By Erica Schroeder
Swap With A Purpose (SWAP), a business designed to help individuals plan events where guests can swap unwanted items instead of trashing them, recently cropped up in Carmel Valley.
"I have been informally hosting swaps with friends and relatives for years until recently when my husband suggested formalizing the events," said founder Maryam Davodi-Far. With help from her husband and friends, Davodi-Far was able to get the business off the ground quickly as of July 1.
SWAP is designed to teach the benefit of exchanging goods rather than continuously purchasing new items so that more resources do not have to be expended to make new goods. The business sets up swapping events with customers, and the profits benefit any charity the host chooses.
Davodi-Far generally helps customers plan swaps at their homes, though she usually throws at least one a year in her home.
After guests have swapped their items, the host takes whatever is left over to a consignment shop and donates the proceeds to charity. Davodi-Far's charity of choice is the Cancer Coping Center.
Her business is dedicated to sustainability, she said. By recycling items through swapping, customers are reducing their garbage output and benefitting the environment.
As far as plans for the future, Davodi-Far is working with customers to set up a variety of swaps, rather than just clothing.
"The best part about a swap is that it is really open to everyone. I mean I've talked to customers about having toy swaps, media swaps, men's swaps and even a jewelry themed swap; the items the customer chooses to have at her swap is really the unique part of the business, it's open to everyone," Davodi-Far said.
She encourages her hosts to keep the swaps as no-charge events.
"When I host a swap, I really have fun with it. People can bring food and drinks and socialize with one another while getting rid of quality things they'll never wear. People are coming from all walks of life so attendees can get a lot of different stuff," Davodi-Far said.
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