While the debate over how best to keep shopping dollars in Clarke County continues, one local entrepreneur has decided that actions speak louder than words. And not only has Kimberly Chambers figured out a way to energize the local economy, she’s also helping the Clarke County High School Band in the process.
Chambers is an independent Silpada Designs sales representative. In layman’s terms, that means that Chambers is an entrepreneur who runs a Clarke County-based business offering hand-made sterling silver jewelry and accessories from around the world. Chambers is also a “band mom” whose daughter Alexandra is this year’s CCHS band president.
So, when it came time to replace the band’s tattered and oft-tailored “bibbers,” suspendered form-fitting overalls worn under the band member’s jackets, Chambers put her business brain to work and came up with a novel approach for covering the $9,000 cost.
“I was trying to think of something different to do for a band fundraiser,” Chambers said. “We’ve all had the experience of buying frozen pizzas or cookie dough that we didn’t really need. I thought that it might be useful if a fundraiser offered people a way to do some of their holiday shopping locally while also supporting an excellent cause – the CCHS band.”
Chambers did some investigating and found that, like herself, several other band parents ran home-based distributorships for gift companies. Wouldn’t it be nice, Chambers thought, if somehow the band’s uniform needs could be met through leveraging a local business event.
And that’s when Chambers’ sales expertise kicked into high gear. She decided to make the “local business event” happen.
Chambers pulled the together six other Clarke County home-based businesses to create a “Savings Wonderland” shopping event where families can spend an afternoon shopping locally while at the same time supporting the CCHS Screamin’ Eagles as well as the local economy.
Not only did Chambers pull the event together, she also convinced her fellow entrepreneurs to donate their profits from the event to the support the band uniform funding effort.
Chambers also convinced Enders Fire Company to donate the use of the social hall for the one day event.
Chambers says that the “Savings Wonderland” shopping event will carry something for nearly everyone’s budget and taste.
“There will be several vendors and all have really nice products,” Chambers said. “We scheduled the event with the idea that it might make a nice family outing with merchandise that will appeal to everyone.”
Chambers said that in addition to Silpada Designs, the “Savings Wonderland” shopping event will also include “Scentsy,” “Tastefully Simple,” “Mary Kay,” “Pampered Chef,” ” Thirty-One,” and “Juice Plus.”
Chambers said that although the purchase of the new band bibbers, which hadn’t been replaced in many years, was sorely needed, the outlay took a big bite out of the band’s financial reserves. If the event is well attended Chambers hopes that it will go a long way to replenishing next year’s band budget.
“We’re really hoping that this event will raise a good amount of money to support the band,” Chambers said. “But everything depends on how many people come out to purchase items. Each vendor operates under a different commission plan so everything depends on our total sales volume.”
The Savings Wonderland shopping event will be held on Sunday, November 13, 2011 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at Enders Social Hall in Berryville, Virginia. All profits from the event will be used to benefit the Clarke County High School Screamin’ Eagles band.
Chambers’s Silpada Designs website can be viewed at mysilpada.com/kimberly.chambers