Amber Briscoe and Heidi West were swamped with clothes. Their closets were filled with shirts, slacks, dresses, shoes and accessoriessome they wore all the time, others were like new or still had the tags on. They didn't want to just throw them out or give them away to the Salvation Army, they wanted them to be loved the way they were meant to be when they bought them but never got the chance to wear them.
So they picked Friday, April 23, as the day for the first ever Saratoga Swaps, a party where guests literally swapped clothing they didn't want for items they did.
Everyone goes through their closets and decides 'this will go to Goodwill or this will go to Salvation Army,' but maybe those nicer things you'd like to give your girlfriend instead of a stranger," said Briscoe. "We're all different shapes and sizes and in honor of Earth Day we wanted to have a trade party."
They made a Facebook page"which is still up and active"called Saratoga Swaps. What they expected to be a gathering of several close friends became much more.
"From there, this synergistic experience started to happen where everyone was on board; I'd say there were probably 40 to 45 people there. We then had people from the community asking if they could come have their products on display, not to sell but just to have their stuff exposed to other people," said West.
The swap was originally going to happen in a living room, but it's a good thing Julie Dwyer from Roohan Realty on Broadway offered up a loft space for the party, said Briscoe. The extra space made it easier for ZenNuts to offer samples, for guests to get a tarot card reading, for licensed massage therapist Daniel Sullivan to give free neck and shoulder rubs and for Kristen Robinson from Essential Touch Skin Care to do eyebrow waxing, all for free. There were snacks, drinks and music to enjoy while "shoppers" browsed the racks that were set up beforehand.