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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Bazaar gives local, international entrepreneurs place to sell goods

Several female artists and merchants from across the globe were given the opportunity to showcase their businesses at the Rhatigan Student Center on Thursday during the International Women’s Bazaar. 

The event, organized by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, serves to empower women from around the world. According to Sehareem Zia, the IRC women’s economic empowerment specialist, the event has grown significantly since it was first held last year.

“This is our third one so far,” Zia said. “We have pretty much doubled down from when it first started as far as our client participation, and students, faculty, everybody, was more interested each time about who the IRC is, who these women are, and what they can do to support them.”

The IRC helped Marjorie Fleming, owner of Hattie’s Way, start and grow her business and marketing skills. Fleming creates accessories for pets and people alike.

“Hattie’s Way is a business for pet families and faith-based,” Fleming said. “I decided to do a website that will reflect upon me being able to sell some pet jewelry and some other pet items, like seat belts for our dogs for safety.”

Brookelyn Sanburn, owner of Brookelyn Elise Art, sold a myriad of mixed-media art, paintings and patches at the Bazaar. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Sanburn began pursuing art full-time.

“I take inspiration a lot from nature, and just organic shapes and concepts, and a lot of time from the written word,” Sanburn said. “If there’s a piece of poetry that I really like, I’ll kind of create a collection written around a piece of poetry.”

Now a graduate student working toward her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Sanburn finds it difficult to balance her art with her studies.

“It’s hard. I’m just now getting back into the swing of things,” Sanburn said. “My art usually takes place digitally these days.  I usually do a lot of mixed media, but now it’s mostly digital just because that’s what I have time for. And it takes place late at night.”

Edna Donohue founded her business, Glitterbug’s Hand Crafted, around 10 years ago when a motorcycle accident left her unable to continue her job as a certified nursing assistant. Donnohue’s business is based around the motto “where recycling and crafting meet,” and features handmade game sets, resin pieces, miniature models, and more.

“Dragons seem to be extremely popular. That’s why I do a lot of the dragon nightlights and the dragon miniatures and the clocks,” Donohue said. “Games have become a big popularity. So (that includes) a lot of the dominoes sets, the chess and checker sets, and I recently got the mold to do the Mancala board.”

Freshman Ace La Valla bought two resin pieces from Donohue: a frog and a pond scene. La Valla said they enjoyed the bazaar’s atmosphere.

“I wanted to get something that would make me happy,” La Valla said. “Everyone seems very nice and it’s an enjoyable environment, even if you’re just looking around.”

Zia found the event to be a success overall.

“Everybody was supportive from the beginning because people actually look forward to this event,” Zia said. “People were ready when these women came and started setting up. They were already ready to come and see what new things they have.”

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About the Contributors
Avery Gathright
Avery Gathright, Reporter
Avery Gathright is a first-year reporter for The Sunflower. Gathright is a secondary education major with an emphasis in English. She hopes to eventually teach AP Literature. Gathright uses she/her pronouns.
Salsabila Attaria
Salsabila Attaria, Arts and Culture Editor
Salsabila Attaria is the arts and culture editor for The Sunflower. Attaria is a health science major.  She previously worked as a reporter and assistant news editor. She uses she/her pronouns.

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