Last year in June, was the first Rumble in the Jumble, a jumble sale with Chinese flair of epic proportions.
When I saw the name of this bazaar, I thought “that sounds like a hoot.” A jumble sale, like in the UK, is something I miss a lot. Talking to the organizers of this monthly event, Helen Bentley and Charlotte White, I discovered how it came about through some major life events that gave Bentley time to do interesting things in Beijing. Bentley wanted to create a platform for all the creative people in Beijing while giving thrift shoppers a spot to sell and buy secondhand clothes and other treasures. I am a big fan of reusing and getting deals secondhand, and WeChat groups don’t always cut it. Feeling and seeing the stuff makes it easier to purchase.
The two ladies spend any minute that they are not working their daytime jobs giving the bazaar the attention it needs, from creating a new theme, to organizing the vendors and distributing the posters. White and Bentley do not make any money from this endeavor, using all the money vendors pay for their table for the rent of the space, creating posters and so forth. There’s a charitable aspect to the bazaar, as secondhand vendors can leave their leftover products for a good cause and people are encouraged to bring their secondhand clothes for charities like Roundabout.
I have come to realize that Beijing is a place that makes it easy to bond with people, and create events for people from all walks of life. One of my favorite things about being a international mother is the people I meet, that I would have never met if I would have stayed home. It seems that Rumble in the Jumble is not only a story of reusing and creating a platform for makers in Beijing, but also a story of friendship, and evidence that dramatic life events make for a great reason to do epic things.
The Next Rumble in the Jumble is Sunday May 21 from 2pm till 8pm, with vendors like Jennies Oven, Verve, Shangrila Farms, Bubbas Pantry and Jar Jar Minx. The theme is EXIT PLAN, bidding goodbye to some Beijing faces, some forever and some just for the holidays. Expect aviation cocktails, luggage donation, swimwear and books anything you need for the holiday season.
Pictures: Courtesy of Rumble in the Jumble Creators