News Blog for Seattle's University District Neighborhood


Festival at UW Horticulture center shows off small business start-ups

October 16th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Scarves for sale at the Washington CASH Fall Festival

The summer fair and festival season is decidedly over so it was a bit surprising to see that a group called Washington Community Alliance for Self-Help hosted a festival at the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture building today.

The Fall Festival Marketplace is one of two annual events Washington CASH hosts and festival coordinator Linda Shigaki said they chose the Urban Horticulture center specifically because it offers a mix of indoor and outdoor space that could accommodate an eclectic group of nearly 50 vendors.

Washington CASH is like a small business incubator and today’s event was a way to help spread awareness the organization and its mission. Tables packed into the center’s Northwest Horticultural Society Hall, courtyard and commons were manned by entrepreneurs that had all gone through the CASH program. The booths were a mix of typical festival fare such as art and hand-crafted fashion accessories along side a few fish out of water like a sleek looking e-commerce display. Out in the courtyard new restaurateurs were serving up a wide range of creative meals and desserts.

Shigaki said more than 200 people walked through the festival today. Mandarin, a cookie company at a table in a prime spot by the main entrance to the hall, had sold at least 100 cookies. But company owner Amanda Noke said sales were only one benefit of the event. Other sellers echoed the sentiment saying that learning to work with customers and networking with other similar start-ups were equally important.

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