Holiday Mart isn’t a craft fair, nor is it a hobby show, says Junior League of Indianapolis (JLI) member Tina Hayes of Center Grove. Instead, it’s a one-of-a-kind shopping experience where people can find some of the most unique gifts for the upcoming holiday season.

“You’re literally walking into the most unique mall you’ve ever been to when you come to Holiday Mart,” Hayes said. “It’s shopping at its finest. Holiday Mart is absolutely worth driving to the Indiana State Fairgrounds for.”

Beginning on Wednesday, November 13 and running through Sunday, November 17, JLI will host its 43rd Holiday Mart 2013, featuring more than 100 merchants from across the country. Buyers can peruse women and children’s apparel, men’s specialty items, gifts, holiday décor, gourmet food items, jewelry and more.

Holiday Mart serves as the primary fundraising event for JLI, an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

Funds raised at Holiday Mart benefit various projects and programs, says Mica Wilson, JLI president-elect of Zionsville. JLI estimates it will net around $300,000 from the event, and all the proceeds will go back into the community.

This year, JLI is focusing on preparing students for academic success and is working with three local organizations:

Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis: An affiliate of the national Girls Inc. nonprofit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart and bold.

Indy Reads: A nonprofit organization that promotes and improves the literacy of adults and families in Central Indiana.

Happy Hollow Children’s Camp: A nonprofit providing educational and outdoor residential camping programs for people with special needs or from economically disadvantaged households.

“We’ve put about $4 million into the community just from Holiday Mart alone,” Wilson said.

Shopping — plus sharing Best friends and Holiday Mart 2013 co-chairs Allison Karns and Teresa Griffin, both of Carmel, look forward to Holiday Mart every year. “Teresa and I have been best friends since we were young,” Karns said. “We went to high school and law school together. Holiday Mart is so special. It’s an event we always knew about since we were young, and we never imagined we would chair it together. It’s like the icing on the cake. We’re a good team.”

“We know our merchants, and customers look forward to it too,” Griffin said. “It’s great knowing we are doing something that has a big impact on the community.”

Leah Silverthorn of Geist, a co-secretary of this year’s Holiday Mart, said her favorite part of Holiday Mart is the camaraderie. “Who doesn’t want to volunteer and shop during your downtime?” she said. “I can’t complain about that!”

Wilson said Holiday Mart customers almost always come back year after year. “Once you come, you’ll be a lifetime Holiday Mart shopper,” she said. “It’s a good feeling to put on something that people enjoy. It makes you proud.”

Special Events at Holiday Mart

Two popular events are coming back to Holiday Mart 2013:

  • Shopper’s Eve: Wednesday, November 13 6:30–10 pm $40 per person Get a sneak peek at all 2013 Holiday Mart has to offer. Features hors d’oeuvres and valet parking.
  • Girls’ Night Out: Friday, November 15 6:30–10 pm $25 per person This night out of shopping will feature extended shopping hours and includes dessert, cocktails, swag bags and merchant discounts.

Mica Wilson, JLI president-elect, said the two special events are a blast because they mark the beginning of the holiday season and give women a chance to dress up and spend time with each other while shopping.

Mistletoe Madness will take place throughout Holiday Mart. JLI runs this special large booth which features merchandise from about 30 smaller merchants. JLI earns a commission on all merchandise sold here. Holiday Mart also will have a silent auction.

About Holiday Mart 2013

  • WHAT: Junior League of Indianapolis Holiday Mart 2013
  • WHEN: Wednesday, November 13—Sunday, November 17
  • WHERE: Indiana State Fairgrounds
  • HOURS AND SPECIAL EVENTS: • Wednesday, November 13, 6:30–10 pm: Shoppers’ Eve ($40) • Thursday, November 14, 10 am–8 pm: General admission • Friday, November 15, 10 am–5:30 pm: General admission; 6:30–10 pm: Girls’ Night Out ($25) • Saturday, November 16, 10 am–6 pm: General admission • Sunday, November 17, 10 am–5 pm: General admission
  • TICKETS: Available online at participating Marsh Supermarkets and at the Holiday Mart MORE INFO: Visit the Junior League of Indianapolis and Holiday Mart 2013 website at www.jlindy.org.

Nicole HoffmanWho helps Holiday Mart happen?

  •  Nicole Hoffman, Fishers resident, family nurse practitioner at Community Hospitals
  • JUNIOR LEAGUE MEMBER: Two years (one provisional)
  • HOLIDAY MART ROLE: Special events subcommittee. “We planned the Shoppers’ Eve and Girls’ Night Out events as well as the silent auction.”
  • FAVORITE PART OF HOLIDAY MART: “I love the Girls’ Night Out event. It’s a little dressier, and it’s really fun to see mothers and daughters or groups of friends come out. It gets to be a tradition of the year for them and has become the kick-off to the holiday season.”
  • WHY SHE GOT INVOLVED: “You get to spend a lot of time working with the committee and your subcommittee, and you get to know the people much better. Also I’m always all about shopping local, eating local and supporting the local community, and this event has so many smaller local vendors participating.”

 

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