Marla Rae wears many hats, all intertwined with her love for art and home decor. Over 20 years ago she and her husband Brian started the Barn Festival, a unique shopping experience on their property. They host the event in May and September each year. Tens of thousands of customers venture out onto a dirt road, surrounded by corn fields to shop from over 150 vendors’ unique wares. Vendors attend from across the country. Marla has been working in the gift industry for 30 years, always from home...which just happens to be the upper two levels of a 1930 Sears and Roebucks Barn. In 2011, after selling an international candle company that she and Brian grew for 12 years, Marla started her career as an artist with publisher Penny Lane. The timing could not have been more perfect...something she likes to refer to as a “God thing”. Recently, Marla started to teach String Art Classes at her daughter Alyssa’s “Art Bar” in downtown Hastings, Nebraska. She calls it her social outlet. Each day for five days straight, 40+ students gather to enjoy a little art, fellowship with friends and a drink or two.
“I love my life! I am so blessed and do not take a single day for granted. Each day is given as a gift, and it is up to us what we do with that gift. I am living my dream, and am loving life to its fullest”. Road Trips are important to Marla and Brian. They make sure they get away as often as possible to explore different cultures throughout the USA. “We hope to get our passports soon, but until then, we continue to enjoy our little trips from the east to west coast. Rural Nebraska will always be my home. It doesn’t require much to completely enjoy myself...Evenings with friends and family on the back deck are especially nice."