After closing for over a month for summer reorganizing, Assistance League of Pasadena’s Craft Fair Gift Shop is now open to shop from a wide assortment of beautiful and unique handcrafted items.
As the Assistance League of Pasadena’s senior philanthropy, the Craft Fair Gift Shop has operated as a consignment shop for handmade items since 1955. All items sold in the gift shop are meticulously crafted by men and women over the age of 50.
By shopping at Craft Fair, patrons help to financially support the gift shop’s senior exhibitors, and show appreciation for their trade or craft. Support from patrons has also kept the art and skill of handcrafting alive over the years.
“We’re a consignment store and everything is handmade or hand embellished by seniors. So we are helping seniors sell their merchandise and for a nominal commission,” Simonetta May, a staffer at Craft Fair Gift Shop, said. “The senior comes in with his or her items, we display them in the store and when we sell them, we give them 75 percent of the stated price, and they decide on the price.”
Since it started operations, the Craft Fair Gift Shop has supplied a wide variety of handcrafted items, including baby clothes, blankets, sweaters, and booties; wooden toys and toy chests; baby dolls, Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls and dollhouses; floral wreaths, embroidered, crocheted and lacework items; paintings and pen and ink artwork, and hand-painted birdhouses.
You can also purchase hand-painted pottery, greeting cards and kitchen linens; jewelry, novelty UCLA and USC items and seasonal items, and many more on the shelves that you can choose from.
At this time, the Assistance League of Pasadena is preparing the gift shop for Halloween promotions, followed by the shop’s “big event,” their Holiday Fair on Nov. 19.
The shop is open Thursday through Saturday, from 12 to 4 p.m.
“We really are looking for senior exhibitors and anybody that would like to exhibit their crafts with us are welcome,” May continued. “Any seniors, any crafters 55 years or older, can come in and bring their items and we submit them to the jury and they will decide whether they’re sufficiently handcrafted or embellished to be displayed in our shop.”
Assistance League of Pasadena is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1936. In 1941, it became the sixth chapter of National Assistance League. The National Assistance League now has over 120 Assistance League chapters with a total of about 22,000 members nationwide.
Aside from the Craft Fair Gift Shop, Assistance League of Pasadena also offers other philantrophic programs such as Operation School Bell, which provides clothing and school supplies for schoolchildren in need; Assault Survivor Kits, a program that provides clothing items to survivors of assault or abuse; and Bear Hugs, which provides teddy bears as huggable friends to comfort neglected, abused, or traumatized children.
The Very Important Performers program was established in 2010 to honor middle school students who have demonstrated dramatic improvements in attendance, academics or behavior over the course of a semester, or have made a positive difference in their school environment.
Assistance League SNAP (Serving Neighbors Around Pasadena) was established in 2017 and is one of the League’s newest programs. It is designed to give volunteers the flexibility they need to quickly respond to community needs as they arise on a one-time-only basis.
In 2021 and 2022, the League held five events – collecting school supplies and backpacks for Friends In Deed, donating toys to the Friends In Deed Holiday Drive, providing diapers and diaper supplies for Families Forward Learning Center, providing $5000 worth of food and supplies for the Pasadena Senior Center food pantry, and donating new clothing to a school for Ukrainian refugees.
To learn more about Assistance League of Pasadena, visit www.assistanceleague.org/pasadena.