Hidden treasures showcased in Sammamish

According to Sammamish Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Deb Sogge, there are more than 4,000 home businesses licensed on the Plateau.

Scott Gardiner

Scott Gardiner

When Sandra Scherzinger’s mother fell ill, her priorities abruptly changed.

Having to provide full-time care, the Sammamish resident could no longer work outside her home. She also couldn’t afford to quit her career.

That’s when the former toy store manager got an idea.

“I looked at where I thought there was a need and came up with the concept of building an online educational toy store,” she said.

Scherzinger, her husband Ted, and daughter Megan, launched home-based 4 Knowledge-4 Fun on Feb. 7. They currently have 390 items for sale on their website and have used Sandra’s former toy connections to obtain 40 different vendors.

“We’re not not an eBay business,” Sandra said. “We are a stand alone, family business.”

The Scherzingers aren’t an rarity. According to Sammamish Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Deb Sogge, there are more than 4,000 home businesses licensed on the Plateau.

“There so many licensed, but we don’t see them,” she said.

On Saturday, the Chamber hosted its first ever Home Business Expo as a chance to meet entrepreneurs while allowing home-based operations to showcase their products.

“We’ve been calling them hidden treasures for years so it was about time we started showing them off,” Sogge said.

Forty different exhibitors made their way to the Sammamish EX3 Teen & Recreation Center, ranging from limousine service to jewelry makers and everything in between.

“It’s great, I had no idea there were so many home-based businesses in Sammamish,” resident Matt Sentena said. “It’s been informative.”

For business owners like Cindy Houot, the expo was a unique opportunity to get out in the community and meet potential customers.

The owner of Angel Heart Designs, a hand-made ceramic company, has sold items worldwide. Her most famous transaction came a couple of years ago when she sold 100 ceramic cupcakes to the British Royal Family after their personal buyer found her online.

“I signed each one, ‘Cindy Houot, Angel Heart Designs, Sammamish, Washington,'” she said. “I wanted them to know absolutely everything.”

When it came to gaining local recognition, however, opportunities were limited — at least until Saturday.

“I think it’s nice that home-based businesses have a place where they can be recognized and found out about,” said Houot, who also hosts ceramic classes and children’s tea parties.

Sandra Scherzinger agreed the opportunity was priceless.

“We think it’s a really good idea to let people know what’s out there,” she said, noting 4 Knowledge-4 Fun delivers all over the world, but will gift wrap and hand deliver all local orders.

With Saturday’s positive community turnout, it’s likely the chamber will continue similar events in the future.

“We want Sammamish to be a place where people want to build their business and preserve their business,” said Chamber President Jason Weil.

Brian Rasmussen helps his 2-year-old Janus dig through a hidden prize chest Saturday while his other son Asbjoern, 5, eagerly looks on.

Owners of 4 Knowledge-4 Life, Ted Scherzinger, Sandra Scherzinger and Megan Scherzinger talk to customer Nicky Beedle Saturday.

There were 40 exhibitors at Saturday’s Home Business Expo in Sammamish.

Cindy Houot, owner of Angel Heart Designs, sits behind a display of her ceramic products.

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