29 May 12

by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com

About six weeks ago I hosted a networking event for pet professionals with the topic, “Think outside the box,” because so many of us get stuck in a rut with the same pet events, marketing plans, etc.  It can be challenging to think of something new to do to promote your pet business or rescue group.  One rescue group that often thinks outside the box in a very creative way is the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons.  ARF has many different events that are not your norm, and they wisely use the location in which they are situated in to host such unique events.  All which help the animals in which they rescue and care for.

Over the Memorial Day weekend I was at the 2nd Annual Designer ShowHouse at the ARF in Sagaponack, NY.  ARF transformed their thrift and treasure shop into a designer showhouse for the weekend to raise funds for ARF to help the organization continue to find homes for the animals in need.

Talk about thinking outside the box, most people wouldn’t think of interior design and pets as a hand-in-hand event, but ARF and the designers pulled it off flawlessly.  Ten rooms were beautifully styled by some of New York’s most illustrious interior decorators in which some of the rooms had whimsical pet themes.  Over 200 people attended the kick-off cocktail party fundraiser held on Saturday, May 26th from 5 – 8pm with 5pm being the exclusive preview hour at $300 per person and $150 per person for general admission at 6pm.  The showhouse was open to the public for a suggested $10 donation Sunday & Monday, May 27th & May 28th as well.

The Thrift and Treasure shop itself is a priority for the organization’s long term strategic planning as almost 20% of ARF’s annual operating budget comes from funds raised there. Last year, the Thrift Shop, a charming Dutch colonial building was renovated and expanded allowing ARF to accept more donations and continue to successfully fund the organization’s animal Adoption Center.

Sara Davidson, Executive Director of ARF with one of the ARF dogs up for adoption

“Last year’s first designer showhouse and grand re-opening was such a success that we decided to make the designer showhouse an annual event for ARF. The funds raised by the designer showhouse and Thrift & Treasure Shop are vital to the organization and its mission to provide for the health and welfare of dogs and cats on the East End of Long Island.  We are in awe of the designers’ creativity who will transform the shop.” said Sara Davison, Executive Director of ARF.

The line up of top designers, who created rooms for the second annual showhouse, included: Jeffery Howard Brodersen, Nancy Corzine, Gary Crain and James Alan Smith, Michael Grim, Gigi Mahon, Jeff Pfeifle, Scott Salvator, Rob Southern, and Tony Urrutia.  All the designers are animal lovers who are donating their time and expertise to help the ARF cats and dogs, who are less fortunate than their own beloved pets.  Each room will feature Thrift Shop items and pieces donated from the designers’ own collections.  Unlike traditional showhouses, every item in the ARF designer showhouse was for sale. There were also many adoptable pets on hand in ARF’s brand new adoption truck in which they rolled out for display for the evening’s event. 

So regardless of your location, think outside the box of something different you can do for your rescue group or pet business.  What is in your local community that might be different than others?  Start thinking more creatively and look around in your own backyard to see what you can come up with!

More Pictures below of the ARF Designer ShowHouse!

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