Small but mighty: Little Fairy Garden goes big while showcasing the small

It’s a big world out there, but joy can be found in the smallest of things – like a miniature fairy garden.

When California native Kim Lemkau decided her career as a mortgage broker was no longer a fit for her, she looked into the family business of gift shops. Within the four stores her family owned on the West Coast were miniature pieces for fairy gardens – Lemkau was immediately taken by the unlimited creative possibilities.

Her father passed on the supplier contact information to his daughter who invested in some pieces.

“I was in banking, and it was very stressful…and I decided it had to change,” says Lemkau. “When I visited my parent’s stores, they had these little fairies in it. I thought they were so cute.”

Lemkau began selling the miniature items ay festivals and craft shows, and four years ago she opened the Little Fairy Garden in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

“I went to a little craft show … everybody started buying the fairies and were telling me about their fairy gardens, and I was like, ‘What’s a fairy garden?’” she says. “Then I started looking at wholesalers for miniatures, and then I just started building into it. I had so much inventory that setting up at craft shows and festivals was too much.”

The Little Fairy Garden specializes in miniature fairy garden supplies for outdoor or indoor fairy gardens. ​Creators can choose from various styles of fairy homes, furniture and accessories-all made of resin (a material that is weather resistant), metal and a few select wood made items.

Fairy gardens serve as indoor table centerpiece, indoor or outdoor planters and can even contain lighting for an enchanted nighttime fairy theme.

“I’ll never be rich making Fairy Gardens, but it’s so much better than my mortgage job,” says Lemkau.

Her initial draw to Yellow Springs was the historic home she purchased and the surrounding area of Glen Helen.

“The Glen is so magical, you can imagine fairies living there,” she says. “It was worth it to set up shop.”

Lemkau says the fairy garden business has grown every year and her shop is open all year around. People tell her frequently that the Little Fairy Garden is their “favorite store.”

The store - located at 224 Xenia Ave. in Yellow Springs - features seasonal items as well, such as pumpkins and tiny evergreens that clients add to their existing fairy gardens on and off throughout the year.

The Little Fairy Garden also includes a party room. While Lemkau hosts many parties for children, she says she hosts just as many adult parties, including bridal showers and birthdays.

“I had a grandma’s birthday party with all of her grandchildren,” she says. “She brought a cement birdbath that she wanted to make a fairy garden in, and each grandchild picked something and bought it for her to put in her garden. It was the sweetest thing.”

Just this year, Diana Chesnut, winner of the Fairy Garden category at the Miami County Fair purchased her supplies at the Little Fairy Garden and reached out to Lemkau to thank her.

Chesnut says she has a fairy garden at home that is approximately 20’ x 30’ in size. She and her 9-year-old granddaughter make a trip to the Little Fairy Garden twice a year to purchase items for their growing fairy garden.

“We pick out all kinds of new things every time we go,” says Chesnut. “(Lemkau) has very cute things. I started off with a small (fairy garden) outside, and then it just kept growing and growing. We enjoy it every year. (Little Fairy Garden) is my go-to spot.”

Lemkau says there is so much negative in the world right now, but yet there is so much good and fun to be had.

“There is far more good stuff in reality,” says Lemkau. “And you realize that when someone sends you a picture and says, ‘I had so much fun making this, and I won first place!’”

Read more articles by Darci Jordan.

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