Story and photos by Ashley Bunton
Fairies live in the village of Yellow Springs.
Kim Lemkau opened Little Fairy Garden in October. Since opening Lemkau said fairy believers have swarmed the shop — mostly adults, she added — who tell her about the fairies they have seen.
“They’ll come into the store and say when they were in the Glen Helen Nature Preserve they saw a fairy out of the corner of their eye,” said Lemkau.
Lemkau’s fairy shop is a unique shop filled with tiny pewter fairies and gnomes inspired by her father more than 3o years ago. The boutique carries a curious assortment of accessories for building tiny fairy gardens: live plants, bridges, swings, water fountains, moss and glow-in-the-dark lights.
“It’s sort of like those miniature Christmas houses people collect and then at Christmas time they put them out and make a town for Christmas,” said Lemkau. “But a fairy garden is for all year long. You can put things in your garden and make a little village of fairy houses, with fairy mailboxes and fairy stepping stones and little fairies and gnomes, and then you can pull them inside in the winter and make something with your houseplants and put it in little containers by the window. It’s just a fun, collectible hobby.”
Lemkau said people of all ages enjoy building fairy gardens.
“Grandmothers like to do it so that when the grandchildren come over they can play and participate and see what’s new in the fairy garden,” said Lemkau. “The kids like to do it, they’ll have a little container in their room with a little fairy house and a plant.”
Thirty years ago in southern California, Lemkau’s father set up a card table at a swap meet and began to sell collections of tiny pewter wizards.
“He started with selling some pocket knives and a couple of little tiny pewter dragons and wizards. His pocket knives didn’t sell and then his dragons and wizards were selling so he got more of that and now he has four stores,” said Lemkau.
Lemkau said her father’s stores have a small section of fairies, and she thought they were cute, so she ordered some and began to sell them at festivals. Her business grew, she opened an online store, and finally, the storefront in Yellow Springs, where there’s now a party room that can be reserved for people of all ages to host fairy parties.
“So many people have told me they’ve seen fairies. You would think that that would be little children, but I’ve had adults come in and tell me they see them too. Some people have even come into the store with pictures and videos of fairies. Everyone’s like, ‘Ha ha, yeah right,’ but then they’re telling me they’re real and they’ve captured them on camera,” said Lemkau.
Little Fairy Garden
224 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs
(Downtown Yellow Springs, behind Ye Olde Trail Tavern Restaurant)
Noon-6 p.m. Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays
FAIRY SPOTTING 101
Relax. Fairies are sensitive to other people’s feelings. They like to take it slow.
Walk slowly. Fairies are tiny and barely visible. If you are too fast, fairies might feel afraid.
Pay attention. Fairies might be anywhere. Look behind tiny doors and near butterflies and trees.
Stay open-minded. Fairies are unique. If you believe in them, they might let you see them.
Leave a gift. Fairies are shy. If you see one, leave it a small gift so it will like you.
Plant flowers. Fairies are known to love flowers. The flower fairies take care of the flowers.