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Fox Chapel

Upscale shopping returns with 'Pizzazz' at Fox Chapel Golf Club

| Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, 11:15 a.m.
The Garden Club of Allegheny County will host “Pizzazz,” its annual shopping boutique beginning Oct. 24.
The Garden Club of Allegheny County will host “Pizzazz,” its annual shopping boutique beginning Oct. 24.

To call Pizzazz anything less than a unique shopping experience would be an understatement.

Essentially a pop-up mall, Pizzazz offers shopping to thrill the senses and lives up to its name. It comes to the Fox Chapel Golf Club Oct. 24-26.

In the day of international shopping at the press of a finger, Pizzazz delivers buying for fun and a good cause.

“You can touch and feel everything,” Tracey Reading said.

Reading is a member of Garden Club of Allegheny County (GCAC), the sponsoring organization. Profits from the three-day fundraiser help local gems such as Aspinwall Riverfront Park’s raindrop garden and Camp Guyasuta’s Weatherbug Station. A pollinator garden at the Flight 93 Memorial bloomed because of a garden club grant, too.

The $10 entry and vendor fees support the grants. About 20 were funneled out last year to groups that support conservation.

This is the 23rd edition of Pizzazz, but it promises to be one of the best, Reading said. There are 39 vendors from all over the country, chosen from the 70 who requested entry. A fresh look from 20 new vendors is mixed among returning favorites.

Barbara Arnett Cashmere from Michigan is bringing shawls hand-painted with hot-pink and other eye-catching colors. Ohio’s Velvet Road had embroidered boots last year and is adding embellished sneakers this year. Perfumer Saor — Gaelic for be free — is from Chicago and new this year. So is Whitehead Studios, also from Illinois, which offers topiaries, ornaments and other decorations inspired by nature.

Another new item is from California. Flutter Eyewear will bring bespectacled reading glasses while the dazzling taste of Scamps Toffee with their hand-dipped chocolates comes in from Ligonier.

There is a wide variety of wares, glitzy jewelry of different styles and household items for every taste splashed around the black-and-white Gatsby-style atrium in the club’s ballroom, and on the first floor.

One advantage of coming to the Fox Chapel Road event is shoppers can check out colors, try on sizes and get personalized service. It’s three-dimensional, hands-on shopping.

The preview party for patrons and sponsors, from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 24 will offer shopping with wine and hors d’oeuvres and a swanky silent auction which includes vacation stays.

Shopping on Oct. 25 is from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., the longer hours making it easier for those who work to come later and relax in the evening. On Oct. 26, the event runs 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“It’s something you can do with your friends,” Reading said.

About 100 members of the garden club have worked since last year’s Pizzazz to grow the three-day sale. All members are involved with the committee or volunteering during the sale.

Reading said the garden club is active not only with grants but also with educational opportunities. Members get their hands dirty, too, with hands-on projects like planting and maintaining a memorial garden at Longwood of Oakmont.

“It’s a way of giving back,” Reading said.

Sharon Drake is a freelance writer

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