Bowen's first virtual craft fair of the COVID era is tomorrow

May 3 between 10 a.m. and noon, Bowen vendors will have "booths" set up in a Facebook event.

While the ravages of COVID-19 keep islanders in their homes, craft fairs will find a way on Bowen Island.

Bowen’s first virtual craft fair of the COVID era is coming up Sunday May 3 from 10 a.m. to noon (just in time for Mother’s Day on May 10).

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Helen Platts-Johnson of Bowen Island Soap Company is organizing the Facebook-based event.

On the event page, each vendor (there are currently seven signed up) will have a virtual “booth” with their logo and then photos of their products displayed in the comments section below. Between 10 a.m. and noon customers will then be able to comment with which items they wish to buy.

Platts-Johnson will also chat on Facebook live during the event, including the behind the scenes of her soap making.

This is Platts-Johnson’s first time hosting a virtual craft fair and a bit of an experiment.

“I'm super excited,” says Platts-Johnson. “And if it works well, then hopefully we'll be able to do some more.”

Amid the uncertainty of COVID, the lack of craft fairs this spring and other financial pressures, Platts-Johnson is trying to make the best out of a stressful situation.  

“[It’s] just to do something a bit new and to sort of pull people out of comfort zone…to show them that there are other options,” said Platts-Johnson. “Because it's tricky in this kind of situation when you're a small business and you wonder what the heck you're going to do and how you're going to pivot.”

Vendors in this weekend’s fair include Bowen Island Soap Co., Planted on Bowen, Flora Shamana Blooms, Five Blossom Gatherings’ art cards,Salty Dog Leashes, Christie Grace Designs and Frayed Macrame.

And according to Platts-Johnson, things are looking good for the event.

“We've had lots of interest, lots of people very excited to support our amazing businesses,” she said.

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