Monday, July 1, 2013

Tips for Hosting a Shop & Swap Cocktail Party

Every season, in an effort to get organized, purge and prep for new clothes in the closet, tons of women "spring clean" by throwing away old duds or shoving them in storage crevices where they're never to be seen again.

There's a better way ladies. Instead of tossing perfectly good clothing, shoes and accessories, you can get together with friends and host a Shop & Swap party. This can be done on a small scale with just a small set of super close friends, or with a wide group of friends/colleagues, depending on how comfortable you are with hosting groups of people. Think of it as a garage sale, just cuter! Here's the best way to set up a Shop & Swap cocktail party that your friends will never forget:

Step 1: Cocktails are a must.

No shop & swap cocktail is complete without a cocktail! (For those of you lovelies under 21 years of age, consider mocktails instead). Seagram's Escapes malt liquor beverage offers a myriad of fun flavors.

Aside from offering fancy fruit flavors, the Seagram's Escapes drinks are premixed cocktails that really take the guesswork out of entertaining.

They're already bursting with flavor and versatile enough to mix with fruit or other liquors for your own special party punch.

You can also serve them individually on the rocks or over complimentary fruit.
Here I started off with a cup full of fresh blueberries. You could have also chosen to muddle the berries for easy mixing.
I simply added the Blackberry Breezer flavor on top and voila!
A gourmet mixed cocktail in under 30 seconds.

Also part of the Seagram's Escapes collection are these frozen pouches in flavors like Jamaica Me Happy and traditional Frozen Margarita. Instead of having to blend your drink with chopped ice, you just freeze these packets and enjoy them straight out of the freezer.

They're also great for to-go occasions like picnics, contributing to other friends' parties as a gift, or even poolside sipping outside.

Step 2: Organize and make things easy to find.

The trick to having a successful shop & swap, aside from having amazing cocktails and good company, is organizing the goods and making them super easy to find. Group all shoes and clothing according to size.
Make sure all accessories, like handbags and jewelry are kept separate from clothing. Another tip: have a standard pricing scale for all similar items. Of course, if items are designer or overall worth more, you can make exceptions.

Step 3: Give guests something to do.

Maybe it's an icebreaker game that forces guests to get to know each other better. It could be fun cocktails in the garden or even a round of Taboo. When people are in a good mood, they shop! Keep that in mind when planning your shindig.
I invited some good blogger friends of mine Makeda of Glamazon Diaries and Jessica of Glamazons Blog to partake in my shop and swap shindig. We had a blast sipping drinks in the garden and exchanging coveted closet items.

After all is said and done, give your guests the option of leaving their old goods with you to be donated to a local charity or Goodwill. This take the guesswork out of "what to do" when guests are ready to leave with their new finds, and it also means you get final pick on the duds before they're donated or thrown away.

Have you ever hosted a Shop and Swap party? Interested in planning one? Tell us below! 
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  1. Swap parties are the best! I love getting my girls together and replenishing my closet with swapped items! I love your idea of adding the cocktails as well. That definitely spices things up a bit. I typically have the chocolate fountain flowing and lots of yummy items available for dipping. Love the post!

  2. Love the ideas. I'm looking to have a shop and swap of my own really soon so I'll be bookmarking this to refer back to later!

  3. These are great tips! I've held a hair swap but never a a shop and swap. Should definitely think of doing this.


  4. I need more blogger friends in my area! lol! Palm Beach bloggers where are you guys? I love this idea!

  5. Great tips... you have inspired me to try a shop swap!

  6. Grateful to you for sharing these excellent tips for party. Couple of weeks ago, I arranged a tequila party with my friends at one of amazing event venues Chicago. It was a memorable party and all my friends praised me for arranging such wonderful party.