Rams Harvest Bazaar brings creative community together

Zoë Dehmer
Staff Writer

If you passed by the amphitheater behind Hibbs Hall on Friday afternoon between 11 a.m.-4 p.m. you couldn’t have missed the Rams Harvest Community Bazaar. Artists, entrepreneurs, craftsmen, farmers and other creative groups set up booths to sell a variety of handmade items to passersby.

Despite rain throughout the afternoon, students stopped to see what was happening.

Anthropology major Michelle Tran is a first-year transfer student and was pleased to stumble upon the creative community event at her new school.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Tran said. “VCU’s really artsy-fartsy, this is really cool!”

The Rams Community Bazaar is a student organization branched associated with Green Unity for VCU. The group’s goal is to make VCU and the greater community a haven for local organizations and businesses to promote a sustainable, environmentally friendly better quality of life, according to their mission statement.

As noted on the bazaar’s website, the organization is devoted to bringing to life the creative, friendly community feeling in Richmond to the student body by providing a place for artists and entrepreneurs to sell their work and students to engage with those artists in person.

Supporters of the bazaar from the other side of the booth expressed an appreciation for the supportive community in Richmond for entrepreneurs.

Andrea Daughtry runs a pop-up vintage clothing and accessory business, sings professionally and goes to VCU full-time for business. In addition to doing pop-up shops at different universities near Richmond, she works out of Art Work Gallery off of the 14th street bridge downtown.

“I started it last September,” Daughtry said. “I’m mobile, online, I have Instagram, a website, everything. It’s going good so far … it’s a good way to support myself.”

For some, vendors who were not as established yet as business owners found the bazaar an easy way to start selling their work without the financial burden of owning a business.

International studies and French double major Tereza McInnes set up her booth to sell handmade crochet pieces. “I’ve been doing these for five years,” McInnes said. “But this is my first time selling things. I thought, I’ve got so many of these things, it’d be awesome if I could sell some.”

To reserve a spot at the bazaar, student vendors paid $15 and community vendors paid $25 for a 6 foot table with two folding chairs.

McInnes said she was pleased with how easy it was to sign up for a table at the bazaar. “Here I only have to a pay a $15 fee for the table and the I can sell as much as I want without having to worry about costs like tax or commission,” said McInnes.

Pamela Gomez, a creative advertising major, said she heard about the bazaar from a friend. She was particularly interested in one booth where VCU photography majors were selling handmade prints to raise money for their department’s senior show.

“There’s some really interesting stuff here. It’s really important to me to have things like this, I feel like Richmond as a community does more than a lot of colleges,” Gomez said.

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