Boutique Bonanza returns

Missouri Southern’s Ralph L. Grey Alumni Center hosted the second annual Boutique Bonanza shopping event Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event welcomed local vendors from surrounding areas including Joplin and Carthage and offered a unique opportunity for holiday gift purchases.

Meagan Adams, alumni relations coordinator, said, “Each brings a little something different to the table. Our goal is to provide a fun environment for people to purchase their gifts.”

According to Adams, last year’s opening Boutique Bonanza was also hosted in the Alumni Center and had a great turnout.

She had high hopes for this year, stating, “We are starting off slow, but we hope to bring in many more [shoppers] throughout the day.”

Randi Bachman-Cordell, shop owner and Carthage local, was one of the nine invited vendors at the Bonanza. Her shop, Antiquarium, located on the square in Carthage, is described as being “a collaborative venue for local artists and makers.” It showcases work by local artists Amanda Calderon-Kidston and Justin Kidston, among many others.

“I work a corporate job, but you have to put work into the things you love too,” said Calderon-Kidston. “You just have to come in, come see what we have; there is art lining every wall.”

Calderon-Kidston works for Randi at the Antiquarium.

In addition to the Antiquarium, Boutique Bonanza hosted eight other local shops. The Briar Patch, run as a “mommy-daughter business,” as described by the shop’s owner Kim Lieneman, made an appearance with the addition of the Repurpose Boutique out of Carthage.

The Bonanza also offered free cocoa to shoppers. The event was open to alumni, faculty and staff, students and the community.

“I found some very cute, unique things for my kids and some winter gear for myself, all while drinking some cocoa. Successful day,” said Amy Hallon, a Joplin local and Southern alumna.