The Barn {Vintage Flea & Fair}, Wellman, Iowa

* Named as one of the top 7 flea markets in Iowa *

You cannot imagine how long I have waited to get to this event.  It’s longer than I care to admit.  It seems like something would pop up or we’d already have other plans.  This time though, it was put on my calendar back in April & nothing short of a catastrophe was going to keep me from it!

Needless to say, I was not disappointed.  As I’ve said, I get tummy flutters before going to junk events & on adventures.  This was no exception.  Junk Hunk Hubby & I reminded each other every day for two weeks about our trip planned to The Barn.  I’d been in contact with Bobbie ahead of time to let the girls’ know of my being there to feature them here on the blog.  I was tickled when she said she wanted me to let her know when I got there, she wanted to meet me!

Our drive was a little over 2 hours by the time we got some refreshments & we pulled over so I could get some pictures.  1.  It’s finally our turn following the pilot car / road construction.  2.  Pigs!  Pigs that live outside!  I always get excited when I see that.  3.  Pelicans @ Muskunky Marsh near Lake Keomah in Mahaska County.


Then… The Barn!  Driving down the gravel road I could just envision the picturesque farm scene but it was even better.  The corn field parking lot had the friendliest greeters! Gators & four-wheelers whirled around the place, picking visitors up, dropping them off & chatting along the way.  Bobbie just happened to be there as we were waiting for a ride & she recognized me!  I was in shock!  JHH now teases me he knows a celebrity, how cute is he?  She & I talked a minute then off on our turn for a ride till we got to the entrance.  Right away I was spying this & that, thinking “How am I going to get all this home?”  Have you had those flea market moments?

So many crafty vendors & they were all sweet as can be!  The Barn girls certainly did a great job in finding such wonderful folks!  We even ran into Susanne from Poods Picks.  You remember her from the July 20th post?  Susanne said guests were recognizing her from the newspaper article I did ~ amazing, I was super happy for her!  She had the utmost praise for the girls @ The Barn, isn’t that nice?  Besides all the vendors, there was live music & yummy goodies too!

It was so easy to navigate around the farm house yard, everything was marked so clearly. The size of the event is just right: not too big & not too small.  I don’t know about you but sometimes I get a little overwhelmed at bigger places & everything starts looking the same; or maybe it’s just me?  Anyway, you have to get there if you haven’t already; I know you’ll love it as much as I did.

Here are some pictures I got from strolling around & some vendor info:

Dirty road tummy jitters 🙂
Our view from the gator, swoon!
Anything with ‘BRAVE’ on it  { heart it ! }
Left: oh that scroll applique / Right: tiny details on original wood wall paneling
Who would have thought, I found wood slices here!  Just what I needed for a craft project, yah!
Sneaking in a pic of JHH, shhhhh.  But isn’t the landscape beautiful?
JHH loved the idea of sliding barn doors in such a small scale; me too.
Gorgeous!  The weather was nice, sunny & the crowd was too 🙂
More yummy vintage junk
This mirror just spoke to me!  Courtesy of: Sunshine Services from Durant.
Can You Even Imagine, all those FRAMES?  Yes…you know me too well, I came home with one.  Yes, just one.
THE Barn, this is it; this is what I was talking about……WOW!
Waiting to enter the in/out traffic of the barn left me with a quiet moment to notice & snap a picture of this darning little nest.
Barn beams, party lights & vendors….nice!
A large tent outside housed even more vendors
This cottage looking little building is too cute!
Junkin’ cart just ready to be filled up
Sit a spell on the vintage church bend to enjoy the outdoor music
I LOVED these buntings/garlands from Vintage Chic out of Coralville.  I picked one up; so happy I did.
Genius!  A ‘make a pile’ space where there is plenty of space to drive up, pack up & head out. They even lend a hand!
Not sure:  I just like the sky, the tents, the little bushes.
Looking South back at the corn field parking lot.
Gassing up on the way home, I spy this adorable old gas station.  They turned it into an ATM.  I love who did this instead of abandoning it { heart this ! }
I could NOT pass up this wonderful vintage poster framed so beautifully from Iowa Country Mouse from Cedar Rapids.  It wasn’t the first one I picked out but this one won my heart, OIU!
Here’s the frame I nabbed.  What am I going to do with it?  Hmmm, JHH asked the same thing, ha.
Does the paper flower garland look great or what?

