The Silent Auction for Katie is now complete! The auction took place on Friday, March 19 - Sunday, March 21. A huge thanks goes out to our generous sponsors who donated such amazing items, and to each and every bidder who participated! Now let's all walk away REAL WINNERS by donating our bid amounts directly to Katie to help pay for her medical care. After all, that's why we're all here in the first place!

Learn about our incredible Sponsors by reading our "Sponsor Spotlight" series, with interviews and insights into these unique artisan's work! We encourage you to support their shops.

Be sure to read more about Katie's inspiring story in her fight against cancer on the right hand column below. And follow our blog for updates... there's more to come!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sponsor Spotlight - Sampler Village

Sampler Village is the creative endeavor of Traci, lover of handmade goods and businesswoman extraordinaire. Traci's vision was to create a place where artists could share their goods with a broad audience, and people who loved buying handmade could try out treats and sweets and goodies from many vendors all at once. She succeeded! Sampler Village is a harmonious win/win endeavor, benefitting everybody involved with the sale of these fun, eclectic sample boxes.

St Patty's Day Themed Box

From her home in PA, Traci gathers samples from all types of vendors and carefully sorts them into adorable boxes bursting at the seams with goodies. These boxes are available to buyers both on her website and her Etsy page, and usually sell out within days of being put online! Want to know more about Traci and her village? Check out our interview with her, below.

Donations for Katie: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! First, why don't you tell us a little about yourself.

Traci: Hi Everyone! My name is Traci Porczynski and I am the founder of Sampler Village. Sampler Village is designed to help crafters and artisans get their products noticed. Our goal is to give you and your shop a boost in traffic, unlike conventional advertising, potential buyers get to try a sampling of what you have to offer, then come back and purchase products directly from you! Boxes with a different theme go on sale the 21st of each month. We love our Villagers and our wonderful Visitors, so we are striving to make Sampler Village the best sample box out there!

DfK: The Sampler Village is such a unique idea - where did the idea come from, and what were the early months like?

T: I love sample boxes! It is so fun discovering new shops and products. I have met so many nice people along they way and hope the journey continues for many years to come. We are actually still in our early months :), we are growing each month with new Villagers signing up all the time. We are looking forward to promoting many wonderful shops this year and beyond!

DfK: What do you love most about your work?

T: The people! I have gotten to know so many wonderful people that I may have never known otherwise. I strive to make the sample boxes personal, so when you receive a box in the mail it is presented perfectly, with lots of flair. I have gotten many compliments on how the sample boxes look when they are received, and I believe that my Villagers put so much work into making such spectacular samples, that the boxes themselves should look just as good.

DfK: Where do you get your inspiration?

T: My inspiration comes from finding such wonderful shops, that I personally love, and then spreading the word about them. I know how hard it is to "stand out" in the crowd. Sometimes, even if people are looking for you, they cannot find you. The wonderful people that purchase the sample boxes are looking for you! That is why they purchase the box, to find products and shops they may not have found otherwise. My inspiration comes from helping these great shops get noticed!

DfK: What made you decide to support Katie through this auction?

T: One of my wonderful villagers, Sarah (Bella Bejeweled) emailed about Katie, and I was certainly eager to help. I can only be humbled by Katies sheer determination not to let cancer take over her life. KEEP THE FAITH KATIE!!

DfK: Anything you'd like to say to Katie directly?

T: It is hard to put into words sometimes what you would like to say..You are a hero to all of us, the determination you have is incredible! My thoughts and prayers are with you and may God Bless You!

You can learn more about Traci and the Sampler Village (including how to buy a box, or how to become a Villager) by visiting her website!

~ Sneak Peek ~

Wondering what Traci will be donating for the auction this Friday? Check out this MEGA BOX - the biggest sample box offered in the village, with one of EVERYTHING that was available that month! The box pictured above is from Valentine's Day, but come back on March 19th to find out the theme of the Mega Box up for auction, and place your bids! You won't want to miss out on this one!