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Trade stuff at inaugural Swap-a-Palooza

Denio's Farmers Market hosts swap meet on Earth Day
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Lorraine Bragg’s recycling bin is always more full than her garbage can.

She is a hardcore recycler, hesitant to throw anything away that may have another life once in the possession of a new owner.

“Someone else can always use what you have,” she said.

That’s why the Citrus Heights resident is prepping for the upcoming inaugural Swap-a-Palooza on Friday, April 22, hosted by peace.love.swap and Denio’s Farmers Market and Swap Meet in Roseville.

For a small admission fee, people can take as much as they need and no other money is exchanged. Unadopted items will be kept out of landfills and donated to charities or families in need.

“We decided to bring this event to the community in celebration of our 50th swap and in celebration of Earth Day,” said peace.love.swap co-organizer Elle Beyer.

She and fellow organizer Meg Franz invited all their northern California swappers and hope to make this an annual event.

A few years ago, Beyer, a resident of Lincoln, used to post her children’s clothes on Craigslist, which required snapping photos of the garments and fielding demanding e-mails from other moms.

“OK, this is kind of a hassle,” Beyer said. “It’d be better to drop items off somewhere and get something that fits my kids. And a light bulb went off in my head.”

She did an Internet search and peace.love.swap popped up.

“It was like fate,” Beyer said.

Franz launched peace.love.swap in Grass Valley in 2009 to give moms and dads a venue to trade gently used baby, kid and maternity items. Later, she branched out and hosted a Rocklin event, which Beyer attended.

The women struck up a conversation and soon realized they shared the same vision for expanding the swap meets. They decided to become business partners.

Now, their events are in 21 cities across the United States. Beyer is the Placer County coordinator and organizes a swap meet in the Roseville-Rocklin area every other month.

About 100 people bring their goods to a swap meet, which they donate to the group. Organizers sort the items and arrange them in a mock boutique-style store. Most events are hosted at kid-friendly venues, such as gymnastics studios or parks.

Swap-a-Palooza will be the ultimate recycling event and swap meet, because this time people are allowed to bring more than just baby and kid clothing and gear. This event accepts women’s and men’s clothing and accessories, kitchen utensils, tools, small home décor and “anything you can carry in and carry out,” Bragg said. She plans to bring jeans, books, CD racks and a few other items.

“I’m excited for Earth Day and for Elle to organize this takes a lot of time and a lot of energy,” Bragg said. “They had this vision and did something about it.”

Her own children now teenagers, Bragg baby-sits her 2-year-old nephew during the week and works as a Mary Kay independent beauty consultant. She was looking to expand her business and a friend suggested she try out swap meets to reach new clients.

Bragg has participated for almost a year, and usually takes goodies to the meets but rarely brings things home with her.

“I like talking to the women,” Bragg said. “I love meeting new people and I love the recycling part, which is near and dear to my heart.”

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com.

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Swap-a-Palooza

When: 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 22

Where: Denio’s Farmers Market and Swap Meet, 1551 Vineyard Road in Roseville

Cost: Presale tickets available online for $12 early bird and $10 general admission. Or pay $12 at the door. Attendees must bring stuff to swap. No junk accepted.

Info: www.peaceloveswap.com