolutely huge’ children’s section could carry a little one from infancy through to youth. Along with name-brand clothing, shoes and outerwear – all in excellent condition – it’s stocked with tons of tot-ready equipment.

“We have high chairs, baby baths, jumparoos, bouncy seats and swings,” Gustavsen said, “plus strollers, pack-and-plays, toys, games, dollhouses and a couple of barely used play kitchens.”

Play kitchens and other large toys will be for sale at the event.

Those with retro taste will be intrigued – and perhaps even amused – by the wares making up Whale’s antiques and collectibles section. Some of this year’s vintage items could have been transported via time machine.

“We have an antique adding machine for one, and there’s a 1950s Ice-O-Matic ice crusher in absolutely pristine condition,” Gustavsen noted. There’s even a vintage pogo stick, which does work – I’ve tried it!”


Overall, this year’s inventory upholds Whale’s reputation as a paradise for previously used merchandise. However, it also confirms the Sale’s lesser-known status as a spot for shoppers to score consignment-quality designer duds and accessories and great buys of the brand-new kind.

“Our expanded unique boutique includes a beautiful assortment of designer clothing, bags and especially shoes, as we’ve gotten multiple donations from many ladies with superb taste!” Gustavsen said.

JLW collected three times as many clothes as will be for sale at Whale of a Sale. Those with imperfections have been donated to other organizations directly serving populations in need.

Whale of a Sale 2019 will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at 3030 Bowers St. in Wilmington.

This location was the Opportunity Center and now houses Second Chances Farm, an indoor, hydroponic, vertical farm that nurtures plants, people and the planet by providing formerly incarcerated returning citizens with mentorship programs and “green collar” jobs.

The site is easily accessible from downtown Wilmington and Interstate 495, and parking is available on the street and at nearby East Side Charter School. Admission is free, and amazing deals are available in every department.


Proceeds benefit the JLW’s mission of developing the leadership potential of its members and improving the community through initiatives such as its Stand Up. Period. impact campaign, which focuses on menstrual equity in Delaware and aims to ensure affordable access to supplies and information to anyone who has a period. Those purchasing the limited-quantity reusable Whale of a Sale bags will be contributing funds directly to the JLW’s period supply bank.

Items unsold by the end of Whale day will be donated to other nonprofit organizations for their own use or sale.

baby and children’s toys, luggage, art, even a washer and dryer are for sale

“Staging Whale of a Sale is a massive undertaking that comes together in just a few weeks thanks to the magic of lady power and the hard work and cooperation of our Active, Provisional and Sustainer members,” organizing committee co-chair Stephanie Graev said.

“Just as important as our efforts, though, is the help we receive from Bayshore Moving & Storage, Just Between Friends, community members who donate items and shop and our media partners,” said Graev.

For more information, follow Whale of a Sale on Facebook @WhaleofaSaleJLW or visit jlwilmington.org/whale-of-a-sale.

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About the Contributor

Susan Coulby

Susan Coulby

Susan Coulby is a marketing/communications professional with more than 20 years of experience in South Jersey and Northern Delaware, most notably at Camden County College and Delaware College of Art and Design.

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