Sweatshop Fitness

Pictured are some of the vendors that participated in last year’s spring craft and vendor fair at Sweatshop Fitness. More than 30 vendors will be selling a variety of goods during this year’s annual event, happening this Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

COVENTRY — During an event in Coventry this weekend, community members will be invited to shop for a cause.

The Spring Craft and Vendor Fair at Sweatshop Fitness will feature more than 30 vendors, entertainment and raffles, the proceeds from which will benefit Project Hand Up and the West Warwick Steelers. 

“This is my way of giving back,” Heidi Audet, owner of Sweatshop Fitness, said of the annual event, scheduled to take place Sunday. 

The fair will also mark 10 years since the Coventry fitness center opened its doors. 

“That’s a huge accomplishment for a small business, especially after COVID,” Audet said.

And after all the support she’s been given since opening Sweatshop Fitness in 2013, Audet added, she’s eager for the opportunity to pay it forward. 

A member of its board, Audet said she’s a strong believer in the work that Project Hand Up does. 

Audet has volunteered at Project Hand Up, which each week provides groceries to hundreds of families, since the nonprofit was founded in 2017. And when her business closed in 2020 due to the pandemic, she began to volunteer there full time.  

These days, having grown her staff at Sweatshop Fitness, Audet still spends as much time as she can volunteering with the West Warwick-based food supplement program. 

“The organization is near and dear to my heart,” she said, adding that in addition to raising funds for Project Hand Up, she hopes the craft and vendor fair will raise awareness of the organization and the role that it plays in the community. 

Audet also chose this year to use the event to support West Warwick Steelers, a cheerleading and football organizations, as it looks to welcome players from Coventry.  

“Coventry and West Warwick have always been home to me,” she said.

While the fair is a chance to give back to Project Hand Up and the West Warwick Steelers, Audet said, it’s also a great opportunity to support small, local businesses. 

“I’m all about supporting local, mom-and-pop businesses,” she said.

Participating vendors will be selling a variety of goods, from pet accessories to handmade jewelry to an assortment of locally-made crafts.

Food will also be available; beverages — including lemonade, iced tea, sangria, mimosas and beer — will be served up by Sippin Pretty, a mobile drink cart owned by Audet’s friend. And at noon, Coventry firefighters will stop by to let children get up close to some trucks. 

The Spring Craft and Vendor Fair will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Sunday, May 21, at 81 Sandy Bottom Road, Coventry. 

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