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Fashion forward boutique shows passion for local health care

 Drop Dead Darlings is known for bringing fun and fashion forward clothing, shoes and accessories to women in Wood Buffalo. The boutique sells a variety of different styles and brands, offered in limited quantities, and unlike anything else sold by other retailers in Wood Buffalo. Not only does Drop Dead Darlings help make women feel and look their best, they also take pride in giving back to the region they proudly call home.

Since 2009, Drop Dead Darlings has been a marketplace vendor for the Northern Lights Health Foundation, frequently displaying and selling fashions in the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre. Julie Tiemstra, co-owner of the boutique, became involved with the marketplace vendor program while looking for alternative opportunities to showcase her boutique’s products.

The Health Foundation began its marketplace vendor program as a unique opportunity for local businesses to promote themselves, reach new clients, sell their products and show support to health care in our region.

A portion of all marketplace vendor sales is directed back to the Health Foundation, in support of local health care. Approximately $15,000 is raised through the program each year.

Tiemstra is a proud Wood Buffalo resident, having lived in Fort McMurray for four months in 2000 and later returning to stay in 2006. When asked what Tiemstra loves most about our region, she says there are too many things to list.

“A few of my favourite things include the diverse and amazing people that I’ve met, our great sense of community and being surrounded by nature. I love hiking the trails, going to the beaches and water parks, and floating down the river,” she says.

For Tiemstra, the opportunity to showcase her products in the Health Centre is a great way to give back to a community she loves being a part of.

“I recognize how much the Health Foundation contributes to our community,” she says. “At Drop Dead Darlings, we feel it’s important to help build a better and stronger community for our region’s residents.”

The marketplace vendor program runs Monday to Friday, in the main lobby of the Health Centre, offering a wide variety of products from local vendors, artisans and small business entrepreneurs.

“The most rewarding part of being a marketplace vendor is the relationships we’ve built with the long term patients and staff in the hospital,” says Tiemstra, whose sister is a nurse at the Health Centre. “It’s also rewarding knowing that the support and donations from my company are helping to make a difference in our community.”

The marketplace vendor program currently boasts 18 different vendors, offering a variety of great shopping. From unique clothing, to a broad selection of jewelry and even original works of art, there is something for everyone.

The Health Foundation is always welcoming new local businesses to the program who are looking for a unique way to showcase their products and are interested in supporting local health care.

For more information on the marketplace program and how your local business can become a vendor, contact the Health Foundation at foundation@nlhf.ca or call 780-791-6041.

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