Doilies Big Hit At Hamfest Despite Initial Reservations

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By WBØRUR, on the scene

PETALUMA, Calif. – A local woman is making big business out of a small item: doilies. Barbara O’Keefe of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania recently traveled with her husband to an amateur radio swap meet, known as a ‘hamfest’ but found little that interested her.

doily“I didn’t know what to expect,” says O’Keefe. “But I sure didn’t expect this.”

As her husband, Wilbur, explored the swap meet exhibit floor, O’Keefe returned to the car and her sewing kit. She quickly produced a dozen lace doilies and offered them for sale at the event.

“Heck, they sold like hot cakes after I told everybody what they were,” says Wilbur, a ham radio operator since 1969. “And then I got the idea to take orders and have Barb stitch callsigns on them. Damn genius, if you ask me.”

O’Keefe and her husband are already planning their next hamfest adventure.

“We may expand our product line,” says the seamstress. “I think if we pair the doily with a nice linen napkin we can go gangbusters and blow the lid off the place.”


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