The month of April came and went!!! To say it flew past us in an understatement; but times flies when you're having fun and did we ever. We’ve had a week to catch our breath but we are ready to hit the ground running.
The first annual outdoor Pop Up vintage show was an overwhelming success. Our Spring Fling attracted a great mix of vintage dealers, local artisans and makers from across the state. The customer response was overwhelmingly positive and feedback was fantastic - so much so, we’re already planning the Fall show. ( We’ll get to that in a minute).
After nine years in business, I was ready to take on a new challenge. Two years ago we purchased this old factory, did a full renovation, and turned it in to our now beautiful, forever home. The most attractive part of this property was the city block it sat on, half of it an empty, blank slate. The wheels churned immediately for outdoor events with the end goal of one day hosting a vintage show. It took some time to hit our stride here and settle in to this larger space, but my husband and I decided back in January that the time was now. Why not here?
Once again, we were excited to team up with Stacy Bee Art, local artist, muralist, design extraordinaire for event posters and, from there, the Spring Fling was born. We filled up fast, we were thrilled with our vendor selection, and the months of hard work and planning paid off. What a day! Local favorite food truck Truckin' Delicious brought their best menu. Accompanied by the beautiful sounds of live music from The Tones, the day truly came together seamlessly. Sweet affirmation after many months of wondering, “What the heck have I taken on?” Huge props to the vendors for pulling out all the stops and taking a chance of this first event. They brought their best selection for our customers and in a whirlwind 24 hours, they made set up and tear down look easy. Friendly smiles and sales all day long, I'm so grateful for the quality and variety of selection from these vintage dealers, local makers and artisans.
The most beautiful part of this experience was the sense of community. It started with our generous downtown next door neighbors, the Westphal family. They graciously offered the use of their lot, adjacent to our property, for customer parking, and we gratefully accepted. We are so thankful for their support over the years, both of our business and our community in general. A donation to the future United States Marshals Museum has been made in their name as a gesture of our very big gratitude.
That sense of community and support continued to flow through the entire process, finishing with our very hardworking, friendly, event staff who helped keep the Belle Starr vibe alive in providing our customers with the same experience outside as customers receive inside the shop. The mood was happy and fun, smiles all around, thanks to so many contributing to a greater good.
We’re not trying to be any of them.
My favorite aspect of this experience is carving out our own mission. We’re an existing business that has a big ‘ol lot of land and a local community who are hungry for a quality vintage show. In addition to our local crowd, to hear from shoppers that they traveled in to attend this event from Tulsa, Little Rock and, Northwest Arkansas was a great feeling. Downtown Fort Smith has so much to offer. From our eclectic mix of local retailers to a wide array of restaurants, bars, local music and art scenes, we are proud of our home. There’s so much to love in this community. A place to truly celebrate where we live, work, and play.
Join us Saturday, September 28, 2019 for the Fall Fling. We’ll have more vendors, more food trucks, more LOVE to share! If you're interested in joining us as a vendor, applications are up on the website. Many vendors have asked to return, space is limited, and we've already had inquires! Off we go to keep planning, but mark your calendars, keep your eyes on our social media for updates. We’ll see YOU there!
Photo Love: PhotosMikeMade