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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Well - I did it. I officially launched the first phase of a new idea that I've been working on for a few months now. Here it is. Tell me what you think! And if you're interested and live in the Chicago area, PLEASE sign up!

SWAP/MEET! New Clothes. New Friends. So Much Fun!

Hi Ladies!

Do you like socializing with new people? Are you in need of some smaller sizes? Tight on budget? Looking for a new exercise buddy? Just want to come hang out with some like-minded and goal-oriented people?

Welcome to SWAP/MEET! A monthly meet-up for Chicago area ladies (gentlemen, hang tight - I'm working on expanding this idea to include everyone very soon!) to exchange plus sized clothes, books, recipes, exercise, stories and friendship.

The goal of this program is to organize Swap/Meet parties for 8-10 ladies every month who want to meet new people, are in need of new plus-sized clothing, have inspirational stories to share or are just in need of a little kick in the butt to get moving again. No topic is off the table - these parties are catered to YOU!

Here's how it works:

- Ladies bring 5 gently used articles of clothing or accessories and a $5 administration fee to each Swap/Meet.
- After a short introduction of our party guests, and while enjoying some light snacks and beverages provided by the meet coordinator, the "shopping party" begins. Ladies will "shop" from the clothing and accessories racks, try on new sizes, dish about belts, hand bags and earrings, give each other honest opinions about what's hot and what's not, and pick out up to 5 items to take home!
- When the shopping has concluded, the socializing begins! Ladies will have an opportunity to meet other Swap/Meet members, talk about books, recipes, movies, exercise, significant others - whatever suits the group's fancy. Discussions and ideas will be gathered and moderated by the group coordinator to keep the conversation fun and flowing. Ladies should feel free to network, exchange contact information and start planning your next get-together with your new friends!
- Though the Swap/Meet will have a specific start & finish time, there's no telling when the party ends! New friends are encouraged to leave for a group walk, head out to a movie or maybe hit up some more stores for a full day of shopping. The coordinator will be available to help with suggestions or to assist in making acquaintances.

The Small Print:

- Not everyone who attends the party is guaranteed to take home 5 pieces of clothing or accessories. Every attempt will be made to provide an assortment of sizes and styles for the ladies attending the party, but due to inventory, personal taste and the difficulty with determining the exactness of women's clothing sizes, ladies should be prepared for the possibility of not finding anything to their liking or their personal fit preference.
- The $5 administration fee covers the cost of food and beverage as well as any rental fee involved in securing a space for the Swap/Meet. The $5 fee is required of everyone, regardless of whether or not you take home clothing or accessories.
- The 5 articles of clothing or accessories brought to the Swap/Meet by each member may or may not be part of the items available for the shopping party. Articles are inspected for damage, cleaned and added to the larger Swap/Meet inventory before appearing for "purchase" at an event.
- While the goal of Swap/Meet is to assist people in finding new clothing in differing sizes, the overall objective of Swap/Meet is the social aspect of meeting new people and making new friends. Members are asked to come prepared to socialize and have fun - the clothing is an added bonus.
- This is NOT a Spark-Only program. Please feel free to forward this information to ANYONE who might be interested in this program. Swap/Meets will not be limited to once monthly if there is enough interest to generate more meets. Think of it like a dating site for new clothes! The best efforts will be made to match people, clothing styles, lifestyles and needs by the coordinator. Anything can happen!
- Since this is a BRAND NEW program, please allow time for set-up and potential start-up hiccups. Thanks!

Ready to SWAP/MEET?

Interested ladies, please email Jenn Kincaid (your Swap/Meet Coordinator) at with the following information:
- age
- neighbourhood
- car/public transportation
- marital status
- kids?
- food allergies
- desired clothing size (be sure to indicate tall or petite if applicable)
- desired clothing style (business attire, casual, fitness, outerwear)
- description (size, style) of 5 articles for donation
- any other information Swap/Meet needs to know

Please allow time to receive adequate interest in these events and the organization of the first Swap/Meet. The goal is to schedule the first event in October or November. I'm sincerely looking forward to meeting all of you! Let's get this party started!

Questions? Please email Jenn Kincaid at
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