Hello and happy Wednesday! I am so excited to be participating in one of my favorite tours of the year, the Blogger Stylin’ Home Tours hosted by my friend Lindsay of The White Buffalo Styling Co. This time around, Lindsay has invited us to share our work & play spaces. I thought about sharing my porch because typically in Spring it’s my family’s favorite place to hang out, eat dinner, play rounds of Uno, and share our stories. But Winter arrived late and left late, so it wasn’t quite ready. I decided to do something a little different and share my place of work outside the home- my vintage shop, Sweet Clover.
If you are here from The Wicker House, welcome! Emily is one of my absolute favorites- I love her casual coastal bohemian style.
Sweet Clover is not a regular vintage shop… We are a vintage barn sale located in Frederick, Maryland, and we are only open one weekend a month. Our location is literally an old dairy barn and because of that it certainly comes with its quirks, but its rustic rural charm is part of the shopping experience.
Photo by Jalapeno Photography
I share the business of Sweet Clover with the best partner I could hope for, Sarah. She is a huge part of what makes our place of work also a place of play. We share a weird sense of humor, deep appreciation for sarcasm, and a love of vintage and design.
Sarah and I have also spent time finding and cultivating a team of tremendously talented vendors. The barn is sectioned into different spaces, and we’ve created a diverse and eclectic shopping experience. We stage the front of the barn and then each unique space belongs to various vendors. These people inspire me to think outside the box, they find the best vintage, and they stage it beautifully. We just had our April sale this past weekend, so I thought I’d share some of the scenes around the shop before we opened when it was fully stocked and styled, as well as a couple scenes from the weekend itself and the special event we had.
Sarah and I claim the front of the barn as our space to stage and sell our own pieces. We do our best to coordinate before we arrive at work, but often during set up we tend to make it up as we go along. One common theme with us is that we do tend to use a lot of blue and green throughout the year.While we have some vendors that I would say are more midcentury, or French, or British Equestrian, our own space is an eclectic mix of styles.
The checkout counter is also located in the front of the barn. In January we had a big revamp and fresh start kick off and we changed our layout, moving the counters so that you see then immediately when you walk in our front door. We came up with the look we wanted and our carpenter created two gorgeous moveable counters with plenty of storage. They’re made out of barn wood from the 1800’s from a local barn in Myersville. This photo is from our sale in January, just to give you an idea of placement. Together the counters read “Sweet Clover.”
As you can see we carry General Finishes products. In January we opted to move it behind the counter because most people who buy paint either know what they are coming for and can ask as soon as it’s their turn in line, or they have questions about it anyhow!
And here is the counter in use Saturday of our sale, with Sarah ringing up a very special guest who you might see later in this tour of work and play spaces. Because we are located in a barn, and it can get very cold or very hot, we don’t keep electronics in the barn, so a large POS was not an option for us. We use tablets, wireless keyboards, wireless printers, Square, a hot spot, as well as another computer system to itemize purchases. It’s a lot to carry down for each sale, but it’s the best method for Sweet Clover.
Once you move past the front, the vendor spaces become clear, each vendor boasting their unique style. Because we have so many, I am only going to share a few with you today, but you can visit us on facebook to see our albums for more inspiration.
Story Design House is a husband and wife team from Texas. Their rustic Texas roots show through with a blend of industrial American style. This month they brought in a fantastic table from an old printing press, and paired it with bentwoods. I wanted to take this whole situation and transfer it into my dining room. It’s relaxed yet super stylish and chic.Michelle of Antica Market loves chippy finishes and patina, grain sacks, and equestrian style. She staged some plants in old sewing drawers and I thought it looked so niceDistressed Vintage Furniture Company rents the back of the upstairs of our barn and they always have such amazing displays. These are a couple of theirs that caught my eye this month…
Bells hanging from branches…
And light cages hanging from the ceiling! I wanted to purchase some of these for my porch but I wasn’t sure exactly where I would put them. Open with nothing in them they look like awesome little hanging metal flowers.Steph, aka The Shabby Chic Girl, has a beautiful country vibe and her staging is always so warm and cozy, filled with flowers.Aside from being immensely creative, the vendors that are on the Sweet Clover team are a blast to work with! We all are often there the week leading up to our sale, tired and working hard, but keeping each other laughing and smiling. The way that our business operates, we do not have employees, so these vendors are also our “staff” during an open weekend. I can honestly say that I have such a great time when I am at work… typically business is booming, we’re all smiling and laughing, and passing on that warm welcome energy to our customers. At the end of the day when it starts to slow a bit, we tend to have time to just chat and have fun, and get to know one another even better.
Behind the barn we have a small “milk house” and each month a vendor takes a turn styling it. In April Chelsea and Diane of Cloher Collections took it on and this chalkboard and French sideboard vignette was a favorite of mine.
Because we are a two story barn, we of course have a stair case, and this past January it received a much needed paint and stain job. We opted for chalkboard paint so that we could vary the message each month. The first month, Kim of Made New by Kimberly Brooke wrote it out in her artsy beautiful chalk hand writing.
Since then it’s been washed down a couple of times and scuffed up a bit, but we love to add a little personality to our stairs. Last month’s is pictured below, and you can see that I don’t have Kim’s chalk skills!
And this month we decided to make a nod towards Earth Day.We have fun coming up with new sayings, and Sarah and I laugh at some of the sarcastic suggestions we make to one another but could never put up on the stairs, like “Open your wallets” or “Buy it all!” So while we will never put that on our stairs, we do like to keep it light and humorous!
Sweet Clover supports local entrepreneurs and artists as well, and we love setting up unique collaborative events for our customers. This past weekend we had Candlelight Floral on hand for a mobile bouquet bar they set up just outside. Customers were able to create a bouquet in a vintage vessel of sorts. One of our vendors had this centerpiece created for a party she was hosting. How awesome is a vintage aqua truck filled with flowers?It was just something extra to offer our customers and a fun Spring event. Chelsea of Style Mutt Home (whose backside you saw earlier in this post!) came and had a gorgeous arrangement made in a vintage tin. Check it out on her instagram feed. I did sneak a chance to grab a photo with her before she left, too! It really makes my day when friends come by to see me at work! And admit it, you are lovin’ it.I also took home a beautiful arrangement designed by Candlelight and I had them put it in Emmy’s painted succulent planter. (Because yes, the plants had met their fate… all but one cactus who remained in the arrangement! He’s farther back so you can’t see him below).Coming up in May we have another special event and author and blogger Amy Renea will be with us signing her book, Crafting with Nature. Amy will be staying with me at the Casa Bustamante, and I am thrilled to have her. It’s a beautiful thing to me that my workplace has so many intersections with my blogging work and relationships. I have made many friends through instagram and blogging who have passed through Sweet Clover’s doors, and keep coming back. And that makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world!
One thing I want to also mention is that almost two years ago I shared our Sweet Clover office, which is upstairs in our milk house. It’s sort of messy at the moment, but if you’re interested in seeing where we do much of the business side of things, and store staging materials, check that post out here.
Whew! That was a much longer tour than I anticipated, but what can I say? I truly love where I work! It is a place to play creatively, mingle with friends, and run a growing business with an amazing girl boss partner. I love what I do and I love who I do it with. And isn’t the old saying, “If you love what you do you will never work a day in your life?” It’s very true for me at Sweet Clover.
Thank you so much for allowing me to share Sweet Clover with you today. Next up, pop over to Beth’s blog, Design Post, for what is sure to be another beautiful tour. Beth’s eclectic Carolina style shows beautifully in her home!
And check out the entire line-up below!