Handbags full of treasures on offer

Ruby Bowman, of Ashburton, shows one of the handbags auctioned off at one of its recent Handbags and Glad Rags events.

CHIC handbags rich with secret treasures will be offered for auction at Industry Cafe on May 28 to raise funds for CanInspire Charitable Trust.

CanInspire Charitable Trust Southland CanBead co-ordinator Rachael Allen said the event has been well supported by New Zealand handbag companies like Furmoo, Saben and
Home-lee donating bags for the auction.

“People can come and see the handbags but are not allowed to open them to see what is in them.

‘‘So that makes it quite unique. They are bidding for a handbag they don’t know what is inside.

‘‘It’s also a chance to get dressed up and come along for a fun night out.’’

The funds raised from the evening would be used to supply jewellery making kits for cancer treatment patients while they are undergoing treatment.

Supper was included in the 80, $20 tickets for the unique Southland Handbags and Glad Rags event.

Staff from Industry Cafe were donating their time for the evening, while contents of the bags have been supplied by local businesspeople.

Doors would open at 6.30pm while auctioneer Simon Swale was set to start the bidding at 7.30pm.

Dress code is semi-formal.

Ashburton founder Sarah Clifford started CanInspire 11 years ago after a friend gave her an assortment of beads and jewellery making tools to focus on while she was going through her own cancer treatment.

Ms Clifford knew the hobby was a great tool which could help others in similar situations.

“She would distract herself while she was getting her treatment by making necklaces.”

During her 28 days of treatment Ms Clifford created and wore a different necklace each day.

Ms Clifford saw the immense benefits the jewellery creativity could offer and help others in a similar situation.

The necklaces were later auctioned off to raise funds for the Cancer Society and the start-up costs to launch CanBead which now hosts workshops from Hawke’s Bay to Invercargill.

Mrs Allan said it was a skill which could be taken home and used when stress levels increased.

“Jewellery making is quite a mindful activity for them to have that creative therapy at home, or in hospital having treatment.’’

CanBead workshops were planned for Invercargill, Gore and Te Anau, with plans to introduce more in Winton, Riverton and Tuatapere in the future.