For Every Season
Change Comes To Tinsel And Treasures
By Amanda Jean Harris
After a look at the list of events, it feels like an extreme understatement to call Tinsel & Treasures a “holiday market.” From a gala to a morning of mimosas to visits with Santa and a serious style show, the annual shopping fete hosted by the Junior League of Lafayette has revamped everything from front door to the last booth.
It all starts with a new logo that screams Christmas and a new ad agency — Right Angle. The marketing collateral received in the mail is slathered with holiday imagery and the merriest of nutcrackers. In year’s past internal themes changed annually, but the event’s chair Lesley Maxwell says they are going back to all Christmas — all the time.
“It’s important to show it’s a Christmas market,” Maxwell says. “We want you to feel like it’s Christmas.”
Perhaps one of the biggest changes comes before the market technically opens. On Wednesday, Sept. 23 the annual Preview Party for VIPs is going back to its roots with a full gala.
“It’s going to be cocktail and black tie optional,” Maxwell says.
For several years the event, which includes a live and silent auction, has become increasingly casual. Maxwell says she remembers a time when her father attended wearing a tux.
The evening’s auction will be entirely electronic — no more paper sheets. Guests will be able to browse booths while receiving alerts on their phone about bidding. For those who don’t want to use their own phone, ladies with iPads will be on hand for use. However you slice it, it’s going to be totally digital.
The beloved luncheon and its accompanying style show is also going back to its roots with a return to the Mardi Gras Ballroom after a couple of years in the Cajundome.
The models this year will include more league members and Maxwell says they are thrilled to have Chico’s participate for the first time. She says, now more than ever, there’s an effort to represent women of different sizes. Children are coming back into the fold as a few stores for youngsters join the ranks of boutiques on board.
While the tried-and-true portions of Tinsel and Treasures are the mainstay of the event, a brand new option for children is sure to become a beloved tradition. Winter Wishes from Women’s and Children’s Hospital gives children the chance to chat with Santa as well as enjoy breakfast. They’ll be able to create their own stuffed animal to take home as memento.
“They’ll build an animal and we’ll have a huge tent with breakfast and holiday movies and activities,” Maxwell says.
The $30 per person ticket includes the stuffed animal in a box as well as a photo with Santa, food and admission into the market that same day.
“We also have the most merchants we’ve ever had — more than 140,” Maxwell says. “Forty percent of those are first timers. We truly listened to the community and sponsors and the shoppers. It’s a fresh look. We want people to walk away and just be blown away by the experience they have.”
The annual fundraiser for the Junior League has put more than $4.7 million back into the local community via a plethora of programs including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana and Miles Perret Center as well as junior quiz bowl and the campaign against distractive and impaired driving at area high schools.