PASO ROBLES — This past weekend the Three Speckled Hens Antiques and Old Stuff Show took place at the Paso Robles Event Center for the tenth year in a row. The show has been going strong for a decade due to the efforts of the three speckled hens themselves — Kathy Marquart, Carrie Millan and Susi Fuller, plus the “fourth hen” Lettice Carroll.
Marquart said that she was “elated” about the success of the weekend show, which broke attendance records.
“That's our main thing is to get as many people (as possible) to come and enjoy the show and enjoy the weekend and have fun and shop our dealers,” she said. “And to make it good for the dealers.”
For the past three years the hens have also hosted a free dinner for vendors at the show.
"It’s just a way of us giving back to our dealers and telling them thank you,” Marquart said. “We know how hard of work it is to set up and sell all weekend. It’s long hours, lots of physical work.”
Patrick Gillogly and Rozana Joncich from Los Angeles business The Porthole said they thought that the vendor dinner was really cool.
"We love this show,” Gillogly said. “It’s one of our favorite ones to do out of all the shows we do all year. They are really good to their vendors and I think that comes across and the vendors come here and try harder because the hens are so nice to us."
“It makes sense,” Gillogly said about the success of the show. “They have a great following. We started doing it three years ago and when we first did it we were amazed how many people come through the door.The people that come here are ready to buy stuff so we really like that."
The Porthole booth was decked out in patriotic old 48 state flags and a lot of classic americana items.
For more information on The Porthole, visit throughtheportholeshop.com.
For first-time vendors, but repeat customers Aaron and Susi Matzke, of Matzke Designs, the show was a success. Aaron likes to “collect things that are antiques, find all about their history and then turn them into something else, like a table or repurpose it."
"Everything has a story that I make," Aaron Matzke said, pointing out a geared coffee table from his american heritage designs collection. The table features old classic American bicycle gears from early 1900s. The glass top spins and moves the chain and decorative sprockets in various directions. Surrounded by framed antique bicycle advertisements, the table was one of many beautifully-crafted pieces at the Matzkes’ booth.
Learn more about Matzke Designs at matzkedesigns.com.
Author Erika Kotite, of Huntington Beach, was at the show promoting her book “Shesheds: A room of your own.” Her book was released earlier this year and was showcased along with actual sheds created by Dana O'Brien. Some of O’Brien’s sheds and their owners are featured in Kotite’s book.
"Decorating a shed and using salvage elements is so much a part of what else is sold here that it did work really well," Kotite said.
Kotite’s book is about creating a cozy getaway to be used for entertaining, crafting or even some alone time. The book is available online at barnesandnobles.com or at amazon.com.
When the hens returned from a show in Spokane, Wash. in October of 2006, they came back inspired.
“We thought, our area, the Central Coast, would really benefit and it would be fun to do a show like this," Marquart said.
Their first show was in 2007 at the American Legion Hall in Paso Robles. They had 15 dealers and 300 people attended.
"We thought we had struck gold," Marquart said.
Now the bi-annual show has more than 150 dealers and around 6,000 visitors. The attendance at Saturday’s show was up 22 percent, Marquart said. She attributes the success to word of mouth and how they treat their dealers.
The Three Speckled Hens will continue celebrating their tenth anniversary at their next show, scheduled for September 30 and October 1.
For more information, visit threespeckledhens.com.