Crafters enjoy social aspect of selling their wares

November 09, 2011 11:26 am

Jan and John McCollister show their handcrafts ranging from her clothes to his items made from oak wine barrels. The Pilot/Lorna Rodriguez
 

For Jan and John McCollister, selling handcrafted goods provides an opportunity to meet new people.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Jan sells panchos and capes.

John crafts oak wine barrels into lazy susans, platters, tables and candle holders.

In the process, the McCollisters have met people from all over the world, Jan said.

 

The McCollisters will sell their items at the 42nd annual Brookings-Harbor Community Christmas Bazaar, being held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 12 in the Azalea Middle School gym and the Brookings-Harbor High School cafeteria.

More than 100 vendors will be present.

“It’s such a wonderful kickoff to the holiday season,” Jan  said. “Everybody is happy, whether it’s rainy or sunny. It’s such a wonderful vote of confidence for us.”

This is the McCollisters fourth year participating in the Christmas bazaar.

“It’s almost like it’s Thanksgiving dinner,” Jan  said. “It’s, ‘why do you cook a turkey?’ It’s part of our life now. It’s something that we hope to be doing for many years to come.”

John agrees.

“It’s fun,” John said. “It’s one of the things that Jan and I both like. We sell a product that people can use at a real fair price. It just makes us feel good when we see somebody walk away with our product. They’re real thrilled with what they paid for, which makes us feel good.

John got his start about five years ago after working as a home winemaker for 20 years. While living in Napa, all of the tasting rooms in wineries were selling things made out of oak barrels.

John adopted the idea, made some modifications and developed a form of art.

“It’s something that I like,” John said. “It’s something that we use. It’s a product that I like.”

John uses recycled wood, oftentimes French oak, from wineries in the Napa Valley and Oregon.

Jan has always loved to sew, but never had time to while teaching full time. When she moved to Brookings, she hoped that would change.

After arriving in Brookings, Jan realized that Fred Meyer was the only store that sold outerwear, she said. 

She recognized a need, and decided to fill the void.

She enjoys the craft because it’s a creative outlet.

“It’s my artistic vent,” she said. 

The McCollisters enjoy what they do. They’re not overly concerned with making a profit.

“We’re not in it for the money,” Jan said. “It’s more about the socializing with people that we meet.”