Despite a late-summer storm that barreled its way through South Sound on Saturday and Sunday, that didn’t stop those from the area — hey, we’re used to the rain, right? — from trekking deep into Thurston County to enjoy the Queen Bee French Flea, a Parisian-style flea market.
This year’s Queen Bee was largely held indoors in the working barn at Sherman Valley Ranch near Capitol Forest. The horses were moved out and several vendors moved in, including those who occupied stalls.
That’s where Barbara and Burt Gumeson of Elma had set up shop to sell various sizes of looms. The looms, which are made of hard pine from North Carolina or New Zealand, can be used to create throw rugs, purses, computer covers — Barbara “The Boss” Gumeson was using one for her Kindle — pillow cases and place mats. The name of their business is Bunny Hill, inspired by a life-size decorative bunny the couple bought in Yelm.
The storm really socked the area on Saturday, the first day of the Queen Bee, but still 850-900 people attended the event, said Kim Bridges, one of three organizers of the event.
The French-style flea market was first launched at her business, Queen Bee Art Cottage and Retreat, followed by Schilter Family Farm in Nisqually the following year. The event was unable to find a host the next year, but found one in Sherman Valley Ranch this year.
In addition to Bridges, two other business owners have been involved in putting on the Queen Bee: Lisa Wenham-Kinzner of Flippn’ Cute Stuff and Mary Corso of Courtyard Antiques.
People lined up to get in on Saturday and attendance on Sunday was steady, they said.
Besides the looms, other items for sale included furniture, jewelry, antiques, lotions and estate jewelry.
There also was a cafe next door — the Cafe de Paris — with goodies supplied by Elyse’s Catering of Tumwater, as well as baked goods sold by one vendor inside the barn.
Nicole Broyles of Renton was selling cupcakes and cookies with her cousin, Natalie Nicholson of Olympia. A family connection introduced them to their first flea market, Broyles said.
“It’s really fun to be a part of,” she said.