A city resident since 2020, founder Char Goetz runs her vintage market for sense of community, and for a cause close to her heart

Visitors to Mission Santa Ines on Saturday, April 6, got to experience an event that’s becoming a little more frequent in Solvang: the Flying Miz Daisy Vintage Market.

With a little cooperation by the Central Coast weather, the market was able to happen on the first weekend in April, albeit in a slightly different location.

“We usually have this on the lawn next to the mission,” said Char Goetz, the founder/proprietor of Flying Miz Daisy. “However, with the threat of rain, we had to move it to the parking lot. Of course, we were able to sunny weather today, so it’s working out fine.”

The Flying Miz Daisy market is not your typical “swap meet” or “flea market.” While some of the vendors deal in straight antiques, many handcraft their products out of repurposed materials, whether it be furniture, home decor, jewelry, or clothing.

This bookmark given out at the Flying Miz Daisy Vintage Market publicizes the Ashley Goetz Foundation, named for Char Goetz’s daughter, who passed away from cystic fibrosis, and which donates to worthy causes. Photo by Mike Chaldu

It was exactly what Goetz was going for when she first began the outdoor market, originally called Driving Miz Daisy, approximately 10 years ago in Orange County.

“I was an antique dealer for quite a number of years, maybe 15 or so, and my kids were growing up, and I decided, you know, Orange County could use a really cool winter market,” she said. “Since I was shopping at them all the time, I thought I could do it in a different way. I wanted to bring in the whole community where kids and all different ages just want to spend the day.

“I had a row of vintage trailer shops, a vintage barber, and a farmers market. I had a children’s play area. It was beautiful to see everybody come together.”

Goetz said it was important to bring a sense of community and personal touch to selling goods, something she feels has been lost.

“You know, we’re living in the age of technology, right?” she said. “And people are just shopping online all the time and losing that one-on-one experience. With this [Flying Miz Daisy], it’s so cool to see people go ‘Yes, I know what that is, and let me tell you a story about that.’ Then you know it’s going great.”

On the vintage market’s website (www.flyingmizdaisy.com), Goetz describes its vendors community as “a family” that “welcomes those who seek a different kind of relationship with the goods that surround them.”

“A lot of them have been with me for years and years, and they follow me where I do my shows,” she said. “There are some new ones, which is great, from the Central Valley and up, but I usually like to have the antiquing community with me on these.”

While Goetz treasures her vendor “family,” her real family is also very dear to her. Goetz and her husband, Bob, have lived in Solvang since 2020, and she keeps in touch with her four adult sons, Peter, Bobby, Corey and Dusty. In fact, two of them made appearances during our interview: Peter, who has a production company that works with TV network like the Discovery Channel, facetimed Char from the Amazon, where he was doing some work; and another son, Corey, who recently moved to the area and has a health and fitness podcast, came in person to check on his mother.

However, a driving force in Char Goetz’s efforts with Flying Miz Daisy and her philanthropic efforts is her late daughter, Ashley Goetz, who was born with cystic fibrosis, and passed away from the disease at age 25 in 2014.

Char said it was Ashley who had an important role in the establishment of Flying Miz Daisy.

“Before she passed, we sat down and actually did a dream board, or we like to call it a vision board, and she said ‘Mommy, what do we want to do with this trailer? Where do you want to go with it?'” Char said. “And I said I really wanted to open a vintage market, and we put it on the vision board.

“I took it to the city of San Juan Capistrano, and they were like, ‘this is great,’ and that’s how I got it started. So, Ashley was the one who pretty much inspired this.”

Ashley also inspired Char to create a foundation bearing her daughter’s name to contribute to deserving causes. Details can be found at ashleygoetzfoundation.com. Recipients of the foundation currently shown on the site, include Slave 2 Nothing, a foundation that aims to eliminate human trafficking and helps those in the throes of drug and alcohol addiction; and Womencraft, a community-driven social enterprise that designs, produces and exports hand-woven home décor items made from natural fibers and vibrant fabrics of East Africa.

“We’re in the process of changing it up, because we like to change up who we give it to,” Char said. “We have all women-based organizations we donate to, because she was all about that. So we donate every year to these causes, and [Mission Santa Ines] is one of them.

“Our goal is just to help as many people as we can and keep her legacy alive.”

A trip through the Flying Miss Daisy Vintage Market shows a number of different kinds of vendors. One of them was Anything Rustic, which sells furniture and home decor obtained from far and wide.

“We items sourced from around the world,” said Audrey Rivera, who runs the Anaheim-based business with her husband Hank, and their two sons, Zavier and Jeremiah. “We get stuff from far away as Germany and France.”

“We hand-pick every item we sell,” Hank said. “A lot of love went into it.”

The Riveras said working this show represented the first time they came to Solvang.

“We do at least 12 shows a year for our business,” Audrey said. “Sales have been amazing here for us today, so it’s definitely a success.”

Nearby, Pamela Amrine of Ojai was selling her wood products out of her trailer, along with Samantha Simpson. There, the selection ranged from small wooden signs with various sayings to flowerboxes to benches, all made with salvaged wood.

“Everything we have here is repurposed and recycled through my business, called Pamela’s,” Amrine said. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years to support my kids and grandkids.”

Amrine said she makes the rounds at all the big antique shows.

“Yeah, I do this show, Three Speckled Hens in Paso Robles, Great Junk Hunt, Barn Chicks; there’s a lot of them.”

Other kinds of merchandise spotted for sale at the market included clothes and antiques as well as a few food trucks.

Since starting it in Solvang last year, Goetz has run the Flying Miz Daisy twice a year, with the next one scheduled at the mission for Sept. 21. 

“We got it scheduled right in the middle of Solvang’s Danish Days, so we should do pretty well with that one,” she said.

Goetz said the market will continue to have a presence in Solvang as long as she resides there, and talked about how much she’s enjoyed the area since making the move in 2020.

“Solvang really has that small-town feel we were looking for when we moved from Orange County,” she said. “It really is so beautiful here. We live here, but I always feel like I’m on vacation.”

To find out more about the Flying Miz Daisy Vintage Market, go to flyingmizdaisy.com. For more info about the Ashley Goetz Foundation, go to ashleygoetzfoundation.com.