Three Sisters Who Reinvented Themselves by Coming Home

Little White Fence came to be when three sisters, Barbara, Carol and Suzie decided to make their dream of owning a shop together a reality.

But this is no ordinary shop. In fact, there’s nothing run-of-the-mill about it. This becomes obvious as soon as you step onto their old family farm, which has been completely renovated and “fixed-up” beautifully.

Part of the reason for opening Little White Fence was to breathe life back into their small home town, as all three sisters have fond memories of growing up here in Armstrong Creek — where they led a simple country life during simpler times.

Because of this, the shop is all about community — from the town itself, to the folks that visit us for vacation or day trip.

This philosophy is what makes Little White Fence a place where you can unplug, recharge and enjoy life in the slow lane while you visit. It’s also a welcoming place where you’ll find new ideas in decorating and gift giving.

Let’s meet the Little White Fence sisters …

Antiques & Vintage Furniture BarbaraBarbara Barker

Barbara has an eye for design, and a passion for aesthetic. From creating custom pillows, to repainting and distressing furniture, she simply loves working with an item and transforming it into something special. Always on the lookout for one-of-a-kind items, Barbara is a big fan of HGTV, which is a constant inspiration in her design work. Some of her favorite things to do include fixing up old, tired rooms, repurposing furniture and decorating anything indoors or out.

Affectionately referred to as “Barbara Stewart,” by her friends and family, she’s the one everybody comes to for advice on how to set a beautiful table, decorate or paint a room, and in the case of Little White Fence, how to remodel and repurpose their big red barn into a workshop, and the farmhouse into their beautiful shop!

A graduate of UW Green Bay, with a marketing major, Barbara has two daughters in their twenties. Always dedicated to her girls, she was a stay-at-home mom while they grew up. From 1985, until 2016, she lived in Madison, WI, but of course now resides back home in Armstrong Creek. The creation of Little White Fence with Carol and Suzie is her dream come true!

tro-Distressed-Furniture-Gift-Shop-Carol-2.jpgCarol Coffey

Carol moved to Armstrong Creek when she was only four years old. She was raised on the family farm with two sisters and two brothers before joining the air force after high school, where she met her husband, Roger. Two years later, they moved back to Armstrong and have been there ever since. She has a daughter and a grandson she adores.

Carol has loved to garden for as long as she can remember, which fits right into the future plans for a greenhouse. She also has a great attention to detail, which helps in every facet of running a business, as well as growing a beautiful, healthy garden. Carol is also a WWII buff, and her knowledge is a great strength when dealing with vintage and antique items.

When asked why she decided to join her sisters and create Little White Fence, her response was, “I’m doing this because Barb’s making me!” And so began the reinvention of the farm and three sisters, too.

Gift Shop Antiques & Vintage FurnitureSuzie Zahnen

Suzie and her husband, Mike, have been married over 25 years and met while driving big rigs across country. They even owned their own tractor/trailer before “retiring” from the road and starting a firetruck sales, service and repair business.

One of Suzie’s goals has always been to come back home. She’s the homebody of the three sisters, and the “emotional glue” that holds the family together. Before opening Little White Fence, Suzie and her sisters spent countless hours on the phone planning to “one day” own a shop together. They’d reference pictures in magazines like Traditional Home, Home Decorating and Country Living, and talk forever about how awesome it would be to have a shop. Cool, vintage furniture, toys and other items that you can’t find “just anywhere.”

Suzie admits she’s not real crafty, “I’ll leave that to Barb.” But, like Carol, she’s a big gardener. Give her a greenhouse full of flowers and she’s in heaven!