by April Foster
In the parking lot behind the Linen Building, just past the miniature tree fort and Boise Bicycle Project's bike racks, there are a number of vendors trying to make a living off the Treefort crowd.
Caron Cooper, director of the Community Closet thrift store, spent her Treefort hawking vintage clothes. Cooper traveled to Boise from Livingston, Montana for a chance to put her wares in front of what she considers her target audience.
“My son and I were at a Typhoon and Decemberists concert last summer, and I was looking around and a light bulb went off—this is the crowd I can sell my lower-quality vintage thrift store clothes to.”
Treefort is the Community Closet’s first festival. After this experience, Cooper intends to bring her store back to Treefort 2013, as well as other festivals in the region. But next year she hopes the organizers will provide better placement for vendors.
“It would’ve been nice to be in a more mainstream area. It wasn’t the busiest hub here,” said Cooper.
Aaron and Emily Williams, husband and wife, brought their socially conscious T-shirt company to the Treefort parking lot. For every Originally New T-shirt sold, the couple donates a shirt to people in need.
“We donated 120 shirts to victims of the recent Chilean earthquakes,” said Emily.
The couple agreed that they enjoyed vending at Treefort, and received a great response from festival attendees.
Local outdoor gear vendors Boundless also did well at Treefort, but like Community Closet, noted that the location left something to be desired.
“Business has been good; people have been very receptive. In regards to location: the traffic hasn’t been ideal," said a Boundless employee.
The company is run on the Internet by a group of friends that grew up in Boise. They wanted to create a store where people could purchase basic hiking and camping gear suitable for the typical Boise camper. Boundless’ gear is designed for hiking in the foothills or taking a weekend car camping trip in the Boise Front, rather than extreme outdoor trips. They even sell a sleeping bag that you can stick your arms out of and
synch cinch up the waste, allowing the user to stand up and walk around in it.