Our Virtual Season: Sale 1, Errington May 16 – 17


In a normal year, this is “show time”. The shipments have arrived, the stock is sorted and stored; the boxes and rugs for the sale are in the truck; the display infrastructure has been checked, repaired, replaced; the ads for the newspapers, the mailout and facebook are designed and sent – and all of the million other details are either done or forgotten.

This year, of course, is not normal, but that is no reason not to come along for the ride! We propose, therefore, to take you through our pop-up schedule AS IF it were happening.

Tomorrow is set-up day, and we drive to Qualicam Beach to spend the night with family. In the morning one coffee isn’t enough, and we stop at Creekmore’s, at the Coombs turn off, for a top-up. Coombs is a funny place; who knew that putting goats on the roof was a stroke of marketing genius? Still, we have several favourite businesses in the area, including Bamboozle, BoMe Cheese, and Silver Meadows Farm, just around the corner when we turn onto the Errington Rd.

We started doing pop-ups at the Errington Hall in 2006, and we always love the drive up past Silver Meadow Farm to “downtown” Errington; it’s a really beautiful corner of Vancouver Is. There are actually two halls, side by side: the historic Errington War Memorial Hall, built in 1922; and the Small Hall, a 400sq/ft block. We always gazed covetously at the big hall, with its hardwood floors and amazing stage, as we tried to cram ourselves into our smallest venue. Until this year. Even though it is on the high end of our budget, we booked the big hall, confident that the heritage atmosphere would display our rugs to the best effect.

This was to be one of four “Rugs Only” sales in the spring of 2020. We had the same kind of event last year in the Small Hall, and discovered that shifting and re-arranging piles of rugs to show to customers is very heavy work! Being in the big hall also makes it much easier to set up a few tables of our most popular goods, and a clothing rack.

The first thing to do is get the key from the lovely house and garden of the hall manager, Denise. Driving through the back roads you discover the secret of Errington: there is no real “town” to speak of, but a substantial population is spread out in homes and acreages from Coombs to Parksville, and the people that live here love their community. And they love their community hall! A few years ago the entrance had to modified to be handicap accessible. The community carpenters took on the project, and constructed not just a ramp, but a statement of commitment. The solid fir beams and custom made bannisters, they joke, will out-live the hall by a 1000 years!

Given that, access for set-up isn’t easy, and I have to re-position the truck to find the best way to unload with the least possible effort. Because it isn’t a full set-up, less planning has to go into the floor lay-out, and it doesn’t take too long to figure out which rugs go where, how best to use the stage and hang stuff up, and where to put the other merchandise. Still, it is the first one of the year, and 5 hours later we are satisfied that everything has found its place. And we were right: the rugs, whether they are bold tribal Afghani or sophisticated Persian and Kashmiri, whether they are 12′ runners or cute little ones we can display on the wall – they look fantastic in this beautiful hall!

We are back early Saturday morning before opening, to put on the final touches, make sure our electronics are working and put out the signage. And then the doors are open! You, our old friends, come by to browse and chat. Except this year you will have to browse with your mouse, and chat with your key board. Yes, it sucks, but on the bright side you would have had about 40 rugs to look at in the Errington Hall. Now, by clicking here, you can admire more than 200! Talk about silver linings!

Thank you for joining us at our virtual sale, and we look forward to the time we will see you again!

Katheryn Kebe and David Fast