Everyone deserves a touch of elegance and beauty in their lives.

That’s exactly what a vintage fan from Mad About Fans brings to your home. And that’s exactly what first inspired my passion for antique fans and costumes.

 It all began when I was a child.

Every summer, my parents would drag me on day trips to castles throughout East Germany. Even though I was a reluctant tourist, it was within these castle walls that I fell in love with antique fashion. I adored looking at the costumes worn by the ladies and gentlemen of old in their portraits.

Soon, I was the one dragging my parents on castle visits, especially when I discovered Wernigerode, a tiny castle beautifully furnished; it could have sprung from the pages of a fairytale for all its charm.

I created Mad About Fans so that even after the castle visits stopped I could still remain immersed in the world of antiques.

What started as a fascination with beauty turned into a keen interest in the fan as a social artefact, including its use in communicating status, class and cultural differences, and its place as a fashion accessory to accompany the various stages of life.

It was my grandmother who had taught me to knit and sew.

Even though she would come to encourage my vocation, I originally refrained from telling her about my work with antique fans and dresses. I was convinced she’d think it frivolous.

Somewhere along the way, she found out what I was up to, and much to my surprise, she was completely interested and wanted to hear all about my projects.

I learned something about my grandmother I had never known before.

It turned out her mother had been an accomplished seamstress in the early 1900s, and she had passed on many of her skills to her daughter, my grandmother.

All along, I’d had access to a seamstress with expert knowledge from an era long past, and I hadn’t even known it. After that, I started asking my grandmother for help with specific restoration projects. She loved when I visited and I could show her what I was working on.

Since starting Mad About Fans, I’ve had the opportunities to exhibit parts of my collection in France and Ireland. I am a long-time member of the Fan Circle International and the Fan Association of North America. I also author the occasional research article, and I’ve been published in dedicated journals.

Antique fans and costumes are more than just a job to me.

They are my passion, love, and hobby. Even if I were to stop selling, I would continue to maintain my collection.

I understand the joy you feel when you lift a beautiful fan from its box for the first time, because I experience it, too.

I look forward to helping you find just the right fan for your collection, and to sharing my love for these beautiful artefacts with you.

-Farina

Farina Sternke
Owner of Mad About Fans