Meet Our Vendor: 20 Leagues
20Leagues guys make great gifts and stocking stuffers you can check out this weekend! We can’t wait!
Who are you and what do you do?
We are 20 Leagues! We are an artist and a scientist conjoined at the sense of humor. Part of the Portland’s burgeoning diorama economy, we are best known for our layered diorama ornaments, our diorama houseplant kits, and our twee-dimensional wood pins. We’re less known for a whole bunch of other things we do.
What do you love most about craft show vending?
Uh, the humanity? We love seeing people interact with our products and presentation – it let’s us know what’s working, what’s missing, and, what’s what. After months being wrapped up in the sticky details of running a small business, we emerge from our cocoons like the anti-social butterflies we are. We get a real and real important boost from connecting with our fans, from swapping stories with our fellow vendors, and from being told it will all work out by UCU’s therapeutic volunteers.
Where do you see your business in 3 years?
Our year 2020 goals have been a topic at 20 Leagues since the very day we named it. Our founding mission was, in fact, to control 20% of the world’s puns by 2020. We’ve dialed back those ambitions a bit and now simply dream of having a live/toil building somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.
As a stretch goal, we’d also like to own laser capable of blowing up the moon. No reason.
We fly by the seats of our pants when we follow our flights of fancy, so it’s hard to say what we’ll be when we grow up. Maybe astronauts.
What’s something you’ve learned through running your business in the past 12 months?
Scaling up is hard to do. The two of us spent last year either manically adding production capacity to keep up with sales or manically seeking sales to afford scaling our production. Our life is an everlasting, ever-evolving word problem, but we’ve bootstrapped our way to a new laser, some overdue help, a bit of hypertension, and an amazing shared shop space for which we have even bigger, maniacalier plans.
What’s your favorite item that you sell?
This year we’ve had the most fun coming up with new ideas for our Fancy Plants houseplant diorama kits. We’ve added Gnomes, Dinosaurs, and a marauding Sasquatch. We’re like bowerbirds and decorate our nest with all the prototypes and misfires- these have been a fun to find hidden about. The cats are wary of the T. Rex lurking in their cat grass, but that’s on them. If you don’t know what bowerbirds are, make that your one thing to learn today- seriously, they are pretty much our favorite bird.