Kim Leggett has established quite a following over the last 22 years with her work as a freelance interior stylist, curating City Farmhouse on Bridge Street in downtown Franklin, The Fling monthly pop-up store located in The Factory at Franklin, and the City Farmhouse pop-up fairs. Kim’s projects have been featured in publications such as Elle Decor, Architectural Digest, Prairie Style Magazine, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Southern Living and Gatherings Magazine. Her clients include a long list of both local and international celebrities and museums. Meet today’s FACES of Williamson County feature, Kim Leggett!
Tell us about when you first discovered your love of pickin’ and junkin’?
It all started way back when I was just 5 years old, while tagging along with my grandmother and Aunt Sue to Friday night auctions at a dusty, old barn called Peppermint Pond in the tiny town of Dyersburg, TN. While they were being charmed by Victorian sofas, sparkling glass and china place settings, I was peeking over into boxes of lots of junk that went for pennies! That’s where the real treasures were hiding.
At what point did you decide to turn this love for all things old into a serious business?
I’ve always been one to follow my dreams. At the age of 26, I left a smoking trail of dust behind me when I decided to leave my corporate day job and pursue a career as a toy designer. The change was thrilling! It took me to the big city (New York City) and provided me with the opportunity to learn new ways to market myself. That was truly the best experience of my life.
When I long for a new adventure, I look to something that I’m passionate about. My love for collecting old things is a passion that became the footprint for this current business that I started over 20 years ago.
We hear you will be hosting multiple pop-up fairs this year in Leiper’s Fork. What made you decide to host more than one fair?
Our first two pop-up fairs in 2013 and 2014 were so popular among both vendors and customers that we decided to expand on that concept this year. We have more than 100,000 Facebook fans, so we were hearing from them constantly, too. Now, in 2015, we are hosting two City Farmhouse pop-up fairs at Buddy Killen’s old property in Leiper’s Fork in both June and October, plus a holiday pop-up fair at The Factory in December!
These are great opportunities to bring like-minded people together to share their love of old things. We love that this has become a social thing—it’s turned into almost a festival-like event. We have food trucks, live music, design demonstrations and, of course, dozens of booths to find vintage and antique scores. We’ve created different environments and platforms for people to connect and form relationships.
We have been so very blessed with a successful business, and it’s really rewarding to use that to bring light to the many great vendors all across the United States (our June vendors are coming from 17 states). Shoppers travel from as far away as California and Canada to shop the show! It’s also another way to personally meet up with many of my loyal Facebook followers who travel to Williamson County for the event.
What gave you the idea to start The Fling, a monthly City Farmhouse pop-up store at The Factory at Franklin?
The entire weekend is an event, kinda like a mini version of the show. We love creating an occasion, or a destination. Retail pop-ups are trending in cities all across the United States, but I think we’re the first locally owned store to bring this fresh concept to downtown Franklin.
To create that party vibe, we start on Thursday evening with a special get-together, preview-type event. We serve wine and light appetizers and have a musical guest to entertain shoppers. Then we open again on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. till 6 p.m. and round it out on Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., at which time we close the doors and do it all over again the next month with a new load of fresh “picks.”
How is the The Fling pop-up concept different than the City Farmhouse store we all know and love on Bridge Street?
The Bridge Street location is open regular business hours, seven days a week, whereas The Fling is only open the second weekend of each month, beginning on that Thursday evening with a preview party. While both stores have a similar City Farmhouse-style of inventory, the pieces at The Fling are specially selected for the vibe and atmosphere that we are looking to create there. Due to the industrial design of the space, The Fling provides a very real visual representation of farmhouse style in the city.
We’ve been told you’ve designed Harvest at Homestead Manor, the new farm-to-fork restaurant by the Puckett’s people. Tell us about that.
Because of all the projects David [my husband] and I have working at any given time, we only take a couple big design projects each year. The last one we did was for a Shelter + Roost VRBO property, and it was featured in Country Living and Good Housekeeping!
Homestead Manor is a hospitality concept that centers around the circa 1819 home—a space with a dramatic style all its own! This was a particularly challenging project for me, because Andy Marshall’s vision was a departure of what I’m normally asked to do. Instead of neutral and sparse, he wanted themed rooms with bold colors and walls filled with endless curiosities. Andy and I are both perfectionists, so a year into the project, we’re nearing completion! There’s no doubt that those who come to dine will find themselves on a culinary and visual journey.
As if you were not busy enough, you’re writing a book. Tell us about City Farmhouse Style and when we can expect it?
City Farmhouse Style will focus on inspiring homeowners on how to create farmhouse style in an urban environment, whether that’s in their home, studio or garden. Expect it? Well, let’s just say I wouldn’t rush to the bookstore right away. It’s a work in progress! Next year, I hope.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given over the years?
This isn’t going to be a typical response. All my life I’ve received guidance from my spirit within, and it’s never failed me—not once. When I’ve had an idea, a feeling of the need for change, a new direction or a strong desire within me, I go with that guidance, willingly and unafraid. Sometimes, it comes simply as a thought, and over time I’m led in the direction that I need to go—or not go, for that matter.
What can we find you doing when you’re not prepping for one of the many City Farmhouse events?
Well, does that really ever happen? LOL! I love spending time with our three grandchildren, whether it be family dinners, ballgames or vacations. They are the light of my life!
Where do you find inspiration these days?
I love Country Living magazine and Elle Décor for my alter farmhouse style. One of my favorite books is Imperfect Home by Mark and Sally Bailey. This book is an entirely different take on home decorating. It not only features room settings, but consists of beautiful photographs of textures (such as fabrics and wallpaper) and offers unique ways to use objects in the home. Much of the photography was taken in Japan and embraces the cultural concept of finding beauty in the imperfect. The time-worn pieces that are represented in the book pay homage to a past life.
Name three things you can’t live without, excluding faith, family and friends.
1. My phone. Isn’t it amazing how this little device can do so much for us? It’s on my nightstand for middle-of-the-night musings that I write in my notes app or early-morning social media browsing.
2. Vintage books. No designer should be without them. They have so many creative uses, excluding the obvious bookshelf. I recently created an entire wall from books for a homeowner.
3. The humble painters’ drop cloth. Perfect for curtains, duvets, wall coverings, pillows, bed skirts, slipcovers, upholstery and much more. It’s durable with a fabulous look. The best part is that it’s inexpensive and be found in any home improvement store.
The City Farmhouse pop-up show takes place June 19 and 20 at the Buddy Killen estate in Leiper’s Fork. Learn more here.
Today’s photos are by Heather Sisemore of Heather Sisemore Photography.