Get a head start on the holiday season by coming to our OPEN HOUSE in Chattanooga on Friday 5-8 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Dec 2 and 3). We're at a new location, 1458 Madison St (just off Main Street) in Chattanooga, TN 37408. We hope to see you there! Tell your friends too!
Here in the U.S. (particularly in the South) it's been fall festival season. If you are not familiar with these annual celebrations, they’re times where schools and local communities come together to play games, enjoy the weather, catch up, eat, and shop, with pumpkins, apples, mums, and burlap as the décor staples.
All of the festivities are generally open to the public, so anyone can join in and see what’s going on—more to the point, so they can come and spend money on games, crafts, and raffles to fund clubs, teams, or academic programs. It’s a nice quid pro quo for those of us who come to these events too. The vendor’s selections give us a good excuse to make a head start on holiday shopping.
My favorite thing about these events is the unique selection you find coming out of the woodwork. How do you decide what you truly want to buy and filter out all the rest? Fall festivals bring out just a taste of the anxiety that I hear people from the majority world experience when they come to America for the first time -- they are overwhelmed by the choices. They go to the grocery store and see 200+ boxes of cereal. They want to go out to eat, and they have 50-100 restaurants in a 10-mile radius to choose from. For me at the festival, I can purchase lotions, vitamins, hand painted decorations, fragrant oils and diffusers, HUGE hair bows for my girls (did I mention we lived in the South?). I can also find local services to connect with for braces, insurance, tutoring, and the list goes on. Sometimes there are even multiple vendors with similar products. So do I choose based on price? Personal story? Size? My mood and intuition? Who I need to buy for?
Luckily, there’s a way I always come around to a decision. My husband tells me that I’m “anthropologically curious”—I like knowing what makes people tick and what motivates them. So I talk to a vendor and know why they are selling the item and what drives them to spend their free time at a weekend booth. That wooden snowman might be made from a tree in the vendor’s backyard because they find art therapeutic. It could be that the items were crafted by Syrian refugees. Maybe profit from these products help supplement their one-income household. To me, the value of a product is enhanced by the story. When I buy the item I get to pass on the item and the story to the loved recipient.
Folks who choose to buy Dekko products are impressed with the quality (which I can personally vouch for!), but also deeply care about supporting the artisans behind the product. When people ask our Dekko customers about their earrings or sari pillows, it means they get to tell others that they represent a dignifying job for an artisan mother or an education for a child in India who would otherwise not have it. It’s a chance for others to look at the item and at the same time beyond the item and that’s the true spirit of gift giving.
This holiday season, give the story of Dekko.