This week I’ve been talking all about curating. It’s something I really believe in, so it makes sense that I apply the concept to The Farm Chicks Vintage & Handmade Fair as well. It all begins when I start pulling together all of the folks who will be selling their wares at the fair. Throughout the year, I receive applications from potential participants, and it’s from this pool that I select those who will be selling. This process is very important to me, and really sets the stage for what will unfold at Farm Chicks. There’s a lot that goes into this process: What do I think of the pictures they’ve submitted? What is their style? How do their words come across to me, and so on. The curation begins here. Curating a show of this size can be really tricky because I start out with 300 blank spaces and need to fill them in a way that feels just right to me. It needs to be visually appealing and the finds and creations need to be amazing. After all these years, it really comes down to trusting my instincts. Once I’ve identified all of the participants for the show, my curation is now complete. I’ve curated what I sort of look at as my palette (the overall show), and now each of them will bring that palette to life (their individual spaces). It’s a beautiful thing. I used to call the participants “vendors”, but that title never sat quite right with me. They are doing so much more than just selling their wares. For those selling antiques and vintage, their process starts with the hunting and gathering of their goods. Then comes the repairs, cleaning, sometimes the painting or refinishing, sorting, and pricing, all while staying true to their overall style and the display they’ll be presenting for Farm Chicks.
When the show rolls around, they’ll load their goods and begin their journey to the show. And once they arrive, they’ll unload those wares and begin their display, just as they’ve been laying it all out and practicing for the whole year leading up to this one weekend.
For those selling handmade goods, much is the same except instead of hunting and gathering, they’re building and creating.
So anyway, I didn’t want to call them “vendors” any more, because you know, they’re a pretty big deal. Can you guess what I’ve re-named them? Curators! The Farm Chicks Show Curators. I love them and I know you will too.
Stay-at-home mom, Serena Thompson, dreamed of creating a fun and happy little event to sell her vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, she and some friends held the first event in her neighbor’s barn. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today the event fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces filled with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best vintage & handmade fair in the country. Serena describes it as the happiest on earth.
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