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Behind Trade Secrets

Behind Trade Secrets

by Kristen Panzer

With legendary interior designer Bunny Williams at the helm, and about 1500 tickets sold last year for the Saturday Sale alone, the cat’s out of the bag: the 14th annual Trade Secrets is the must-attend garden event in the region. What’s the big secret anyway? Trade Secrets is like an industry trade show that is open to the public. Shop for unique plants and garden antiques elbow-to-elbow with world-renowned designers and industry insiders. This is one of Martha Stewart’s favorite events.

Here’s the real secret—and I think we should shout it from the roof tops—this lovely event, hosted by Elaine LaRoche at the magnificent LionRock Farm, fuels the tireless effort of Women’s Support Services to stop domestic violence in our community in all its insidious forms.

That’s right, Trade Secrets is more than a fabulous garden event. It’s a tremendous effort by hundreds of volunteers who support the Women’s Support Services mission. It’s a generous giveback to the region, specifically to those harmed or threatened by domestic violence which affects so many of us or those we know and love.

Women’s Support Services provides confidential counseling, advocacy, emergency shelter, a twenty-four hour hotline and other services to victims of domestic violence – defined as abuse (emotional, physical or sexual) at the hands of a loved one or intimate partner. Not only do they provide support and counseling for people who are living this nightmare, they also train educators to go out into the community and schools to teach young people how to relate to one another free of bullying and abuse. They are trying to stop domestic violence before it happens.

By necessity, the work of Women’s Support Services is often behind the scenes and top-secret –whispered hot-line encounters that no one must ever know about for the safety and dignity of all those involved. Trade Secrets is an annual opportunity to shine a light on this organization, in the hopes of providing relief to individuals who are victims of this devastating scourge of family life, and in anticipation of the day when our community is indeed free of domestic violence.

Trade Secrets takes place May 17th and 18th at LionRock Farm in Sharon CT.

For tickets and more information visit

For more information about Women’s Support Services visit

For help for yourself or a loved one please call their confidential 24 hour hotline: 860.364.1900

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