Words by Andrea Glinn
ally Linville has been creating bespoke chicken footstools for more than a decade. If anyone questioned whether there was a market for these fanciful, farm-inspired footstools when she launched the business during her final year in architecture school, they should rest assured that there most certainly is. What began as a social endeavor—friends helping Sally stitch one night a week—has evolved into a tailored team of prolific stitchers, seasoned spinners and knowledgeable knitters who have enabled Sally to streamline her process and grow The City Girl Farm quietly with care.
CGF proved to be nimble and profitable through the pandemic. While custom orders and repeat clients kept the business going strong, Sally tested her footing with an artist collaboration, inviting local fashion designer Whitney Manney to guest-design a flock—and released creative control for the first time. Sally asked Whitney, “How would you dress a chicken?” Her response, Barbie pink, black frills and bows. Sally and their clients gobbled them up.
Riding high from the successful collaboration with Whitney, CGF decided to take on an even broader collaboration, this time one that spanned the globe. While admiring the handiwork of female artists in Argentina on Instagram, Sally wished she could dress her ladies in their beautiful pleated felt. Her business partner, Carly Pumphrey, helped Sally’s dream come true, and together they hatched a plan. They invited six artists from around the world (including women from Buenos Aires, Quebec, Australia, Germany and the U.K., as well as Japanese-American fabric artist Chiyoko Myose from Wichita, Kansas) to contribute feathers and other felted features. CGF curated, collaged, pinned and stitched their offerings onto naked chickens, and the complete Global Collection flock launched with a Crossroads Hotel exhibition in April.
In June, CGF will launch its annual Flower Flock, which is inspired by beauty, color and playfulness found in nature. In the past, CGF has directly expressed the qualities of flowers onto the birds, but this year Sally expects the articulation of the theme to come through a color story rather than a literal translation. In addition to its cohesive collections, CGF releases a flock of “Free Birds” for sale on its website each month. “Our audience is growing,” Sally says. “People are waiting patiently to snatch up the chickens.”
The best way to acquire one of the happy hens? Buy one locally at George in the Crestwood Shops or sign up for alerts by joining the “Early Bird” email list.
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