Photograph by Foreside Photography/Kevin Fahrman
School fund-raising sales are great, but do you really want to buy a two-dollar Duncan-Hines brownie or a random eight-year-old’s macaroni and glitter picture? Masey Kaplan didn’t. She saw a better way of raising money for Maine schools: sell locally made products that parents and children will actually use. The Close Buy Catalogue (424 Fore St., 3rd Floor, Portland; 207-838-2567, closebuycatalog.com) features more than one hundred products from local vendors, and 35 percent of the proceeds go to fund local schools. Parents can buy a gift box complete with Maine-made chocolate, coffee, and hand sanitizer for their college-bound child, or lobster bisque, dried wild Maine blueberries, and Maine Woods soap as a part of the “True Mainah” collection. Or hand pick items from a variety of Maine businesses including Coffee By Design and Angela Adams. If you thought fourth-grader Timmy’s clay pencil holder, with its many practical uses, was a steal, prepare to be blown away by Kaplan’s well-curated catalogue of Maine’s best products.