Thrill of the Hunt | Annual Bazaar
Over the decades, The Church of the Good Shepherd’s annual Bazaar has earned a regional reputation. It’s only natural that it’s mushroomed into the year-round Bazaar Barn, 118 US Hwy 64 West (at Shoppes on the Green).
Each July, since 1985 The Church of the Good Shepherd in Cashiers has held an annual Bazaar to raise money for their outreach efforts.
From a modest start that reaped $2,000, the Bazaar grew exponentially over the years, drawing crowds from everywhere, and generating substantial funds.
Last year with the onset of the pandemic and the enactment of social-distancing requirements, the folks at The Church of the Good Shepherd realized they could not hold their annual in-person bazaar sale. Pivoting quickly, they determined instead to open to the public the warehouse where donated items were collected – known as the “Bazaar Barn.”
And so the Bazaar Barn, now a permanent and year-round operation was born. It was both a lesson in being willing to change everything on the fly as the pandemic upended how people shopped, and of smart people working in tandem. You could call it a Covid Success Story.
Open Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., the Bazaar brings together shoppers of vastly different backgrounds who share the love of a bargain and are titillated by the unpredictability of the find.
For many, driven by the thrill of the hunt, a trip to the Bazaar has become less a shopping trip, and more an adventure.
Here they can discover gently-used household furnishings and accessories along with men’s things – there’s a hefty inventory of golf items. Low-end prices for high-end merchandise like iron candelabra, an 18th-century inlaid marquetry desk or an 18th-century corner cabinet attract designers on the hunt and keep customers returning week after week.
Donors, though not named, are often people well known politically and socially in the community. Often the remains of an estate or an entire household are donated. People often leave it in their will or the heirs determine to contribute the contents of the home of a deceased loved one.
The Bazaar puts the bargain hunter’s passion to use for a good cause, and The Church of the Good Shepherd has found it an excellent way to fund their programs. Last year, over $195,000 was given to 16 qualified organizations in the areas of education, healthcare, environmental education and basic needs. A full list of recipients can be found on their website.
Staffed by a passionate, caring group of locals, the volunteers find the shop a socially stimulating place to work outside of the home. Many identify with the institution in a personal way. This year the church hired manager Skip Ryan, a former local entrepreneur with a background in antiques, auctions and furnishings. Thrilled with his new position, Skip was eager to talk about the, “great group of volunteers and customers. It’s a win, win situation. It’s hard work, but we give back so generously to the community. I couldn’t be any happier”
All donations are tax deductible. For more details or to donate, please contact Skip Ryan at (828) 226-2588 or visit goodshepherdofcashiers.com/bazaar-barn.
by Marlene Osteen