What if you skipped that dreadful Black Friday madness this year? What if this year you vow to shop local, shop small and shop where your dollars make a difference? Guess what? On December 2 & 3, you can do just that. The 12th Annual Soulumination Artists’ Sale is where the money you spend on unique local gifts benefit a remarkable organization that provides families with a lifetime of beautiful memories. Read on for the deets and get ready to shop!

photo: Wenmei Hill

The History Behind Soulumination
Seattle photographer, Lynette Huffman Johnson launched Soulumination more than 12 years ago, after being asked to take photographs of her niece who had died at birth. For Huffman Johnson, taking those photographs sparked a passion and a mission to continue providing meaningful memories for families whose children were facing life-threatening illnesses. Over the years, the organization has grown, serving an average of 220 families each year, and the need is still growing. Soulumination has a small office staff but relies heavily on a crew of dedicated volunteers—from professional photographers, to people who come into the office to make gifts for the families, to folks who help out with the Artists’ Sale, which is one of Soulumination’s largest fundraisers.

photo: Wenmei Hill

Wreath Making
Among the most coveted items at the Artists’ Sale each year are the handmade wreaths. Each wreath is a very personal labor of love and each one is unique. Volunteers work for days before the event to create one-of-a-kind wreaths out of branches, greens, driftwood, pine cones, bird’s nests, berries and much more. And one hundred percent of the sales of the wreaths go towards Soulumination’s mission. Each wreath ranges in size and shape, and if you get there early you might just be able to pick up a special heart-shaped wreath.

photo: Wenmei Hill

The Sale
On the Saturday morning at the beginning of the sale you will find eager shoppers lining up outside the doors before they are open. Walk through those doors and you’ll find photographs hanging throughout the courtyard, the faces of the Soulumination children. The popularity of the Artists’ Sale has grown over the years—and all through word of mouth. Huffman Johnson’s hope is that everyone who has come to the sale in the past will come again and bring with them someone new.

photo: Wenmei Hill

Arts and Crafts and So Much More
This year, you can browse and buy the creations of 35 different crafters and artists. And a portion, 30% to be exact, of each of their sales goes back to help fund Soul’s mission. Among some of the items up for grabs: beautiful handmade Moravian Stars, quilts, handcrafted paper journals and gifts, encaustic paintings, caramels and cookies, jewelry and Huffman Johnson’s own up-cycled angel figurines and luminaria. Huffman Johnson finds her inspiration in Mexican folk art and creates these unique baubles and bright light strings from recycled tin cans, buttons, wood and other found materials throughout the year.

photo: Wenmei Hill

Why the Artists’ Sale Is So Important
Angie Sutphen is a Soul mom, who knows firsthand the importance of the Artists’ Sale. “Our daughter Charlotte’s life while abbreviated by illness was not limited in the amount of love, joy, beauty and grace that she put into the world. The images Soulumination was able to capture of her life and ours are precious to us beyond words. That is Soulumination’s legacy. My hope is that all families that are in need of Soulumination’s gift of photographs can have access. The soul sale is important because it is only once a year and is Soulumination’s largest fundraiser. It enables us to provide services to those families.”

The sale also provides community to Soul families, the artists and the supporters. It’s a way to stay connected to the mission and to buy from local artists while knowing your dollars are supporting a worthwhile cause.

photo: Wenmei Hill

Know Before You Go 
1. This year’s sale will take place on Dec. 2 & 3, 2017 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

2. Plan to get there early to pick up your one-of-a-kind wreath, along with some special gifts, and remember to bring your friends.

3. To find out more about Soulumination and its mission visit soulumination.org. To see a preview of the artists featured at this year’s sale, click here.

Soulumination Artists’ Sale
5201 11th Ave. N.W.
Seattle, Wa 98107
Online: soulumination.org

Do you plan to shop this sale? What do you have your eye on? Tell us in the comments below. 

— Natalia Dotto