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September 3, 2014

Girlie Girlz Gathering: Let's go shopping

The Girlie Girlz Gathering in Belleville is all about making life easier, prettier, healthier and happier for women.

About 75 vendors will sell products ranging from purses to potpourri, scarves to soaps, clothing to cosmetics, tans to Tupperware this weekend.

"It's a fun thing for women to do with their friends for a day or night out," said promoter Kay Weber.

Show time is 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Belle-Clair Fairgrounds Exposition Hall. Admission is $3 each day.

In addition to shopping, women can taste cakes, cookies, wine, salsa, teas, coffees and other delectables.

"The public doesn't get to see this kind of thing unless they go to individual parties or shops or wine tastings," Weber said.

Back for the third year will be Debbie Wheeler, who operates The Truffle Shack out of her home.

She makes 12 flavors, plus seasonal truffles such as bacon-chocolate for Father's Day and crushed peppermint for Christmas.

"I like to call them 'the perfect two-bite dessert,'" said Wheeler, 48, of Belleville, who trained at California Culinary Academy and worked at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in San Francisco.

"They're not too big. They're not too heavy. They have a candy-like filling on the inside, and they're covered in premium white chocolate or dark chocolate."

Marilyn Hancock will display her eclectic jewelry made of silver, copper, gold, wood, gemstones and crystals.

She lives along the Kaskaskia River and calls her company "Crafts on the River."

"I do whatever pops into my head," said Hancock, 68, of New Athens, a retired bank employee who has been creating jewelry for eight years.

"I may see a bead that inspires me, and I just go from there. I also do custom jewelry, like wedding jewelry."

Jessica Harris will bring her Shoe Glam line of shoes, including "crib shoes" for infants and flip- flops.

Her shoes for adults and children are mostly Converse sneakers decorated with Swarovsky crystals and ribbons for laces.

"The whole point is just to glam up your shoes to be girlie and to wear fancy shoes," said Harris, 33, of Affton, Mo., the mother of two small children.

At a glance

What: Girlie Girlz Gathering

When: 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

Where: Belle-Clair Fairgrounds Exposition Hall, 200 S. Belt East in Belleville

Admission: $3 each day

Information: Contact Kay Weber at 618-233-0940, or

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