Supporting Devon can mean doing a little (or a lot) of shopping. Throughout the year, Devon and local shops host Devon Shopping Days, in which a portion of that day’s sales benefit the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair Foundation.
The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, supports the upkeep of and improvements to the show grounds and the equestrian facilities.
“The goal for a shopping event is to raise funds for the Foundation while enjoying the opportunity to acquire something new for the person or horse,” said Lisa Estabrook, Devon Country Fair Co-Chair.
The Shopping Days originated out of the Devon Country Fair’s long-time Christmas Tree sale, which benefited the Devon Foundation. Eventually, the Christmas Tree sale, which ended a few years ago, turned into the idea to have similar events, but at local shops.
The Shopping Days include more than just browsing the stores. “Some stores have made the event an opportunity to shop and nibble on appetizers and cocktails,” said Estabrook.
A number of local vendors have participated in the Shopping Days over the past few years, including Polka Dots, Louella, Talbots, Trove General Store, Little House Shop and Malvern Saddlery.
One of the most recent Shopping Days took place in April at Polka Dots in Paoli. The event coincided with the birthday of the late owner of Polka Dots, Susan Randle, who passed away two years ago during Devon. Randle had been a longtime Devon supporter and an equestrian herself.
During the event, guests were treated to wine and cheese, and the store stayed open an hour later than normal to provide some extra shopping time.
Polka Dots stocks up on extra equestrian and derby type products for the Shopping Day and other customers as Devon gets closer, according to Karen Denney, a Polka Dots manager. “We always shop every year with any eye toward what will be good for the horse show,” she said.
This is the second year that Polka Dots has hosted a shopping day, but they have been a vendor at Devon for about 10 years now, said Denney. Polka Dots is also a sponsor of Ladies’ Day this year.
“We had a great turnout,” Denney said of the most recent Shopping Day.
Even after the show ends this June, Shopping Days will be a fun and festive way to support Devon all year long.