Friday, August 14, 2015

Free SWAP Lehi--Tomorrow!

Saturday, August 15th
8:00 a.m. to noon
Wines Park, Southeast Pavilion 
100 E 500 N, Lehi
Lehi Main Street exit from I-15

Volunteers are welcome to help set up starting at 6:30 a.m., taking and sorting donations during the event, and with clean-up starting at noon. Call your friends--make it a fun group activity. 

*Volunteers can also shop while working.*

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Introducing the Free SWAP Logo Design

Earlier this year we were approached by artist/designer Kim Bateman (my brother-in-law) with his proposal to design a logo for the Free SWAP. Kerry and I heartily welcomed the idea. We knew that creating a brand identity could greatly further our efforts to spread the message of community sharing.

It was a very interesting process, to say the least. He met with both me and Kerry to ask us about how we came to be involved in this idea of the Free SWAP, about our values and interests and where we find inspiration. This is important for a designer to know his client so he can tailor design choices. Otherwise he could take a logo in a million different directions and still not find what speaks to the client.

Interviews done, he started sketching up pages and pages of ideas--from bold and graphic to fluid and organic, from text-based to image-based. It was all so fascinating to see the process unfold and see the diversity of logos he came up with.

We wanted to include so many concepts in the design but we knew we wanted to keep it fairly uncluttered. Symbolism, colors, shapes all have meaning when create a brand identity--we talked a lot. 

It was very much a collaborative effort (all the adults and even some suggestions from some of my kids) and in the end this (above) is where we all landed. We are very happy with the results.

  • The symbolism of circles supports the idea of both community (circle of friends, circle of influence, circling the wagons--Utah pioneers know about that, for sure) and also the planet earth. 
  • The hands forming the "S" reinforce the concept of sharing--giving and receiving. So the hands can be seen both as sharing an item and as cradling the planet.
  • Green is often associated with the environment and with prosperity--both concepts that fit well with the Free SWAP philosophy.
  • If you look at the hands upside down they look like stylized half-arrows which hint at the well-established recycling logo. 

We have registered our trademark with the State of Utah and everything. We are official. Now for incorporating it into our work.

Aside from this blog, our latest printing of business cards (in English and Spanish) and our Facebook page also feature the new logo. Yet to come are vinyl signs to be used at SWAPs and for promotion at farmers markets.

Thank you, Kim, for your experience, your professional, courteous nature and your creativity. It was a pleasure to work with you and we are delighted with your design.

If you are interested in seeing more of Kim Bateman's work or to contact him, please visit:

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Promoting the Lehi SWAP at the Wasatch Front Farmers Market

{Our little helper demonstrated the concept of Free SWAP by handing out free suckers. 
She loved her job; and was very good at it}

Since we're opening up our first "franchise" this year--in Lehi, Utah--we thought the Wasatch Front Farmers Market (Thanksgiving Point location) would be a great choice for promoting the upcoming swap.

Lovely day to be out talking with folks. Pleasant booth neighbors. Yummy food from the Taiwanese place across the way. And Kerry and I both went home with luscious fresh produce to boot. (We'll see if enough berries survive long enough to be turned into a pastry; I keep eating them.)

{our booth--homegrown fun with a couple of women who love to do this}

{Kerry with the finished set-up}

 Some of the things we heard today: 

"I have about 8 bags of clothes that I've been meaning to take to the thrift store." 

"We just bought a new couch and now the old couch is just sitting there in the garage."

"We have *so* much stuff."

"We have a dryer we could give away."

Perfect. Bring it on down to the Free SWAP next Saturday!

Saturday, August 15th
8:00 a.m. to noon
Wines Park, Lehi, 100 E 500 N
(Main Street, Lehi exit from I-15)

{Kerry and the Sugar Dealer in action}

Thanks, Wasatch Front Farmers Market, for letting us join the gang this week! And to the folks we chatted with today, hope to see you Saturday!

Friday, August 7, 2015

June 2015 Report!

Rockstar set-up crew (minus one or two camera-shy rockstars)

Well, my dear Free SWAP partner, Kerry, was off in New York at a work conference during the opening swap. I was going to miss her; and she was going to miss out on all the fun here. But I had all kinds of volunteers show up to help out; it was fantastic! Again, we had volunteers I knew--long-time friends and neighbors of mine--and volunteers I just met. (The volunteer at the left of the photo organizes swaps as well--I believe in Provo somewhere--so it was fun to meet her and have her energy and set-up skills. *I was hoping to get your contact information before you left, but we were all so busy the whole time, that I looked around for you and you had gone. Contact me--would love to chat more about free swaps.*) 

Before the swap even got started we had a lot of donations. 

The park grounds crew wanted to wash down the tables for us before we got started so we piled up the donations off to the side and visited with each other before all the excitement kicked off.

Right out of the gate we started with a hearty outdoor recreation inventory. 

Doors opened.

It always amazes me how many donations come and go during the course of each free swap.

Flash-mob of sharing and community togetherness. Love it.

 We had a couple of signs printed up to facilitate the flow in the parking lot.

In the past interested passersby, upon seeing the packed parking lot, would simply leave. This sign, we hope, says, "Don't leave! There's room for more! Come play with us."

Here a patron happily--and comfortably--waited for the truck that would take that futon couch on to new adventures.

Sweetest new volunteer Lili--she was delightful and a hardworking advocate for this little swap. 
(*Loved meeting you!*)


Strangers--met in the parking lot--worked together to share a couch with someone new.

Because we love the swap so much Kerry and I like to brainstorm new ways to spread the word not only about our local events, but about the entire concept. This year we invited local photographer Joy C. to take portraits of happy customers eager to share their stories. These portraits we will use to further the cause. More on that to come...

Young Nathaniel, a veteran volunteer (an umbrella escort at the fall 2014 free swap), was a super helper on this balloon project.

My dear, dear friend Kelly--our friendship is over thirty years old. (How that's possible when we're both only 25?! hmm...) We both grew up 2 states away so the fact that we now live a 20-minute drive from each other is pretty incredible.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feedback, folks.

Fantastic clean-up crew (minus a few more camera-shy helpers) made quick work of everything. I blinked and all was packed up. Thank you, thank you!!

It was a beautiful day for sharing within the community.

Next Free SWAP: Saturday, August 15th, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at Wines Park in Lehi, UT.

Big "Thank You"s to (it really goes so fast and furious that my brain doesn't always compute everyone who might have helped out--for that I am sorry):

Kim B., for the new logo you designed for us (will share more on that in another post--we are excited about having a logo to further the cause); my oldest child, for watching your little sister; my middle child, for being a super awesome helper from start to finish; Jeff B. and Amanda S., for your help on all the Spanish language translations (more on that in another post); Joy C., for being the promotional portrait photographer (looking forward to more on that project); the Toblers, Paula W., the Wilkinsons, the Wayases for packing your cars with, and transporting, all the donations that the neighborhood had collected; Lili, for your cheerful volunteerism; Sarah C., for helping to set up the canopy in the morning (so needed!); Paula W., for helping with set-up and letting my children at home come play at your house; Wilkinsons, for set-up help AND clean-up help!; Roy S., for making time to volunteer a bit even though you had a conflicting event; the Greens, for your lightning-fast clean-up skills, Abby R., for your steady help every free swap; Mystery Woman (who also does free swaps in Provo), for your hard work and experience; Rebecca (with your little one in the stroller), for offering to transport leftover donations to the thrift store; Nathaniel, for being the balloon-design coordinator and eagerly helping out; and Kay J., for helping with set-up (which is what I feel I need the most for a successful swap)