11/04/2014

Farmhouse Frocks goes to Atlanta's Country Living Fair 2014


Oh, where to start? How to put into words the amazing adventure we had at the Atlanta Country Living Fair with Farmhouse Frocks!?!


There was so much excitement and anticipation as we headed south with this dynamic team.
We had little idea of what to expect as we sailed along with a packed 20' Amish hauler van.


I still think this van must have had secret pockets to hold all the treasures we brought for this endeavor.


We unloaded our cargo the first night and regrouped for the next big day of staging.
We had a 10x10' tent to start our plan.


We then left Stone Mountain Park to meet up with my friend, Willy, and her brother, Jimmy, who had collected an old door, pumpkins, pines and had also received some shipments I had doubted would fit into our Amish hauler. Bless their hearts.

After some sushi and list-making sessions to determine what was left behind and needed for staging, we soaked our weary bodies in the hot tub, and I think our eyes were closed before our dream-packed heads had even hit the pillows.


The next day, set up went very smoothly. I was once again reminded what a God-chosen team I had with me.

Here, Lola and Gigi wait ever-so-patiently to be dressed for opening morning.



One of the funniest things for me was staging the precious all-white ironstone I've collected over time.


The very first sale was this old white cabinet top with glass doors. I was thankful that the buyer let me show it off for a while as she shopped the rest of the fair.
Most of my ironstone sold, also.


That first opening morning is almost a blur as I look back and reflect.


I was so blessed by how people loved Farmhouse Frocks...

...and our displays.


I made up-cycled lights out of chicken feeders, whisks, and strainers.
This chicken feeder chandy hung over our two dressing rooms.


I had grabbed these gold glass balls at the last minute at a thrift store and they looked great hung up in the pine trees in "our" backyard.


There's a special story about this chair I decided to do during the last couple of days before the show. I always like to support other small businesses and just discovered this talented spraypaint artist through our last photo shoot. Patricia is one of our plus-sized models, and her husband has this amazing gift and talent.


Long story short, I feel that God uses us to connect people, and this chair was another example of that.


This rooster chair will be happy in a cabin in Idaho. If you want to go check out more of the wonderful work my friend does, click on this link.


There were so many fun little details that brought our whole look together.


We felt so blessed to have a perfect forecast, and we loved the spot they placed us in. The fair was situated in the woods and had paved paths leading people from place to place.


My husband, Allen, carved this wooden bowl, and a lucky lady was so happy to take this treasured piece home with her.


This was the backside of our space when we were still setting up.


I loved how these glass bottle stoppers hung from fishing line gave our displays a little bit of Anthropology flair.


I also put together a woodsy vignette with an old book, moss, and tree ears.


I can't even express how amazing our customers were. Such a friendly, appreciative group of people passed through. I loved the southern drawl. This lady was the first to buy a pair of pantaloons.


This gal totally rocked the Sophia dress over the outfit she was wearing.


Here, I met Bethany, an Instagram friend.


So many stories! I think the fact that I cater to plus-sized women was one of the biggest raves of the whole show. Well, that probably came in second and I will share what was first in a little bit.
Lynn came all the way from Cleveland, Ohio, close to where we were from, and messaged me on Facebook to please save some plus-sized clothes for her. She was planning to visit us on Sunday, the last day of the show. So, yes, I hid some treasures aside for her.


This beautiful lady bought these whisk paddle lights for her new house because her husband is a pastry chef.


I really don't mind that this rusty old bike never sold. I have plans for it in the new studio I'll be working on this week. Keep checking back for the blog post on that!


The four porch posts will be made into a bed for this couple's daughter.


I feel so grateful for all the spirit that came from my daughters. Well, let me be honest, the one on the right truly is my blood daughter, Sydni. But Alyssa might as well be, too. She has an amazing talent that has brought the Farmhouse Frocks dream of making women feel beautiful come full circle. Check out her work here.


I learned so much from others during this show. I hope to share that in a different post.
I learned that people in the south don't know what a hedge apple is! They were happy to know it's a good spider repellent.


I have to share with you what the biggest attraction was that set our booth apart from others. It was our vintage bra bunting! People took many-a-picture of these old holder-uppers! They'd tell us that people directed them to go buy the headbands where the bra bunting was, or that the bra bunting was how they found our cottage-style clothing.


What can I say? You only live once! Why not have fun while doing it!? Some lady suggested we have a big bra-burning bonfire next year where we can all participate.

