Kids don't need to do everything by the book at Los Osos craft fair

judysalamacha@gmail.comAugust 11, 2013 

Watch out world, there’s a burgeoning crop of creative young entrepreneurs in and around Los Osos. 

“This Saturday’s fifth annual Children’s Craft Faire is the culmination of our summer programs at the South Bay Public Library,” said Joe Laurenzi, the fair’s manager. “I don’t know if anything like it exists for children on the Central Coast. One of our moms, Emily Waechtler, saw it in Bellingham, Wash., and asked if we could try it. Last year, we had over 80 children participate. We encourage the children to come up with ideas they can sell for $4 or under. My favorites are the cupcakes. I’m amazed at their ingenuity.”

The Children’s Craft Faire will be in the library parking lot at 2075 Palisades Ave. in Los Osos from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meanwhile, the Library Book Sale will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Laurenzi explained, “They set up their own tables, set pricing, learn to make change; (learn about) customer service, negotiating skills and even marketing techniques. One boy last year was going around offering samples and directing buyers to his table. Another took pictures and would email them for $1. At the end of the sale, it’s fun to watch them barter among themselves.”

Nine-year-old Amalia Eulate has been participating for two years. She’ll sell beaded necklaces, bracelets and lavender-filled bandanas. 

“Amalia’s Aunt Heidi in Washington told her about a lavender festival and the bandanas. I had the scrap material, and we got the lavender from her grandparents. Last year, she spent a lot of time creating a stamp and making bookmarks. She’s learning to conserve her time, use better tools, be more profitable, and what will sell. Since she has to pay me back for the beads, she discovered ribbon would keep her costs down. She asked and learned from a local retailer how to adapt the ribbon for different sizes for her necklaces,” said her mother, Jill Eulate.

Amalia hopes to bank more than $50, but also wants to purchase from other sellers.

It’s the first year for 9-year-old Ellie Mahan, 9, who will share her table with friend Bridget Moloney. 

“I weave duct tape. I cut strips and then fold them in and out. There’s a special fold for purses,” Ellie said. 

The girls design wallets, purses, rings, and bracelets using a wax paper process.

Ellie’s mother, Krista Mahan, agreed with Jill Eulate that the library has been “the hub” for family activities since both families had moved to the area recently.

Laurenzi said Friends of the Library purchases one item from each seller.

“Four years’ worth of sample merchandise will be on display at the library this week. Come out and invest in our children’s future as entrepreneurs.”

Judy Salamacha’s column is special to The Tribune. Reach her at judysalamacha@gmail.com or 801-1422.

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