Style Savvy

The Fancy Farm Girl in Shipshewana Is the Realization of Its Owner’s Longtime Dream

Writer / Amy Lant-Wenger
Photographer / Kari Lipscomb

Life flows differently in Shipshewana, Indiana.

It isn’t only something you notice through sight. It’s just as much about a feeling, one that exudes warmth and hospitality.

The Fancy Farm GirlIt’s one of the many reasons that Erin Schwartz chose this town to create a boutique known as The Fancy Farm Girl. Located on the upper level of Yoder’s Red Barn Shoppes near downtown Shipshewana, the store is a welcome addition to an environment that thrives on the principles of simplicity.

Schwartz, a native of LaGrange County, is fully embracing the realization of a longtime dream. She was raised in nearby Topeka, where her family’s farming background was intertwined with strong lessons of the Christian faith. After spending some time in the field of education followed by a stint in home sales, Schwartz was able to work alongside, and cultivate friendships with, Nate and Maggie Schwartz, who were affiliated with the Shipshewana-based shop Vintage Home. “Maggie has been my business mentor, and I’ve been learning so much from her,” Schwartz says.

When a crossroads became evident for Schwartz and she realized she could finally bring her dream to fruition, it was actually her father who came up with the name of the business. It’s a perfect branding description of the ambience and style of merchandise that Schwartz was inspired to offer – apparel and accessories with a modern yet modest flair, touched with a flourish of sass. “Down-home and trendy” is how Schwartz describes her clothing. One of the hottest-selling items of the season, she notes, is long denim skirts.

The Fancy Farm Girl swapped space with the adjacent Lotions and Potions store in January, allowing Schwartz to enlarge and enhance the space. Currently, the shop carries women’s apparel, accessories, jewelry, and home decor items. Many of the items are designed and created by local artisans.The Fancy Farm Girl

Schwartz is planning to add menswear and children’s clothing very soon as well.

Schwartz is very aware of the notion that her success is quite unique, in that the opportunity came about during the early months of the COVID pandemic. In a time when most institutions were forced to close indefinitely or greatly reduce their operations, her business actually tripled. The astonishment is still overwhelming to Schwartz.

“I didn’t open those doors, God did,” she says.

Schwartz also found a spiritual influence, which gave her a nudge to increase her profile to a more national audience. A serendipitous visit to the boutique from a relative of Rory Feek left enough of an impression that Schwartz was invited to participate in the Homestead Festival in Columbia, Tennessee. Schwartz was one of several vendors at Hardison Mill, which is located on Feek’s historic farm. In a bittersweet turn of events, Schwartz’s booth was situated close to the grove of trees that shelters the final resting place of Feek’s late wife, Joey, who was his singing partner until her passing in 2016.The Fancy Farm Girl

Schwartz was also thrilled to be in the same arena as actor Kevin Costner and his band, Modern West. Photos of Schwartz’s adventures in Tennessee are featured prominently in her office.

With the arrival of spring, Schwartz is eager to showcase her store’s newest lines of fashion and accessories. To that end, she is inviting everyone to their upcoming open house, to be held on May 12 and 13. There will be discounts, drawings and special giveaways. The staff is also eager to continue its involvement with community events such as Power of the Purse & Wallet, which raises money to provide meals for children of families facing financial hardships.

is located at 447 South Van Buren Street, just south of downtown Shipshewana. Visit the shop on Facebook and Instagram.

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