They’ve been called 'those chicken ladies,’ ‘the bird show ladies’ and, of course, ‘The Hens.’ So who are these ladies and what makes them tick? The Hens, Kathy Marquart and Susi Fuller, come from very different backgrounds, but both were raised by parents who had an appreciation for history and antiques and a strong sense of integrity and hard work. Kathy and Susi first met while volunteering at Templeton High School where their children attended. Their mutual love of all things antique, vintage and flea market added a forever bond to their friendship. A fortuitous trip to an out-of-state antique show got these BFF’s juices flowing and before they arrived home their antique show business was born! Over a decade later and The Three Speckled Hens Antiques & Old Stuff Show has grown into a nationally-recognized and highly-respected show.
Kathy can’t remember not being attracted to old things. She clearly remembers living back east and touring countless Early American museums and historical landmarks. Kathy met her husband, Nick, in college and found a kindred spirit. Nick had his loose change in an old crock, collected old keys and loved anything with a history.
After several years in the San Francisco Bay Area, Nick and Kathy decided to “go home” to his family’s ranch in the Santa Lucia mountain range of the beautiful Central Coast. Living on the family ranch is a dream come true; old barns, a beautiful late 1800’s farmhouse (unfortunately, it was lost in the 2003 earthquake), a smattering of old out-buildings, hand-hewn fence posts and livestock. Kathy’s collection and love of primitive antiques, vintage wares and anything old and rusty was allowed to grow out of proportion. Starting the Three Speckled Hens Antiques and Old Stuff Shows was a natural progression of Kathy’s collecting bug.
With the help of her sons, Kathy continues to run the cattle ranch. One of Kathy’s greatest joys is watching the sixth generation of her family work on the ranch and teaching her nine grandchildren about the history and love of family antiques and old found objects.
Susi grew up going to antique auctions in Los Angeles with her mother and grandmother, and there was never a road trip or vacation in her youth that didn’t include stops for treasure—be it road-side or antique shops. In her early married life, Susi’s tract home in Newport Beach was filled with vintage farmhouse décor, right down to chicken wire fronts on the kitchen cabinets.
Imagine her joy when moving to Paso Robles in 1992 gave her the opportunity to live on a real farm, in a real farmhouse that was built in 1887. Restoring the property that had been abandoned for many years was a long journey, but one the entire family took part in and learned and grew from.
Now a home for four generations of family, Susi’s passion for antiques and vintage is evident throughout. This passion continues to be passed down and shared with her children and grandchildren.