My First Booth Ever at the Mustard Seed Market
Written by Bethany Curee, God’s Daughter – Freckled & Free

It began on our honeymoon. That very first curiosity as a couple for the things of old. Relishing in our youth, at the age of 18 and 19, my husband’s parents had to help us rent a cabin in Hocking Hills because we didn’t realize until our wedding night that we weren’t old enough to even rent a hotel room. Another good story for another day, but, during that adventurous first week of beginning our married life together we stumbled upon an antique shop (Logan Antique Mall) in the heart of this town that began our exquisite desire for the forgotten and used treasures of a life where things were built well and thoughtfully.

Wedding day July 2, 2005

I think our combined childhood upbringings had sprinkled some seeds of appreciation for fine craftsmanship and stunning details. I often watched This Old House with my father on the weekends admiring the beauty and pristine detail of carpentry and old homes with longing eyes. I didn’t know what it was like to be rich, but I thought this must be it. A home basking in character and charm. My mother, also was a collector of antiques and had a unique, eclectic taste. I recall her pressed flower artwork, an old bread box and pie safe, antique radio and telephone to name a few. Our dining room was furnished with a gorgeously hand-crafted wood table with elaborately carved table legs. It was her dream set that my parents no doubt collected every dime to get. Complete with six hand-crafted chairs, a matching buffet and hutch—all made exceptionally. I had several aunts that also shared this taste, one living in a stunning farmhouse which I believed to be what mansions must look like. I quietly studied every detail unknowingly, and explored every white-paint-peeling barn that on it’s own was etching a love I didn’t yet understand in my mind. My husband too, grew up with a father and mother who loved to collect interesting things from old machine parts, to tractors, to rusted carts or antique cook books or dishware…together both of us fell in love. I guess you can say it made us feel at home.

2013 photoshoot where we were dreaming of starting an antique business of some sort. Of course at the time it made sense to use a mason jar prop.

If my memory serves me right, I believe our first purchase from Logan Antique Mall was some old Bibles and a Bible study book that we still have to this day. From there the itch began. We would take entire weekends to just go explore all the antique stores we could find. With my parents enjoying the ride with us, we were able to take plenty of adventures while truly making memories that we now long for.

My Papa, being typical him at an antique shop. Miss you Papa.

In the early days it was very rare we bought. We mostly shopped with our eyes and built dreams in our mind. When we began finally learning the best prices, the best places, and the going rate for things we began to realize what was a steal and what was outrageous. And slowly overtime we began to actually pick for our own home. Some things purchased we held onto for a very long time because we had a “future design project” in mind or use for the item. You could say things were starting to get serious and pickin’ easily became one of our favorite things to do.

Tom, who always carries all my “things”, pictured here at the Country Living Fair

It had always been in our minds that eventually, that one day, we would have our very own booth at an antique shop, but in the joy of creating our little humans and homeschooling and all the ministry work that kept us busy we didn’t know when that day would actually come. But the more we got pickin’ and the more we filled our house with our choice picks, we realized in order to not debut on the next hoarders show, this would need to happen sooner than later. We knew our love for pickin’ and finding great prices or creative uses for things wasn’t going to stop. So the best decision to make was to start with what we had and begin to share our treasures with those who also have an appreciation for these beauties. With goals to inspire creativity and use pieces in unique ways, we had a hope to help others design spaces in their homes with character, charm and the ability to offer prices that aren’t so out of reach. We thrive off the thrill of the hunt—knowing someone is going to add one of our darling pieces to their home. A space with treasures we have already found for you. Pieces that have history and tell a story simply by looking at them.

So in essence, we had a dream far out in the distance and our friends had a dream…very much working into the present. Which allowed our dream to step a little closer to reality. Ahem, The Mustard Seed Market. Yeah…it’s kind of a big deal…lots of dreams are taking place here people. Our dear friends being the creators of this market themselves and in the past frequent vendors at several different markets with their company they built from the ground up Rustic Grains Wood Company, birthed a beautiful new market from all their years of experience. They are go-getter friends that don’t wait around but go full on for the things they know God has placed in their hearts and allowed them to dream up. Not gonna lie, they are pretty great. Goes to show you that stepping into a God given dream for you, allows someone else to step into their dreams and callings as well and that’s not a bad plan.

The birthing of the market took place in Spring 2022 and in which you may remember, we—Freckled & Free, got to create 3 displays and had the joy of serving alongside our friends for the initial launch. If you remember I shared about these displays and our history in my previous posts titled, Flourish, Dare to Go, and Sow Good – Reap a Harvest, which yes, were the title of the displays I was honored to create.

The spring market being the success it was, we were eager to join in as a vendor for the first time ever at the 2022 Winter Market.

So, with all that history and backstory in your pocket now, and without further ado, let’s get to the desired goal of this blog post. Eeeek!


Have a small moment to do the floss dance with me. If you can’t tell from my writing I am and was pretty stinking excited…now compose yourself and continue.

Many of you perhaps may have already saw us at the market and got to witness the beauty first hand, or maybe you follow us on Instagram @freckled_and_free, and have also already seen an idea of how it turned out, but for those who weren’t able, here’s the full recap of what our first booth ever turned out like.

