Farmville business owners organize fashion show for this weekend

Published 6:45 am Friday, April 14, 2023

FARMVILLE – Working women and busy moms know how difficult it can be to shop for themselves – many times forgoing the task altogether by subscribing to services such as StitchFix, Wantable and others. Some of the business owners in Farmville and Prince Edward County saw a need, and decided to bring clothing, jewelry, accessories and more to local residents with the Runway to Rice Fashion Show. 

The event will take place on Sunday, April 16 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Sandy River Distillery in Rice. Doors open at 3, and early arrival is encouraged. Admission is free, and women throughout the community are encouraged to attend – if for nothing else, to get to know one another, check out the latest fashions, and support local businesses through shopping their favorite looks at the pop up vendors seen throughout the show. A portion of all proceeds will go to benefit the Rice Volunteer Fire Department. All who are involved with the project donated their time as volunteers. 

“(The) idea for the event came about because as a busy working mom finding time to shop for yourself is always a challenge,” said Candice Smith. She and her husband own Sandy River Distillery. “I was impressed with all of the women and businesses that have popped up on Main Street in Farmville, and felt like a collaboration on this fashion show would give everybody a chance to get to know each other, support each other, and have some fun!”  

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Smith said she was humbled to see how hard everyone has been working on this and has been grateful for their energy. 

“Detailed planning started just a few weeks ago, but we all worked hard and fast as a group together,” Smith said. “We decided that the proceeds from a nice big raffle gift basket would go to our local Rice fire department, for their swift response to the explosion at the distillery last year! We will continue to work on new ideas for hosting another fashion show next year.”

‘A perfect opportunity’ in Farmville 

As Lisa Tharpe, owner of Wellness on Main, pointed out, this has been pulled together and planned in nearly record time. 

Working with this great group of women business owners has been inspiring & rewarding,” Tharpe said. “Our incredible collaboration of 18 local businesses coming together to put on one fun & fabulous fashion show at Sandy River has been nothing short of amazing.” 

Now there is no charge for admission, which was important to the group so they could make this open to everyone.  

“The beautiful outfits & jewelry you will see in the show are available via Pop Up Shop style booths on the day of the event, and of course also in the ladies’ shops on Main Street,” Tharpe said. “This group is excited to bring the Runway to Rice on Sunday & hope many will enjoy the afternoon with us.”

Sundari Morgan owns the store Lex on Main in downtown Farmville. She said this seemed like a good time for the show after four completely new and different women owned women’s clothing stores opened on Main Street in the past year. 

“It felt like the perfect opportunity to join together to present our individual brands in the runway show,” Morgan said. “While this is the first major event of this kind since 2020 (in the region), best believe that this won’t be the last. All of the businesses involved are excited to be active participants in the Farmville community, and ready to serve the local crowd in the best ways we can.”