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Harvest Market Days

November 27th, 2014

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Hey there it’s me, still alive a kickin’ but just barely. The last two months have been a bit crazy and don’t look to slow down anytime soon, especially since “The Holiday Season” has officially hit. I say it’s officially “The Holiday Season” because I’m writing this post on Thanksgiving Eve, is that a thing? Thanksgiving Eve? I say it is and I guess it doesn’t really matter since it will be Thanksgiving Day by the time I’m done writing. And since in my mind Thanksgiving still falls under the “Fall” category I can sneak this post in under the wire about our Harvest Market Days Sale.

If you remember from one of my last posts (a long, long time ago) I promised to give you all a peek inside my new endeavor, Willow Station.

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The shop sits out on a farm about a mile outside my little burg. It was designed and built to look like an old filling station (hence the ‘Station’ part of Willow Station) and will someday have two old gas pumps underneath that overhang. Isn’t it awesome? My partner JoAnn and her family couldn’t have done a better job on it.

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JoAnn of course left no stone unturned and no area un-landscaped, she really has a gift.

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My other partner Andrea had found this awesome old white door that had already been turned into a big chalkboard. The previous owner had painted the glass with chalkboard paint and I drew our business logo on it and turned it into the unofficial signage outside our front door…

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By the time my sister Kris and I arrived with all our wares JoAnn had the place all decked out for fall…

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both outside and in…

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JoAnn, being JoAnn, had been busily working away on her area of the store weeks in advance. The Saturday before sale week (Sept. 11, 12 & 13) my Design Assistants and I hauled our first load of products out to the country. A few days later I was trying to make heads or tails of everything that we had basically just dumped wherever we could find room when I got a text from my sister. She was on the road with yet another load of product somewhere between Texas and Oklahoma. “So,” she wrote. “How’s the store look so far?” “Well…” I responded, “something like this…” And I started flooding her phone with the following photos…

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“Holy crap!” she responded, “That’s more amazing than I had even imagined!” “I know, right?” I fired back and then sent this…

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“Our area’s a little bit on the ‘unfinished’ side…” “Ya think?” She wrote back?

We would be changing all that the next day when she finally arrived. Meanwhile I attempted to start pricing things while Andrea got her area of the store prepped and ready.

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She had been on a junking spree for the past several months and had acquired some great finds. We added in some of my products to really fill up the area…

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we went a little Halloween-ie in the back room. We needed something on that awesome door Andrea had in the corner so I went home and got my Halloween wreath I had made last year out of book pages and then priced it way too high so that hopefully it would still be there by the end of the sale. I love it so much I didn’t really want part with it but it sure looked good on that door.

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So, now Andrea’s area and JoAnn’s room looked great and my area was a disaster. I went home for the night and left it that way praying Kris and Steve wouldn’t have car trouble on the trip and her and I would be able to pull off a one day set up.

Well, they rolled in sometime in the wee hours of the morning and when I showed up at Mom and Dad’s she started pulling out all of her sewing projects so I could see what we all had to work with.

She made some awesome tea towels…

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and these cute little crayon roll-ups…

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and of course some of her burp rag bundles…

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After her little show and tell we headed out to the shop and set to work. Our first point of attack was against that big empty barnwood wall that we planned to turn into a gallery wall of my custom prints.

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Thank goodness my Design Assistant was on hand because he’s the kind of person that actually measures and levels frames as opposed to my approach of randomly hammering nails in the wall (and bending them) and hoping they come out even.

Next we moved in Kris and Steve’s big ticket items. His awesome white cupboard went right up front in JoAnn’s section of the store.

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Can you believe he built this piece out of old garage doors? The tri-fold kind. The four glass doors are actually the row of windows from the garage door. JoAnn was on hand to quickly fill it up with a mix of her stuff as well as Kris and mine.

Next came Steve’s children’s shelf in the shape of a barn. We filled it with my letters cut out of books, Kris’ burp rags, crayon rolls and bunting and then hung one of my chippy wood “Hello” signs and my Dad’s amazing cloud shaped marquee light above it. The whole set-up would look really good in a baby nursery… hint, hint….

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Here’s another shot of that marquee light.

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He also does letters which we planned on taking orders for so all we had on hand was this lonely little “B”…

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he did his job since we got several orders out of him.

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My recipe print went over in the opposite corner, I planned on taking orders for this as well. We topped that wall off with one of my chippy wood “Home” signs…

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and Steve’s giant curved marquee arrow and then added a basket full of “Home” signs to the corner.

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Speaking of marquee arrows, Steve made a couple of these double sided “Eat” arrows…

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and no, those aren’t made out of metal. They are all wood, he’s just able to paint them to look like chippy, rusty metal. Pretty cool right? They’re even cooler lit up…

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don’t cha think?

Our area also housed a farmers market stand built by JoAnn’s son-in-law to display her daughter Cassie’s felt food…

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we also added a few items to the farmers market stand…

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just a few odds and ends. We also used the old ladder Andrea had found to display Kris’ Tea Towels…

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and Dad also had his Bunny Stools and Bankscha’s for sale…

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and I had an alphabet and a half worth of book letters available for purchase…

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Once our room was mostly completed we started scattering our stuff around JoAnn’s area, like my big Farmer’s Market sign…

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Kris’s numerous table runners…

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and fall flavored bunting…

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Don’t you love her packaging? It’s a play on her initials… Kris Ann Newman… KAN… Kanned Goods… get it? They’re in CANS!

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Dad made these big wood trays… and I filled in whatever open spaces there were with canvases and chalkboards…

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Oh, and let’s not forget about Stacy Lynn’s Baking Co.

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Stacy was on site serving her sugary goodies and a hot lunch all three days of the sale. I made her a couple of chalkboards to set up in her (unheated) garage area (even though it was early September it was a COLD three days). Her logo board was really fun for me to make. The menu board on the other hand…

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was a tad more time consuming. And I should have never used purple chalk. The garage wasn’t lit well because… well because it’s a garage… and the purple was hard to read. But nobody was really looking at the chalkboards because they had this to look at…

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cake pops

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and this…

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and the caramel apples… oh, the caramel apples…

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don’t they just look delicious?

When the sale days rolled around I saw many to-go containers like this one…

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walking away along with many satisfied customers. More than we ever imagined would show up. The night before we opened for business we asked JoAnn how many customers she was expecting. How many people had actually seen our meager little advertising campaign (it’s called Facebook people)? “Well,” she said, “I’m thinking my closest friends will show up and possibly an additional 10 people.” Let’s just say it ended up being a little bigger than that and all of us involved in this new thing called “Willow Station” are so grateful to all of you who did show up and then went about spreading the word about it. We’ve since gone on to host a “Home for the Holidays” sale featuring Christmas items and it was just as successful… stay tuned for that post coming soon. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving to you all (see, I told you I wouldn’t finish writing this monster until Thanksgiving Day).

 

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