There’s a feeling when one spots something shopping that’s just, hands-down, super awesome fabulous, and Rio Branner knows it.
The local artist is the mastermind behind Fabulous Finds and is hosting the third event at Summerhill Pyramid Winery on Friday and Saturday.
“I really felt Kelowna needed a show like this,” she said. “When I was on the Island I was always showing and there was a real artists’ community. Here, there just wasn’t that same sense of community.”
So Branner set about trying to build it.
She brought in Scientific Culture whose mustaches on a stick proved a huge hit. She snagged belt buckles and hairpins made of recycled skateboards.
“There’s even a lady making all kinds of fabulous things out of vintage buttons,” she said.
Based on previous numbers, Branner believes 2,000 people will attend. For artists, trying to get into the show is tricky. The art is juried by Rio, whose only prerequisite is that it has to be vintage, artistic, unique and exciting, and she says she has quite the wait list.
The first show was held last March with the second following in November.
It was at the November show that Carrie Harper met Tomoe Afseth, launching a friendship that would inspire the Artists for Japan auction, which will also play a part in this edition of Fabulous Finds, as artists from all over the world auction their work to support the Red Cross in Japan on Facebook.
“That’s really what it’s all about,” said Branner. “It’s about bringing artists together.”
So whether it’s Sparkie Jones’s Japanese-inspired belts or Rio’s own vintage leather jackets-turned-handbags, all of the items included have something one might call the “it” factor.
And there will be a little of the latest “it” factor marketing involved as well.
On the heels of Twitter’s fifth birthday this week, Frithjof Petscheleit, who has started his own local Twitter business, will be on hand to help with the social marketing needed to make the Artists for Japan auction fly.
Hosted from a table in the show, bidders will be able to add their name to the auction items up for grabs both in person at the show or by logging on to the Artists for Japan Facebook group (http://tinyurl.com/4uvmwqr) and he will keep both groups updated on what’s happening.
Fabulous finds runs Friday, Mar. 25 from 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Mar. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Summerhill Winery, 4870 Chute Lake Rd.
Admission is free. Follow the Artists for Japan Facebook page for the latest on how the auction is evolving.