Look at my tired smile and this beautiful lady who totally rocked the hair and skirt.


Check out this gold polka-dotted wrapping paper that we grabbed the night before at Target. It ushered this setting into a real boutique feel, along with the chicken feeder chandelier bedazzled with a few crystals.


Keep Calm and Frock On!


GOLD, OLD, LIGHTS, IRONSTONE, BURLAP, and FROCKS!!!


Let me take a few minutes to really sum up this amazing adventure. It feels like a dream sometimes. It was so much hard work, and I could never have done it without the amazing people who helped make it happen. From family and friends who prayed for me and helped me and gave me grace. For my designer who helped this happen in only three short weeks. Stella Shows who organized the whole event. I know I left people out, but the one who I humbly bow down to the most is my heavenly Father who believed in me when I didn't even believe in myself. 
"MORE FAITH THAN FEAR" 
When we shared with people that Farmhouse Frocks was only nine weeks old and that we prepared in three weeks, they knew who got us there.

In the above picture is:

 Julia, a dear friend of mine who gave me the vintage bras from the Killbuck Valley Thrift Store where she donates her time. She was so great with the customers who needed to get the feel of our style with the Rosemary Vests and the Frocks. You'd see her taking the time to help them in the dressing room, then, next thing I knew, they were headed to the checkout table with an armload of Farmhouse Frocks to take home with them.
She was also my little prayer warrior before, during, and after the show. She was solid and dependable, and I feel so thankful for how joyful her heart was to be there.

Next is me:
Lena, most of the time I was either in a daze or in disbelief and probably, if I'm totally honest, a little too tired and numb. I enjoyed meeting my followers and amazing individuals. The final night of setup before opening morning, I shook like a leaf and cried like a baby in humble admiration of the end result and what we were ready to offer. I kept drinking green goo-roo juice in hopes of getting the energy I needed during the day, and I soaked my tired body in the rejuvenating hot tub at night. We prayed an open prayer on our drive to the show in the morning. We laughed until we had tears running down our faces, and I counted my many blessings for the amazing team I had.

Next is my little:
Sydni, she sort of snuck into the van on the last hour. Was I ever thankful for that! I know you hear me brag about her and what a little angel this 12-year-old daughter of mine is. Little did I have any idea what an amazing sales lady she is. She was a little concerned about me making her wear one of my old lady frocks. We let her be who she is in one of our up-cycled boyfriend jeans, a shirt extender, and a vintage cream shirt with a cute headband to top off her gypsy-style look.
She sold over a hundred extenders and headbands because she loved them herself. She taught me more in word choices during sales than I've learned all these years. I was speechless and so thankful that my little angel begged me until she got to slide in with the cargo at the last minute. To top that off, she was always sweet and kind to all of us. I received emails and messages this week from ladies telling me how sweet my daughter is. She also had us in stitches laughing when we didn't think it was fun anymore.

Then we have our workhorse of the team:
Alyssa. She has been in this with me for the long haul. She'd sit on my couch late at night and plan and be excited for this show when I needed her the most. When you start your own business, you sometimes feel so overwhelmed and alone on making big decisions, and she was my sounding board along with a huge part of putting the face on our new company. I was so thankful when she wanted to go with us to Atlanta. She has many talents. She did all of our website, banners, graphics (except for logo), photography, chalkboards...just to mention a few.
Let me tell you, this girl can get things done and has a work ethic like I've never seen in another 21-year-old. She isn't scared to get up on ladders and conquer her fear of heights. I'm so excited she is part of my team because she helps me dream out of the box. Love her and her organizing skills too;)
She was also great with the people at the checkout table.

Willy, my friend you had seen in the earlier picture with the door, also helped us on Saturday. She brought us Starbucks and more pumpkin whoopie pies and supplies from Wally World. She was a beautiful plus-sized model and kept selling things right off her back! We will not mention all the other funny things that happened with this bundle of joy and sweetness.
Loved my team!!!


If you're still with me, props to you. We got many looks and clapping as we packed up and left the park with our bra bunting wrapped around our cargo van.



Other than the new friends and memories I made, this was my own treasure that came home with me. It's an old mailbox, and I thought it would be great to store Allen's homemade wine in, but now I'm having second thoughts and thinking of grabbing it as I'm heading to design our new Farmhouse Frocks studio.

Thanks to all of you who came out to see us and for those of you who cheered us on from afar.
Here are the links to our social media:






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