The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri: women building better communities.
By: Liz Webb & Adrienne Hamer, 2013 Holiday Mart Retail Co-Chairs
“I’m so full I could burst,” stated one of the retail committee members after spending an evening sampling food items sent in by prospective Holiday Mart retailers. Committee members tasted a wide variety of appetizers, beverages and food items including: spinach dip, spiced pretzels, chicken tamales, smoked pork tenderloin, cheeses, jalapeno raspberry compote, chocolate covered cherries, fudge sauce, s’mores pie and a brownie cobbler, all washed down with a variety of wine slushies. “Sampling wine and eating appetizers is the sacrifice we make so Holiday Mart customers have the best items possible,” said Lisa Kalell, Holiday Mart Co-Chair. “I’ve never eaten so much mayo based dips in my life.”
During this special “food night” jury session, the committee reviewed 18 food vendors. Some are returning favorites (Bear Creek Smokehouse and Cherry Republic) while others are new to Holiday Mart (240 Sweet and Mi Casa Tamales.)
Even if a retailer has been in the show before, all retailers must go through the same application process. On February 1, retailers can apply online and complete the application process. As of April 7th, 234 retailers have applied and over 100 have been reviewed at a jury session.
While the traditional League year is winding down, the Retail Committee is really busy in March and April.Each Tuesday and Thursday night the committee meets to jury retailer applications and samples. At each meeting, we must have quorum consisting of five committee members in order to complete the jury session. Angie Prince, JLKCMO Bookkeeper, provides background information on returning retailers and records our “verdicts” as we review each application. Prior to deciding whether we will accept the retailer into Holiday Mart, product samples and booth photos are reviewed by the committee. We are now halfway through the process and are excited about the retailers we’ve selected!
The retail committee has taken into consideration the 2012 Holiday Mart Shopper Survey results and are searching for retailers in the following categories: childrens’ clothing, toys and gifts, pet gifts, products geared toward men and holiday décor. Please let your favorite store or designer know that while our official application deadline, April 1, has passed, we would still love to see applicants in these categories.
A special thanks to the insightful and very dedicated retail committee: Sarah Lovinger Florio, Carter Zeigler, Erin Gregory, Mary Pfeifer, Starla Goss, Katherine Eitel and Lauren Liquore.
Also…“Thank You” to Jane Guthrie, Administrative Assistant, who helps organize and record each retail sample package that arrives at JLKC HQ.