Big biz for kids 

3rd annual Bratz Biz Christmas fair offers up wide range of arts and crafts from local kids

click to enlarge Christmas Crafts Two vendors at last year's Bratz Biz fair strike a pose at their beautifully decorated booth. Photo by Joern Rohde,
  • Christmas Crafts Two vendors at last year's Bratz Biz fair strike a pose at their beautifully decorated booth. Photo by Joern Rohde,

What: Bratz Biz Christmas craft fair

When: Saturday, Dec. 6, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Whistler Secondary School

Admission: By donation

While some kids are busy waxing skis and shooting pucks this winter season, there are a bunch of young, talented local artists who have been toiling away at home, creating unique crafts for the annual Bratz Biz craft fair.

Susan Shrimpton is one of the organizers of the event, which she founded with her hairdresser and friend, Carmen Laslett, in the fall of 2006.

“It just started over a conversation while she was cutting my hair,” Shrimpton recalled.

The two women were chatting about their crafty kids who had been busy selling their handcrafted wares to family and friends, and the beach-going public, over the summer months.

“We thought, What can we do to help these kids realize how good they are, how talented they are, and how can we help market their products?” she said. “We wanted to create an event for like-minded children — crafty kids.”

Shrimpton points out that, while there are many events and activities geared towards athletic and musical children, there aren’t a lot of options for kids who like arts and crafts. Entering professional adult crafting events, like Bizarre Bazaar and the Whistler Farmer’s Market, isn’t really an option for most children.

“Bizarre Bazaar is a very expensive event to enter, it’s also very difficult to get into the Sunday Farmer’s Market — it’s extremely competitive,” Shrimpton said.

So they started organizing Bratz Biz in the fall of 2006, offering kids a venue to sell their products in. Now, some kids will be participating for their third year.

Participants range in age from nine to 16-year-olds, who create everything from jewelry, figurines and baked goods to dog products and clocks made from collected bicycle parts. You name it, a kid has probably thought of it.

“They’re blown away, they’ve overwhelmingly surprised,” Shrimpton said of the first-time attendees to the fair.

Shannon MacNamara, a 15-year-old Grade 10 student at Whistler Secondary School, is a second-year vendor at Bratz Biz. She sells handmade necklaces and earrings, crafted from glass and wooden beads.

“Its partly what I like to wear, and partly what I see,” MacNamara explained, adding that she gets a lot of her inspiration from pop culture — TV, movies and magazines.

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