While walking through another gift shop in Port Clyde, Maine, I came across a display of crocheted kids hats. I was astonished to find that they were all hand made by someone in California! This prompted me to investigate a little further.
The display itself was a hand painted hat stand that stood about 3 1/2 feet tall, perfect for both kids and adults to see. It had space for perhaps a dozen hats, but there were only about half that there. The proprietor told me the hats were good sellers, as they appealed to the kids.
And why not? They were nicely made sun hats, each with a unique animal somehow attached to it. One had a stuffed octopus off center on top, another had a surface crocheted dolphin. They were 100% acrylic, therefore washable, although the tag cautioned against machine wash and dry due to the adornments.
What was incredible to me is that this shop was NOT a craft shop by any stretch of the imagination! It carried cards, books, gifts, stuffed animals - the usual array. It was also more on the upscale side of things with sterling silver, glass, and antiques. Therefore I had to ask exactly how does a hand crocheted hat display from California find its way over 3000 miles to a gift shop in Maine?
I was answered with a shrug and "It was in the distributor's catalog. I thought it was cute and would sell." Wow. It was pretty obvious she was right, even marked at $21 each. What a terrific marketing idea!