I get butterflies just thinking about it.

Let’s just say with our mad picking skills, avid hunting ways, creative-designer skillsets and constant dreaming up of crazy ideasit was way overdo for this creative outlet to roam free. And, I say this all humbly because I fully know none of these skill sets would be here if it wasn’t for sweet Jesus letting us be artists like Him. But, the ability to create something masterfully together, as a husband and wife team, starting with our booth was both exhausting and exhilarating, and in the end something we were absolutely proud of. Thankfully, Tom is a fixer of all things, an epic problem solver, and fine craftsman—otherwise I couldn’t put these crazy ideas into being. I’m thankful for his “smarts,” his cute muscles and handsome self. I quite admire watching him try to make all my visions happen.

Now, you can watch the actual reel of how the work began. But like all things at the start, it looked a little like nothing. The beginning is always the hardest. Small moments of panic occur until you start to dig into the creation process. Creating a booth is a little different than just creating a display, because your basically creating a small store within a tiny space that needs to be inviting and charming while also allowing a good flow for traffic. I had a basic sketch in my mind of what I wanted but I had to remain fluid during setup as it depended on how everything ended up fitting and laying out once we got into it.

Bins and piles. A little of this and a little of that and we slowly began to transform the space into something worth looking at. Quirky little moments of fun and cuteness.

Charming and dreamy things to adore and add to your home with plenty of Christmas flare throughout for the winter market.

Replicas of antique tree candles throughout for decoration and ambiance. Vintage hand-picked ornaments of plenty for purchase.

It was a lot of hard work and we were plenty sore but we were fueled by our passion to make something lovely and admirable. Something beautiful to contribute to the Mustard Seed Market, our friend’s dream and ours. The collection of photos below shows just that, a showcase if you would, or you can do a virtual walk through here on my Instagram of our booth.

We spent many hours and a few days dehydrating dried grapefruit to use in decorating the booth. I wanted it to feel like the Christmas’s of the past. Cozy and warm. Using what they had to decorate the tree. I backdropped the space with a rich vintage looking curtains to create an inviting space, and worked to mix textures and patterns throughout. We resolved to bring balance with so many different objects to look at. Together we wanted people to feel excited to come to our booth and discover something they would treasure. We heard plenty of people sharing stories of it reminding them of this or that which is exactly what we want. Nostalgia.

Creating little holiday scenes for that dreamy Christmas feel made it all so special. We spent a lot of time looking for vintage and antique glass jars with lids where I could make these. Some with deer and pine trees, others with vintage trucks on tree farms and my favorite scene were the tiny ships I pretended had frozen in the water upon the rocks. As a child little Christmas scenes were my favorite things that made me get lost in wonder. We spent so many hours making many beautiful things leading up to the market and I’m a little bummed I didn’t get alone shots of all of them. From the One Way Sign we turned into a rolling cabinet with shelving inside and even added lighting, to the small wooden kitchen island we made from old work bench legs and a gorgeous wood top we picked up at a yard sale, bird cages turned into lovely nativity scenes, to the gorgeous re-fabriced boho bench. Honestly, there is just way too many good stories to share on all the goodies we were able to bring. From making my own tags and framing custom artwork with holiday sayings was…just. plain. fun. And I know I keep saying it’s so fun, but it’s simply true! All my favorite things. We spent lots of hours cleaning, tagging and pricing beforehand to have everything ready for market opening.

Handmade nautical winter scene.

But, we were all ready to go when the doors opened on December 2. On a side note, I’m a firm believer in celebrating your birthday. I get one day a year to be treated—heck yes, I’m gonna go for it. So to say I shared my birthday on December 3rd here at the market, shows you just how much I loved doing it. It was a huge birthday present in itself.

Many of you appreciated the things we brought and were just as giddy as we were when we picked them. You saw the beauty in the things we found beauty in. We went into this booth with the mindset that if we didn’t sell anything we still had an absolute blast creating it. Thankfully, we saw reflected the same admiration when you bought them from us as when we bought them. If you got to meet us, I’m sure we had a story to share along with what you purchased, and that’s what makes picking so darn fun, there is always a good story to go along with it. It made it a lot easier to let our beautiful picks find new homes.

It was an honor to meet all of you who attended and shopped with us, we truly want to say a BIG THANK YOU. We look forward to seeing many of you in the 2023 Mustard Seed Markets at the Clermont County Fairgrounds. All taking place for 3 day shows this year. Spring being May, 19-21, Fall being September 15-17 and Christmas happening November 17-19.

In conclusion, we enjoyed giving back to CNE Cares and sponsoring The Mustard Seed Market anyway we could. We couldn’t say enough good things and plan to exclusively show at this market, thus if you are curious to see what we come up with next, save the dates above and plan to join—you never know what treasure trove we will bring next.

"And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish thou the work of our hands for us—yea, the work of our hands, establish thou it." Psalm 90:17
My whole crew, missing my momma in this photo who helped us out tremendously during the market.

Follow me on Instagram @freckledandfree and make sure to follow @mustardseedmarketoh and @rusticgrainsco to stay up-to-date on all the Mustard Seed Market details.

Written by Bethany Curee, God’s Daughter – Freckled & Free

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