Annual fundraiser offers one-of-a-kind holiday shopping experience that gives back
What many consider Santa Barbara’s most unique holiday shopping experience, the Folk & Tribal Arts Marketplace, is back.
From Dec. 3-6, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History will once again host its popular three-day indoor/outdoor shopping extravaganza.
This year, the event showcases 20 vendors representing more than 30 countries, featuring a variety of baskets, décor, ethnographic art, furniture, jewelry, clothing, pottery, rugs, sculpture and more.
Whether guests are shopping for gifts, adding to their collections, or just looking to treat themselves, they can shop around the world for exotic treasures, both whimsical and practical. Admission and parking are free.
Savvy shoppers can get first dibs on the items at VIP Night from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Dec. 2. A limited number of VIP guests will enjoy wine, appetizers and desserts while getting first pick of a selection of unique, authentic gifts from around the world. Tickets are $20 per person and available at sbnature.org/tickets.
The festive atmosphere and discerning shoppers make the marketplace a hit with vendors, too.
“We do a number of pop-up events, we sell online, and we sell wholesale. But the Folk & Tribal Arts Marketplace is our favorite,” said Caleigh Hernandez, the RoHo Goods founder. “Everyone wants to know the story of what we’re selling. At this event, people actually care about how our goods are made, and that feels really special. People come looking for unique items.”
RoHo is a Santa-Barbara-based business that partners with talented artisans in Kenya and Cameroon to import beautiful shoes, purses, jewelry and home décor with the goal of uplifting both customers and creators.
“We’re committed to giving back to our artisans,” said Ms. Hernandez, who was born and raised in Santa Barbara. “That means paying our artisans fair trade wages and above and sending their kids to quality schools.”
Handmade alpaca wool items from Peru, handwoven baskets from Nigeria and mystical animal sculptures from Oaxaca, Mexico, will also be available.
While at the museum, guests can enjoy food and refreshments from three food trucks offering American comfort food favorites and tacos. They can also explore the museum’s indoor and outdoor exhibits for free.
Shoppers are encouraged to be generous to their loved ones while supporting international artisans and the local community: 25% of the proceeds benefit museum exhibits and education programs.