Bianca Collings and Cadie Brockbnk are co-directors of the Sassy Mei Home and Gift Show. They created the organization – which is based in Maple Valley, as are most of their vendors and sponsors – when fuel prices started to climb and consumers were looking to stay local. Sassy Mei hosts two large gift shows each year for participating artisans and businesses to sell their goods at Elk Run Golf Course. The next show is scheduled for Oct. 10-11. To find out more about Sassy Mei, the Reporter talked to Collings.
Reporter: Explain the concept of Sassy Mei.
Collings: A bi-annual home and gift show featuring local businesses and artisans. It’s very different from your typical craft fair, as we feature handcrafted items as well as small businesses that sell anything from home decor to toy trains. We handpick our 25 vendors and mix and match the products to create a warm, seasonal atmosphere. The full list of vendors is on our Web site at www.sassymei.com.
Reporter: Was the concept originated by you, or did it come from another source?
Collings: We personally knew of at least 15 very talented individuals who were involved in either home-based or small businesses. With gas prices soaring and communities focusing on local shopping, we thought it would be great to create a show where these vendors could not only gain exposure, but sell their products, as well. Sassy Mei is a nickname given to one of our moderators while living in Taiwan. It literally means “sassy sister.” The name fit perfect, as most of our vendors are very classy women with a little touch of sass.
Reporter: How many vendors typically participate in a show?
Collings: We like to keep the shows intimate and a little smaller. Typically, we have 25 to 30 vendors, but most vendors carry several products.
Reporter: Who are your sponsors?
Collings: Harbour Homes, Scrapbook Corner, Stan Parente Salon, Snoqualmie Falls Dentist, Work It Out, Calico Cat and Bernina Too, Safeway, Spider Glider Mobi, The Bouncy Place, Maple Valley Dentist, The Little Gym, Anything Goes Embrodiery and Simply Sweet Designs.
Reporter: Is there a target demographic for customers? Or are they broad-based?
Collings: Our theme, “Celebrating the seasons,” not only represents the variety of products that will be available, but our demographics, as well. We try to include items to suit every season of life. From baby essentials to designer clothing, there is a little bit of something for everyone.
Reporter: Are either of you artisans yourself?
Collings: Yes, I’m a co-owner of RMB Trading Company of Maple Valley, and Cadie is the sole owner of Alphabetic Design, also located in Maple Valley.
Reporter: Anything to add about your shows?
Collings: We’ll be holding a silent auction at the fall show to help raise money for the Scott and Carol Decker Foundation. Carol, an Enumclaw mother, suffered a post-natal infection that cost her both of her feet, one hand, a finger and her eyesight. We’d like to help with the overwhelming medical bills. You can donate at www.sassymei.com or bid at their table at the show.