Last summer, Elizabeth Guzman Greer was trying to find a new outlet to sell the women's and girls' clothing she makes.
Drawing on her West Coast experiences, she came up with something a little outside the box, and it seems to be going well for her.
"I sew and I sell clothes, and I wasn't getting enough business, so I reached out to my friend (Jesus Sanchez) who owns the Key Club downtown, and I was like 'Hey, how do you feel about putting in a little vendor event?'" said Greer, a 31-year-old stay-at-home mom.
"Kinda like the Farmers Market, but with people that have material things -- it could be, an AVON representative could come, a Scentsy gal, anyone."
A Sioux City native, Greer said she got the idea from California, where she lived for four years before moving back.
"It's normal over there to do these shows," she said. "I came over here, and that's what gave me the idea."
Her vendor event idea became "Drink & Shop," a mutually beneficial arrangement where vendors set up tables inside Sioux City bars and restaurants, and customers can buy products from vendors, buy drinks and food from the establishment, or both.
On June 30, Drink & Shop will have what Greer said will be its biggest event yet: a 20-plus vendor extravaganza at La Familia Night Club, 420 Jackson St. Two local music artists will be performing at the event.
Greer stressed that typical bazaar-goers -- those seeking crafts, baked goods, jewelry, soaps, handmade goods -- shouldn't be put off by the venue, though it may be the sort of place they don't often patronize.
"It is family friendly -- I know a lot of people get a little skeptical about it being at a bar, but just for those four hours, it's just... family-oriented, you're eating, you're shopping," she said.
She tries to hold Drink & Shop events twice a month -- in July, Studio302 "Art in Motion," 3087 Floyd Blvd., will play host, followed later in the month by an event at El Ranchito Restaurant & Bar, 2101 Cornhusker Drive, South Sioux City. For Drink & Shop venues that don't serve food, Greer makes sure a food truck is on site.
"It's a good way for me, and the vendors as well, to get our business out there," she said. "It's basically just, supporting locals and what's around. If you haven't seen these people, they haven't seen you."
For her part, Greer said her sewing business has done well since she began Drink & Shop.
"I'm not a Vera Wang, I can't make wedding dresses, but I do have cute summer skirts, maxi dresses, kimonos, really stylish stuff," she said.