Posted by Cindy Conner on

It's mid-June and we are gearing up for our annual Barnstormer's Vintage Fair.  Save the date: Aug 3rd and 4th at the Jackson County Expo.  It is the coming together of vendors of unique, one of a kind finds from rusty fun junk to fab décor created from repurposed supplies that will surprise, inspire and make you swoon. There will be garden finds, jewelry, gifts, soaps, shabby chic furniture, signs and much more. We have some amazing local talent as well as travelers from California and Washington.  Our food trucks will feed you when you're hungry and thirsty and there will be music to entertain you.

It's tricky this year since we now have the store and we (Pretty in Paint) will participate as a vendor as well as produce, curate and plan the show.  By tricky I mean that I am over here running the store while Lindsay is doing all the planning and curating of the show. 

I was reading Mail Tribune articles of our earlier shows and watching videos of us in our early days of the Vintage Fair and it still makes me queasy.  It was beyond a leap of faith.  It was a screaming, howling dive into a dark abyss.  I had gone to a medium sized vintage show up north and we made our annual trek south to the mecca of all things chippy and lovely called Roses and Rust in Redding, CA.  Other than that, we had no experience and not one clue what we were doing.  It is my memory that I whispered an idea to Lindsay that we should THINK about doing this and I woke up the next day to a web page she created as well as a Facebook page announcing our event.  Once it's out there you kind of have to just do it.

Besides the administrative duties of procuring county permits, event insurance, parking logistics on your private property, and please let's not overlook porta potties,  there was some bone crushing hard labor involving lifting, hauling, digging and pounding to clean up a long over looked barn and barnyard. I logged mind numbing hours on the tractor attempting to amend the cracks in the clay soil so deep a small child could be swallowed, all in the height of summer. Did I mention that it was hot and dirty and everything we did we did with three busy, chatty little boys in tow? And then, "surprise!" there were three little boys and a baby in tow.

It is mind boggling to me now that what started as a little circus in the barnyard, where we literally begged vendors and food people to join us, has expanded to the Expo, where there are toilets that flush, and we have a waiting list.  In  seven years, Barnstormer's Vintage Fair has become the biggest vintage show in Southern Oregon.  Reminiscing back to our beginnings fills me with so much gratitude and some panic.  Did we tell everyone how much it meant, still means, to us that they supported us in every way possible when we were starting out, and we never could have done it without them? Beginning and ending with our family.  Our fun and amazing family we live with everyday and those who have become our family.

Family and friends who generously volunteered to work and sweat alongside us, our incredible vendors who dove into that abyss with us in 2012 and every vendor who has joined us since. The food vendors and musicians who showed up when several did not. The youth group that worked hard just to log community service hours when they knew we couldn't contribute much. We even had dear friends who stayed up all night to watch over the goods and be our "security guards." We will also be forever grateful to our neighbors who put up with heavy traffic and chaos and never complained. How blessed we are to know each and every one of these people. It does indeed take a village to raise a Vintage Fair.

We just wanted to take this time out from our regular programming to invite you to mark your calendars and come see us at the Expo for our Seventh annual Barnstormer's Vintage Fair- it's not your mama's kind of flea market.

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