For Park City Women’s Business Network, holidays are a time to celebrate | ParkRecord.com

For Park City Women’s Business Network, holidays are a time to celebrate

It was last December and the Park City Women’s Business Network invited a handful of merchants to set up shop at its monthly luncheon.

The organization’s members enjoyed picking up gifts for the holidays. The merchants appreciated the exposure and the chance to make a few more sales during one of the busiest times of the year. Kathleen Barlow, president of the Park City Women’s Business Network, and the rest of the group’s leadership thought one thing: We should do this again, only much bigger.

Like that, the organization’s upcoming Sip ‘n Shop holiday bazaar was born. The event, which will also serve as a fundraiser for the network’s annual scholarship for girls at Park City High School, is set for Tuesday, Dec. 8, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at The Chateaux Deer Valley.

"When we started to put the word out, we got a deluge of interest from the vendors," Barlow said. "So we wanted to make it larger and hopefully the crowds will come."

Barlow said the Sip ‘n Shop will feature more than 40 merchants from the area — and all but one are women — making it a perfect way for Parkites to support local businesses while crossing off their holiday shopping list. There will also be drinks and appetizers, as well as a performance by a string quartet from Park City High.

Half of the proceeds from the $25 entry tickets, and all of the $25 each merchant paid to participate, will go to the organization’s scholarship fund for next year. Barlow is hopeful the group can raise $16,000 for this year’s fund, which would top last year’s $10,000.

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"That would be huge for us," she said.

Barlow views the event as the perfect convergence of everything the group is about.

"This event has three components," she said. "One, it’s a fundraiser. Two, it gives a chance for these local merchants to have an audience, and it also gives us exposure as an organization. We’re inviting anybody in the community, so people can shop and see friends and learn about our organization. It’s important for us to be able to communicate our message and the mission of the membership, which is to support women in business in Park City and the surrounding areas with networking, resources, education."

As a holiday celebration, the Sip ‘n Shop will cap 2015 for the business network. But the idea is for it to also serve as a jumpstart into 2016. The group has outlined a plan of growth for next year, focusing on providing better resources and education for the women involved and on expanding membership.

"We’re trying to expand our wings, if you will," Barlow said. "Our current membership is about 80, and we would like to see that double. Or triple — who knows? There are a lot of women business owners in Park City and the surrounding areas. There are more than people think."

For more information, or to register to attend the Sip ‘n Shop, visit the organizations website, pcwbn.org.