She’s there at every show, the first person in line, smiling as she waits to enter. Sometimes she brings her two daughters, sometimes she goes away and comes back with her husband, but at every single Girlfriends Vintage Market the same woman is always at the front of the queue.

“She just buys for her home and her family,” says Sharon Kagy, who founded the market with business partner Shelly Couey. “The last time she came, she was buying pieces for her daughter’s first apartment at college.”

girlfriends vintage market
Vintage lovers throughout the South Sound and beyond come every year to the Girlfriends Vintage Market spring event which has continued to grow in popularity.

Repeat customers and professional dealers are the norm at the eagerly anticipated spring market, one of several the pair produce throughout the year for lovers of all things antique, primitive, rusty and vintage. The 2016 spring market will be held at Schilter Family Farm on Friday, May 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, May 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is $5 per person, with children under 12 getting in free.

Musical guests Yodelady will begin playing on Friday at 3:00 p.m. “It’s a group of three women with a fiddle, a banjo, and a bass,” says Kagy. “We had them at our August market and everyone loved them.”

girlsfriends vintage market
Schilter Family Farm is “the perfect setting” for the spring show says Girlfriends Vintage Markets co-founder Sharon Kagy.

Kagy says they pick their vendors with care. “We look for people who have a good eye and can find unique and beautiful things that are good quality and know how to display them,” she says. “It’s important to give customers ideas of how they could display items in their own homes.” Experience is helpful, but they welcome new vendors into the show each year. “We want people who have a good positive outlook and are happy,” she says. “Good customer service is the most important thing.” Ricardo’s Restaurant will be on hand both days offering wood fired pizza.

The market does not include any commercial products, although a few crafters have discovered ways to repurpose old items and make them aesthetically pleasing or functional.

girlfriends vintage market
Shelly Couey (left) and Sharon Kagy are the driving force behind Girlfriends Vintage Market.

“We want people to feel inspired by what they see,” says Kagy. “We appreciate old things and vintage things and like to see those being passed on and incorporated into people’s homes and gardens. We want the shopping experience to feel personal, like the vendor cares about them and cares about what they’re buying and can give them a little bit of history. We want people to have fun, too.”

This is the fourth year the market has been held at Schilter Family Farm, and Kagy says the setting is perfect for the show. “We love this location,” she says. “Shelly and I both really appreciate old historic buildings and this barn was built somewhere around 1870. The timbers are hand-hewed and the ceiling just soars.”

From the outside, the barn looks fairly typical, she says, but once you step inside it takes your breath away. “It’s really fun to watch our customers come in the main entrance. Their mouths drop open.” The farm is also easily accessible from I-5.

girlfriends vintage market
Olympia band Yodelady will be on hand to entertain shoppers on Friday, May 6 after 3:00 p.m.

The event was originally held at the Thurston County Fairgrounds and was “very small in attendance” according to Kagy. When they moved to Schilter Farm they were able to add more vendors and attendance increased noticeably. Every year the crowd has grown. “We’re getting more attention now,” she says. “People love it so much and are devoted to coming and bringing their friends.”

While she’s happy to see the expansion, Kagy is clear that they want to keep the market manageable, even if that means staying smaller than it could be. “We don’t necessarily want it to be massive,” she says.  “It’s so unique and amazing as it is. We’re very proud of it.”

To learn more about Girlfriends Vintage Markets visit their Facebook page or call 360-791-7632.


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