QVC, hawking Maryland-made items, is a hit Shopping network airs from Columbus Center

October 23, 1995|By Erik Nelson | Erik Nelson,SUN STAFF

Cable TV shopping came to life yesterday at Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

QVC, the national cable shopping network, hawked Maryland-made products in a broadcast staged before a live Columbus Center audience that QVC estimated at 2,000 people.

"They were people who watch QVC, people who came to see live television," said Winnie Atterbury, a network spokeswoman. "Nobody does live television anymore."

Out of 20 products, 17 sold out yesterday -- which meant 1,500 to 2,000 of each item.

Each vendor -- from Wooden Quilt wall hangings in Ijamsville, which offered duck decoys, to Eastern Shore Americana in Berlin, which had mounted wooden fish -- was chosen from 200 candidates rounded up by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

Some of the first-time-on-national-television vendors had to scurry back to their shops and start shipping. M&I Seafood in Baltimore, for instance, had to send out more than 1,000 dozen jumbo crab cakes via overnight mail in chilled packages so they wouldn't spoil.

Calvert Homestead of Prince Frederick hawked the hit of the 2 p.m.-to-5 p.m. show: a tobacco stick rack. The rack, originally used for drying tobacco leaves but sold for the display of dried flowers, sold out after it was flashed on camera during a quick preview of all 20 products, but before its creators even had a chance to pitch it.

Baltimore was the 43rd stop in QVC's "50 in 50 Tour," during which the company's mobile broadcasting studio will visit all 50 states in 50 weeks. Delaware is the next stop.

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