Junk Hunk Hubby & I headed out, not thinking about saying goodbye, certain they were super busy but I did feel a little sad that I didn’t get to tell them how fabulously junky I thought their event was.  Then, after we drove on into Iowa City so JHH could get his fish fix @ Fin & Feather, I got a text, from Bobbie!  They wanted to know if I’d left yet, they wanted to see me.  Now my heart was fluttering.  We decided we’d have enough time for a quick bite to eat & we could stop back on our way home.  Just as they were closing, we got there.  I did get to visit with Joni for a few minutes, what a thrill.

My adventure in only half the story.  I wanted to also share with you all some fun facts about those girls & The Barn.  It all started when Kate, Joni’s daughter, had a vision.  She wanted to make it her wedding venue.  In May 2014 her dream came true after executing every detail over the course of 13 months.  The barn had been neglected, full of wild animals & junk.  When you see it today, you’ll notice the awesome windows on the front; it’s definitely a WOW statement, I just love it!  From that day, they got request to rent the barn for weddings and to sell the vintage items used in Kate’s wedding.  And so began a business & in the Fall of 2014 they held their first flea market!

Joni & husband John own the farm.  Friends since middle school, she & Joyce share a love of vintage.  Along with their daughters, Bobbie & Kate, it makes for a great team!  Joni likes to handle The Barn clients & customers due to her background in patient management.  Joyce, you could say, is the organizer, keeping track of the agenda & to-do lists.  Being a kindergarten teacher in Kalona, it’s no wonder she’s great in this role.  She also has a side business, Rolling Pin, where she sells baked goodies in her spare time {remember, she is organized}.  Kate is an RN @ a GI clinic but also owns Farm Gathered, a business where she grows, harvests & dries flowers from her farm, just 1/2 mile South of The Barn.  Bobbie has a degree in Interior Design & previously owner a retail store in Kalona.  She closed it & chose in-home day care to be with her family.  These days she stays busy with four daughters & is now focusing on her quickly growing, popular soy candle company ‘Poured’.

The ladies meet once a month a the Coffee House in Kalona.  They divide the work load & bring individual talents to the group.  Of course, they can’t do everything themselves, their husbands also add to the mix by moving, packing, building & lots of other manly helpful things.  They’ve learned from trial & error but each year they see it getting better & better with the invaluable, positive feedback from visitors & vendors.  It started small, like a garage sale but has grown to 75 vendors with about 3000 guests!

Due to the saturation with more barns popping up across Iowa, they are currently toying with some secret ideas.  Stay tuned for announcements!  {How exciting is that?}  Remember, this barn is unique, an original OLD barn, zhuzhed up with electricity, new cement floor & those reclaimed windows along the front that make it truly magical; not a new barn made to look old.  You’ll definitely know what I mean about getting a nostalgic feeling when you are there.

They’ve just announced their newest event: A Very Merry Christmas in The Barn held on November 4-5th.  Here’s your chance to get in on the fun & do some shopping {don’t forget to reward yourself with something nice too}!

Thanks Ladies, can’t wait to see you next time!

Vintage Chic
Kathleen Rose Designs {I gave her great things as gifts, didn’t get pictures}
Iowa Country Mouse/Gooselake Creations
Sunshine Antiques & Uniques
Canaan Home & Farm {JHH bought a tomato juicing accessory, it’s in the basement}




2 thoughts on “The Barn {Vintage Flea & Fair}, Wellman, Iowa

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