Tricia spends her time raising her family while juggling around with Vintage & Made Fair.
Take us back to you as a kid. When I look back to my childhood I know it made me who I am today. This girl was raised on a family farm in SE Iowa where hardwork and core values were taught at a very young age which I believe is what helps me pursue my dreams today. I loved the life on the farm – from tending to animals to the sense of freedom it had. My parents also had a small business located on the farm that they ran for 25+ years and I grew up watching the joys and struggles of a small business. I know that is what stems my appreciation for what small businesses go thru to survive and thrive.
What is keeping you busy? I do a lot of juggling with my time and at one time I was juggling Vintage No. 35’s storefront, Vintage & Made Fair and family life. I decided back in May to close the storefront down to allow me to concentrate on just the online aspect of Vintage No. 35 and Vintage & Made Fair which has given me a little bit more breathing room and to step back and enjoy the time raising my kids.
Walk us through the days leading up to starting your own thing? Vintage & Made Fair was started in 2013 but the idea started floating around in 2012 where I noticed that Des Moines needed an outlet for small businesses that sold handmade and vintage and to combine those two worlds. I had personally done so many shows where it catered to either handmade or just vintage but never the two combined on a great scale. I did not have to think long and hard about it but ran with the idea to put on a great show and see what comes of it.
How do you focus on the work you love doing? Walk us through a good day. What puts the focus in what you do is the fact that you are responsible to create a fantastic shopping environment for thousands to come and shop from over 100 vendors and you want each of those vendors to have a good show financially. That is the drive and there is also a drive to make each show better. I am a one person show so there are a lot of lists and tasks almost on a daily basis to stay up on. One day might look like this – order porta potties, hand out posters, schedule social media posts, paint signage, review applications, contact vendors, work on t-shirt design, etc….
"I noticed that Des Moines needed an outlet for small businesses that sold handmade and vintage and to combine those two worlds."
What has been the challenges? Who and what has helped? The biggest challenge for me is always the weather of the weekend of the show. The vendors who have been with me since the start always laugh and wonder what kind of weather I am going to bring for them that weekend of the show. We have had monsoon rains, desert like heat and wind gusts that destroy tents and vendor inventory. Of course, when I hear the meteorologist’s forecast for the weekend to be sunny with no wind I jump for joy. What also truly helps is the fact when an exhibitor or a Vintage & Made customer comes up and says how much they truly love the show and will be back that is what drives me to do it again.
Someone who is starting a project for the first time, what would you say to them? Not only believe in your project but believe in yourself. Jump out there and do what you love!
Why Des Moines? I love living here and raising a family here and I would not think of a better city to have had a storefront as well as create a show for people of Des Moines and surrounding communities to attend.
"There is always something fun to buy."
Des Moines is growing. What’s one new thing that caught your eye? The appreciation of old buildings. Years ago you would drive thru areas of Des Moines where cool and historic old buildings were either vacant or used as storage centers and now there has been such a transformation of these buildings into housing, storefronts and businesses.
If you could grant Des Moines one wish what would it be? More affordable retail/work space for small businesses in cool spaces.
Convince someone new to Des Moines your favorite place to go on your day off. To all of the vintage stores in Des Moines – there is always something fun to buy.
The most underrated thing in Des Moines is______. Why? There are so many cool aspects of Des Moines to mention but something that is close to where we live is the Varsity Theater by Drake. It brings back memories of how theaters used to be.
"The appreciation of old buildings."
What are you most proud of and why? I am proud of my accomplishments as a business woman and seeing the final results of many ideas come to life such as Vintage No. 35, Vintage In The City and Vintage & Made Fair. The last two I mentioned have brought attention to so many great small businesses not only in this community but throughout the Midwest and it has been a pleasure to work with so many different people in accomplishing these proud moments.
In 3 months what do you hope to accomplish? I have 3 goals in 3 months: Vintage & Made Fair Fall Edition, Vintage No. 35’s Online Store, Start the preparation for the 5-year Anniversary of Vintage & Made Fair.
What’s one thing people need to know you really care about? My family – that is why I pulled back the reigns when I did with the storefront and closed its doors this Spring. Many people may have not understood why but I did not want to miss seeing my kids grow up and “really” enjoy the moments.