Businesses brought their best game at Bearzaar


Faye H

Dazzling and unique gifts displayed at Black Lotus

On Saturday, Nov. 19, Bearzaar-an opportunity to buy handmade goods from a variety of small businesses-was held at Olympia High School. 


Many people use Bearzaar as a chance to buy Christmas gifts, as many stands sell pottery, jewelry, knit items, clothing, wood carvings, holiday decorations, and much more. 


Katie Jahner, who had a pottery stand for the first time at Bearzaar, says, “ a lot of people come to Bearzaar for gifts, so I try to make things that bring me joy and that other people might enjoy as gifts.”


There were over 170 vendors and stands run by OHS clubs.  Bearzaar coordinator, Crystal Pate stated “there are 36 first-time vendors at the event this year which has to be the largest number of first-time vendors in a long time.” Many previous vendors and student-run stands returned, presenting new community outreach opportunities for both groups.  


This year, the significance of Bearzaar is much more meaningful than in previous years. In 2020 Bearzaar had to go entirely online and in 2021 fewer vendors were able to come. This limited many small businesses access to the outreach they usually gain. 


Kathy Sherman, who’s been going since her daughter was in high school, enjoys most the variety of items that you can find at Bearzaar. 


Many of the items are handmade with attention to detail that would not be found in a department store. “While places like Etsy exist online to allow people to purchase handmade items, shopping at the Bearzaar means everyone you are purchasing was made by someone who lives locally,” said Pate. Bearzaar provides these businesses with new customers and allows them to be recognized by the community.