North Texas Daily

Mother-daughter team sign on to a joint business venture

Mother-daughter team sign on to a joint business venture

November 02
18:52 2016

A little business located in the small town of Childress, Texas is making signs in a fresh and unexpectedly resourceful way.

White Trash With A Little Bit of Class was established about three years ago by Bergen Fairchild and her mother, Kim Buckley. Fairchild is a third-grade teacher, and Buckley is a gymnastics teacher. Together, they make and sell customized signs at craft fairs.

The signs they create are not made out of typical sign material. They are created by using old pieces of scrap, barn tin, wood and just about anything that can be cleaned up and written on. They are personalized by Buckley, who is in charge of writing the calligraphy on the signs.

“Mom has real beautiful handwriting,” Fairchild said.

Buckley has been writing calligraphy since 1985 when she took a calligraphy class in college.

When Fairchild was in college, she discovered that Buckley’s calligraphy could work in a business venture.

“For an auction for my sorority, we got a plain window and my mom wrote calligraphy,” Fairchild said. “People bid, and they bid really high, so we decided to start doing shows. It made money to pay for college, it paid for a car, vacations and now it’s paying for my brother’s college. So it turned out to be a really good business.”

Although they usually go out of town for the majority of the business they conduct, they are also known in their hometown of Childress. When people in Childress first found out about the business, community members began leaving various items on Buckley’s front porch to be customized.

Although Buckley has a full time job and other commitments as a teacher, she puts in the rest of her time towards producing quality work. All her calligraphy is original, as she does not use any stencils. Something that she believes sets the business from the rest.

“My handwriting is my handwriting,” Buckley said. “Nobody can duplicate it. It’s calligraphy and it’s on items that people would probably not buy unless my handwriting was on it.”

Buckley and Fairchild have traveled around Texas as well as a few other states, such as Kansas and Louisiana. Currently, the business mostly operates at craft shows and on Facebook, where people can inquire about signs.

They have also learned that the market can vary between different cities and states. For example, in Kansas they have found that farm-related items are most popular while lake-related items are most popular in Louisiana.

White Trash With A Little Bit of Class was also present at the Vintage Market Days at Denton. Since this happened to be Denton’s first time hosting Vintage Market Days, this was the first time Buckley and Fairchild had ever sold their merchandise in Denton.

“It was the best show we have ever done,” Buckley said. “We had more sales and more people come to our booth than any other Vintage Market Days we’ve been to.”

Due to the sheer enjoyment of selling in Denton, Buckley and Fairchild made an effort to sign up as soon as possible for the next Denton Vintage Market Days in April 2017.

Although much effort and thought has been put into this business, the two have had much fun with it overall. Buckley said the fact that they genuinely enjoy creating these signs is one of the factors that motivate them to keep White Trash with A Little Bit of Class running, despite being busy as teachers. They usually set aside time during the weekends to tend to the business while planning around each other’s schedules.

Through the chaos, Buckley has found the experience to have increased the bond between her and her daughter.

“You raise this child up through, you know, junior high and high school and you’re usually at odds during those times, and then she went to college and we kind of started it while she was in college still,” Buckley said. “She has turned into this wonderful, mature adult and we’ve become like best friends through this.”

Buckley said that working together has created a great dynamic in their work relationship, as well.

“It has been fun to work together as mother and daughter but also as friends, now that she is older and matured and is making great choices in her life, it’s just enjoyable to be together,” Buckley said.

Fairchild and Buckley hope to continue this business as long as they can. However, for the time being, there are no long term goals or plans established other than to attend craft shows and get Fairchild’s brother through college.

Fortunately, they are happy that they can make money in a way that they truly enjoy.

“It’s fun, it’s something that my mom and I can both do,” Fairchild said. “She does all the handwriting and I find some stuff and I clean it, and I get the locations for the next show, so it’s fun to do it together.”

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Victoria Monteros

Victoria Monteros

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