Nearly two decades ago, the 56-acre farm that Amy Doyle calls home with her husband and three young children was used to raise champion Budweiser Clydesdales, whose names are still emblazoned on the stalls inside their barn. But today, a different vision — Doyle’s — is manifested on the Lebanon, Ohio farm: a seasonal vintage market she established with the help of her best friend. It’s called Charm at the Farm, and it takes place this Friday through Sunday.
From rustic gifts and furniture to one-of-a-kind décor from local vendors, the open-air market exudes its namesake: charm. Two years in the making, the grand-opening event was held on June 3, 2017, attracting nearly 3,000 shoppers over a two-day period. After this weekend’s summer market, the fall installment is scheduled for Oct. 27-29.
Originally from Phoenix, Doyle developed a passion for discovering vintage, unique finds hidden within the big city — a love she wanted to bring to the Lebanon community when she and her family purchased the farm about three years ago. The market’s mission, she says, is to bring together “the treasure seeker with those who restore, repurpose, inspire and create.”
“We first created our vision for the market and shared our concept with a few select vendors, and it really has just exploded since then,” Doyle says. To bring that vision to life, she recruited help from her best friend, who now serves as the creative force behind the event: market co-owner Jayme Kuenkel. The two met seven years ago at their church in Mason, Ohio; their husbands also work together.
“We’ve been blessed to have our husbands and close friends who believe in us and in Charm at the Farm,” Kuenkel says. “We wouldn’t be able to provide such an amazing experience without a solid, dedicated team of volunteers, friends and family tremendously helping in the background.”
Vendors participating in the upcoming market include Two Little Buds, a wedding and event florist working out of its own farm in Morning Sun, Ohio; Cincinnati’s Happy Groundhog Studio, which sells handmade and eco-friendly plush critters for kids (and kids-at-heart); and Vintage Mason, a Versailles, Ohio purveyor of rustic home goods and décor.
Dozens of Ohio towns are represented at the market, from Dayton to Pickerington to Columbus. Additional vendors from Cincinnati include hand-printed textile enthusiasts Chestnut Tree Studio and statement jewelry mecca Off the Beaten Path.
More than 90 vendors will set up shop for the summer market, with booths adjacent to the barn; the event is just as much about the atmosphere as it is about the shopping. A VIP session takes place 5-8 p.m. Friday, open solely to VIP ticket holders ($20) before the market opens to the public on Saturday. Doyle says multiple limited-ability exclusives will be available.
Four DIY workshops will also be offered onsite for an additional ticket price ($25): a pillow-making demonstration requiring minimal sowing; flower arranging; an informative succulent workshop; and decorative Scrabble tile painting. Each workshop will be led by a local company and all materials are included with ticket price.
For Doyle and Kuenkel, giving back is an imperative aspect of Charm at the Farm. A full $1 of every $5 general admission ticket purchased benefits the Blue Ash-based Matthew 25: Ministries, an international humanitarian aid and disaster relief organization.
More food trucks, drink selections and live music have been added to this event than the previous one, Doyle says.
In the near future, the duo looks forward to growing the market as they continue bringing local vendors together on the farm.
“I love being able to walk out my front door and be able to offer incredible shopping and an experience for our farm,” Doyle says. “If you were to walk through my home, you’d see pieces from our vendors all over the place.”
“I also love just walking around and seeing all the amazing, one-of-a-kind items (vendors) bring to the farm,” Kuenkel adds.
CHARM AT THE FARM’s Summer Market takes place Saturday and Sunday, with a VIP session 5-8 p.m. Friday. More info/tickets: charmatthefarm.com.