Tucked away in the heart of Easton, the Bazaar at 121 Federal Street is the hub of a circle of cooperation. The resale shop accepts donations of gently worn clothing and housewares that are priced and resold at reasonable prices. Proceeds from Bazaar sales fund programs and services offered by Shore Health System at The Memorial Hospital at Easton and at outpatient centers around the Mid-Shore region.
The Bazaar first opened as the Hospital Commission Shop in 1947, when 15 civic-minded women had the idea to resell women’s clothing to benefit Memorial Hospital. Today, the shop is operated by members of the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, whose members volunteer their time at the Bazaar, in the hospital and at outpatient centers in Easton and Denton.
The upscale retail shop is located across from the Talbot County Library in Easton, within walking distance to Easton’s finest shops and restaurants. A large, free parking lot allows shoppers to linger without worrying about feeding a parking meter. An entrance behind the building makes it easy for customers to drop off donations and consignment items.
Bazaar Manager Bernadette Serie joined the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary when she moved to Easton from Severna Park in 2009. Serie says. “I began volunteering at the Memorial Hospital Gift Shop then moved to the Bazaar. Working in the Auxiliary’s retail shops was a great way to meet people and helped me learn my way around Easton.”
With 25 years in retail sales, Serie was the perfect choice when the Auxiliary decided to hire a manager for the Bazaar. She managed several women’s clothing stores and a gourmet shop in Severna Park and worked in retail sales at Macy’s for 15 years. One of her major accomplishments was opening White House Black Market, a fashion boutique in the Annapolis Harbor Center.
“The Bazaar is a fun place to work,” Serie says. “Volunteers can work as many hours as their schedule allows and they can choose jobs in which they interact with customers or behind the scenes, where they accept donations and sort and mark items for sale.”
Serie says. “Our merchandise is high quality and priced right. We want to make sure our customers feel they are getting a bargain every time they come to the shop.”
Serie tells a story about a man who came in for a pair of pants. “He looked at the pants on the rack and said he couldn’t afford anything he saw on display,” she remembers. “One of our sales staff took him back to the area where we keep discounted clothing and found him the perfect pair of slacks for $2.”
Another shopper, who is Serie’s neighbor, found a designer sports jacket just like one he had purchased full price at a department store on the Western Shore. “His wife was amazed when he bought the jacket home,” Serie says. “She told me that he had never bought anything second hand.”
The Bazaar specializes in vintage fur coats and tuxedos and ladies formal wear. Series says, “We get a lot of brides-to-be looking for a gown for their special day. Many of them leave with a beautiful dress that didn’t wipe out their wedding budget.”
The Bazaar depends on donations from the community to keep the shelves stocked. Donations are accepted Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm and by calling 410-822-2031 for an appointment. Consignments are accepted by appointment only.
Volunteers run the Bazaar and newcomers are always welcome. For information about volunteering, call 410-822-1000, ext. 5839.