Keeping it Local: Laurel craft market sells unique, fun items

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Story And Photo By Jaci Webb Of The Laurel Outlook
Thursday, January 6, 2022
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Bobette Lindstrand at her consignment shop Lillian’s on Colorado Ave.

Bobette Lindstrand’s Laurel craft market, Lillian’s, is bursting with fun products that express her love of unique, locally made items.

There are I Spy kits to keep restless youngsters occupied on long road trips and soft and colorful alpaca gnomes and purses. One of the most popular items is the shadow box, made by a local vendor who cuts out layers of colored vinyl to fill the box, then adds a light in back to illuminate the scene. The shadow boxes sell for $15.

“I’ve been looking at it from all these different angles, that’s why I never get anything done,” Lindstrand jokes.

A long-time crafter and substitute teacher, Lindstrand had an opportunity in March, 2021, to open a retail store in a small space at 13 1/2 Colorado St. She decided to name the store after her late grandmother, Lilian, who was a great role model for Lindstrand because she managed to raise a family, help her community, and work as a seamstress. Her grandmother’s photo is displayed prominently in the shop.

In July, 2021, she expanded to her current space in the same complex allowing her to bring in more vendors. Part of the fun for Lindstrand is meeting the craft vendors. Ninety-five percent of her products are handmade by crafters in the Yellowstone Valley.

“Everybody has a unique story,” Lindstrand said.

When COVID curtailed craft markets during the holiday season of 2020-21, Lindstrand missed the culture of the markets.

“I realized how much I missed being with all the people -- the vendors and the shoppers. The only thing I didn’t miss was all the loading and unloading and setting up.”

The original plan was to make and sell her own craft items, including signs with a Winnie the Pooh quote, “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

But Lindstrand got so busy with the store, she hasn’t had much time to craft. She does get to teach craft classes at the shop and also offers classes by other vendors. The most popular class so far has been the dotting class where students learn the art of making designs with colorful dots to embellish small wall plaques.

Lindstrand is impressed with the amount of support she has gotten from the Laurel community. It reminds her of her hometown of Lewistown.

“It’s amazing how we all work together. I had no idea how supportive the community is. On Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, every store helped get the word out, and we all referred customers to each other.”

Lindstrand and her family live in Park City, but she is known in Laurel because she subbed for the Laurel School District for several years. She is looking for more vendors, who are invited to rent a space in the store to sell their products. They can rent a shelf or set up their own shelf or display, depending on the amount of products they have for sale.

Store hours are Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Fridays, 12 to 5 p.m.. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about upcoming classes or becoming a vendor, call 406-850-6462.

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The Laurel Outlook

 

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