Who is Yennifer? If you've watched The Witcher on Netflix, sorry it's not her, but Jennifer Pierce is our new Vendor Manager who started on January 6. Last season you may have seen her walking the lanes of the festival, enjoying a prime rib sandwich at the Prince of Wales pub or waiting in line at the Puffin for her favorite coffee beverage. If you're a vendor she may have breezed by on a brisk morning offering you hand warmers with a smile, and then she was on her way. Since she's had about a month to settle in to her role, we sat down with her to get to know her better and her ideas for the 2020 season and the future.What do you do as Vendor Manager at TRF?
In a nutshell, my main role as Vendor Manager for TRF is to work closely with our vendors, ensuring each is filling their contractual role within our festival, but also serving as an intermediary for them, acting as their voice when discussing their needs or concerns with the rest of management or even the owner. Our vendors are a vital piece to making this festival successful each year, they have a huge role in our patron experience and I look forward to working closely with each of them as I settle into my new role here.
You're busy finding vendors for the new expansion area, what are you looking for that space?
For the expansion area, my main goal is finding artisans, with an emphasis on wares/pieces that are not currently represented in our festival. Noting my many trips to artisan markets over the past few months, I am pressed to quote a wise man, L. Neeson, " You don't know me, but I have a specific set of skills, skills that I have developed over a long career. I will look for you, I will find you, and I will invite you to participate in the largest renaissance festival in the U.S." Too soon to reveal my terrible sense of humor?Tell us about yourself and your history at TRF/Stargate Manor Arboretum.
Though my face might be new to some over at TRF, before my transition into this position, I worked for the Owner, George Coulam, at Stargate Manor Arboretum as his assistant for 3+ years. I am excited to continue working for him, just in a different capacity, and I am honored he entrusted this important role with me. When not at the festival, I am a mom to two handsome teenage boys, and wife to a wonderful husband. I try to live by the motto, "It's not your message, it's your delivery." I believe even a smile or laugh can change someone's day, which is why you will often hear me laughing before you even see me enter a room.What is your biggest challenge as the new Vendor Manager?
I keep asking myself the same question. I can adapt to change easily thanks to my husbands previous military career, I can work and vibe with most any personality, so it will come down to my desire to make lasting connections with our vendors - know their names, their shoppes, their stories. In doing that, also help facilitate an experience for our patrons that will keep them coming back each year.What are you looking forward to for the 2020 season?
The same thing our patrons look forward to each year, the magic that ebbs from our festival. The knowledge that I gain with each day I spend here, with each conversation I have or story I hear. George Coulam's vision in creating this festival continues each year, and my appreciation for the wonderful people that bring it to life each season is palpable.
What is your favorite song to sing in the car?
You know, there is one song that no matter what kind of day I am having, just gets me. Some unfortunate souls might have even witnessed me singing it last year during karaoke. "Sweet As Whole" - Sara Bareilles
I feel like there needs to be a disclaimer about this song if you are going to listen to it with young children present.
What is your favorite food?
I am a steak and potato kind of girl. Thank goodness for corsets.If you could dress as one character in garb who would it be?
Oh man, one character? Thanks to ancestry.com and the decision to binge Vikings with my husband, I would be drawn to bring out some of my inner Scandinavian bloodline - Lagertha had some beautiful pieces. I look forward to building my garb collection even further each season, picking pieces from some of my favorite shoppes here at TRF.