Shop ’till you drop: third annual Sip and Shop kicks off Christmas season

Amy Dennis looks through ornaments made by Bird and Bear Designs before making a purchase at the Sip and Shop event at the Baylor Club on Tuesday evening. Liesje Powers | Multimedia Editor

By Harry Rowe | Staff Writer

A host of various trinkets, clothing and other items were on sale from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday night at the third annual Baylor Sip and Shop in the Baylor Club at the McLane Stadium.

The event provides an opportunity for the Baylor and broader Waco community to come together and mingle while they shop. Vendors of items from handmade bags to handmade Christmas decorations displayed their work for students and adults.

Crosby senior Alivia Zepeda is a member relationship supervisor for the Baylor club. Zepeda said working for the Baylor Club has been a great, yet busy, experience that has taught her a lot. For her job, Zepeda is in charge of putting on these events and getting booking correct.

“Last year we had about 42 vendors. This year I had 62,” Zepeda said. “This is our first year of being on three different levels and instead of just one, so it was a lot of Facebook to be honest. I created the event back in September and about one point 4,000 people were interested in coming. We had about 500 people in tonight so far. A personal goal of mine was to hit $5,000 at least in revenue, and we will surpass that.”

Zepeda said since she was one of the people responsible for promoting the event, she needed to get the word out largely through social media. She said she tried as many ways as possible to try to get a good crowd to show up. Her idea was to give a taste of the Baylor Club experience and what members should expect if they ever want to join.

One of the vendors at the event was the Wandering Artisans, a married couple who makes hand crafted bags and jewelry among other things. They’ve been artists for many years, but only a year ago did they want to dip into the art vendor market. Susan Sistrunk and Mark Kieran, the minds behind the start-up, decided that it was something they thought they could do.

“Both of us have a background in art, painting, leatherwork and jewelry. As working artists we felt a desire to branch out into making items which were beautiful and practical to use and wear,” Sistrunk said. “We wanted to start a business doing something we loved and believed in, as well as an avenue to making a living.”

The Wandering Artisans, like their name would imply, don’t have a brick and mortar store. Rather, they travel to different events similar to the Sip and Shop in order to get their product out to people and show their products. Kieran said he makes the hand crafted bags while Sistrunk makes the jewelry.

“The Wandering Artisans started with handmade jewelry and handmade leather goods and have begun to expand into beautiful and practical apparel imported from the Himalayan region of Nepal and India,” Sistrunk said. “Originally our business began by selling at small events here in Waco and have begun to travel to other festivals and events around the state such as the Dallas area and as far west as Terlingua, Texas.”