In the Spotlight: Farmhouse Fête
Last Updated on May 20, 2016 at 1:45pm | Agribusiness
"In the Spotlight" is a regular feature of The Lake-Front magazine and is being reprinted here in its entirety with permission. This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue.
As owner of Chanteclaire Farm
, one of the most successful wedding and event venues in the area, Leigh Clarke knows how to plan and host an epic event. In her newest venture, Farmhouse Fête
, Leigh has found a place to showcase her ideas and to bring the wedding community together in one place. Fête is a French word meaning “day of celebration” and this unique shop, housed in an old farmhouse, offers products and advice that cover all the aspects of event planning and design.
Opened just one year ago, Farmhouse Fête has already become a must-see stop and Leigh has designed the shop with her customers in mind. The main room features everything you need to create the perfect table scape...whether it’s the head table at a wedding or the gift table at a baby shower, you’ll find an assortment of votives, vases, trays, linens and more...in styles ranging from country chic to elegant...and everything in between.
In another room you’ll find all the little touches to make an event special like themed cupcake and plate liners and high end paper products for quick and cute style upgrades. The shop also features a nice variety of books on all aspects of entertaining...from how to plan and execute the perfect event to how to set up and stock a bar.
And while everything is for sale in her shop, Leigh understands that many items you may want for a special event may only be used once so she has one room just devoted to rental items. Here you’ll find larger items like cake display tables, large pedestals, bins for drinks, mirrors, lighting and more. Looking for a unique backdrop for photos? Farmhouse Fête has many ideas and items to get you started like wooden or iron room dividers -- items you can decorate to match any theme or decor.
Because Leigh researches the event management industry and stays involved with the local wedding community, she knows that most business owners who provide services for special events are one person operations, and most likely working out of their home. She has created a space in one room of her shop for those business owners to meet with potential clients in a relaxed and professional atmosphere.
The back part of the farmhouse is devoted to the most popular aspect of the business: the florals, under the direction of Amy White. “Amy is one of the most talented florists within 50 miles,” says Leigh. “I’ve rarely known someone as kind, empathetic and artistic as she is. She takes those emotions and puts them into the care and designs of her florals, making each one unique and beautiful.”
Amy can custom create centerpieces, bouquets and boutonnieres to match any decor or theme you might be planning. She and Leigh source high quality flowers from suppliers all around the world so they can offer a more unique variety of florals as well as ones that are guaranteed to stay fresh and beautiful for your event and longer.
“Flowers need a lot of care,” says Amy, “and preparation is key. How you handle the flower before it goes into your arrangement will dictate how long it lasts.” Amy has many years of experience under her belt. “I’ve always done design work,” she explains. “I worked in retail and merchandising, then got a job with a local floral shop where I learned the mechanics of floral design. Finally I’m in a place where I have unlimited creative freedom, and Leigh and I have the same vision in terms of quality standards and customer care. We don’t just want to be the best floral shop in a small town, we want to be the best event creatives that we are capable of becoming, who happen to love living in and serving a small community.”
And although Leigh owns Chanteclaire Farm, she has developed a good working relationship with other people in the wedding service industry including venues in the area. “Our area has so many exciting options for couples who want to get married here with different style and sized venues,” says Leigh. “We are happy to work with clients in any venue they may choose.” In fact, Leigh is heavily involved with the new Garrett County Wedding Professionals organization, whose mission is to grow and market the wedding industry for Garrett County. “You’ll see great things coming from this group in the future,” she says.
And while Farmhouse Fête obviously features decor items, Leigh stresses that it is not a gift shop. She does not offer a product if it can be purchased elsewhere. For instance they do not offer standard paper plates because those can be purchased anywhere. What you will find are elegant and unique paper and plastic plates in about the same price range. “Many people may go to a discount store to get inexpensive votive candle holders. You can come here and find better quality ones in a larger variety for roughly the same price,” she explains.
Love the pieces you see here but need help with design? The Farmhouse Fête staff will design your wedding or event for free if you commit to a certain dollar amount of flowers and / or rentals items. Set up fees will apply. They can also help you navigate your way through the process by connecting you with the photographers, caterers, DJ’s and more to help complete your special day.
So whether your next party or event is held at your home, in a tent on a rental property, or at one of the area’s premier venues, let the talented women at Farmhouse Fête turn ordinary into extraordinary...whether it’s for a shower, wedding, birthday, retirement or graduation. Farmhouse Fête will help you define your own authentic style and host the event of your dreams.
Farmhouse Fête is located at 1272 Friendsville Road (Rt. 42), next to Schoolhouse Earth. They are open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM. Be sure to check out their website at www. farmhousefete.com
for some of their unique offerings.