Credit: Avery Elowitt | Mustang News

Handmade brooms, authentic paintings and fried donuts are just a few of the things offered at the Three Speckled Hens Antique and Vintage show in Paso Robles.

Co-founders Kathy Marquart and Susi Fuller, also known as the chicken ladies, created the Three Speckled Hens Antiques and Old Stuff Show nearly 15 years ago.

“We met through the Boosters Association, working at the high school,” Marquart said, talking about their first meeting around 18 years ago. “One of the side benefits of this show is that we have traveled the country together, going to other antique shows and seeing what other people are doing.”

Inspiration for the now annual event blossomed from a mutual fascination with searching for antique goods.

“We went to a show, a couple of girlfriends and I up in Spokane, and went to a wonderful one-of-a-kind antique show,” Fuller said. “[We] bought too much stuff, came home with a huge trailer full and in order to get it by our husbands, we told them we were going to start a show of our own.”

With their newfound shared love for antique shopping, the co-founders began to brainstorm names.

“I wanted The Three Pickled Hens,” Fuller said. “And she said, ‘No, it had too much of a bad connotation.'”

After years of hard work, the Three Speckled Hens grew into the show it is today.

“We really just took a leap of faith and a couple of thousand dollars and went for it,” Fuller said.

Now with more than 150 vendors, the event showcases a wide range of talents. Duane Penner, a fourth generation artisan broom maker with Corny Brooms Company, strives to educate new customers on the process of making a broom using a traditional corn fiber weaver.

“My favorite part of making brooms and demonstrating is telling the history for grown corn first started in 1792 and how it grew from one farmer to several farmers making billions,” Penner said.

Although this year’s show has already hit the hay, the hens look forward to expanding their community in years to come.