Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The story behind the junk. Part 2
I wanted to do the same, just different. While waiting for the Gods to tell me what to do next, I dabbled in product design creating concepts for Eddie Bauer Home, Carters Kids, and a line of decorative accessories for a national home decor catalogue. It just wasn't my dream job. I guess I missed retail. I recall visiting with girlfriends over dinner about my dilemma. One gal explained to the group about Rose, a woman in Buffalo MN, that had a retail store selling old stuff and only opened to the public once a month. Now that sounded like it was right up my alley!
I went home that evening, told my husband I was going into the junk business...and oh, by the way, I would only be open two and a half days a month. "You must be kidding!" was his initial response. He did however remember a few weeks prior, I had a garage sale that grossed over $11,000 in a weekend. Maybe I wasn't so crazy after all.
I rented a small warehouse and my son Tyson, 13 years old at the time, helped me to come up with the name. JUNKMARKET
I went to the bank for a small loan, (Which was very interesting when I told them what I was planning to do with their money...) headed out to the country with my SUV and purchased several loads of junk. I was now in heaven! Junk Heaven!
In the beginning it was pretty much me, family, and friends. My mailing list consisted of no more than 50 people. But I'll be darned, somehow the word spread and I couldn't keep up with business. Sue Whitney was one of JunkMarket's loyal and enthusiastic customers and asked to join me in the business. Ten months after JunkMarket began, I took Sue in as a partner.
JUNKMARKET's mission was to make decorating with junk cool. Many Junkmasters had gone before. We were determined to reiterate their message. Junking is earth friendly and Junk is cool!
It took a bunch of folks to make JUNKMARKET a success. Tom was our mentor, supplier, and hauler of good junk. I learned most of everything I know about junk from Tom. I met Tom at Kane County Flea Market in St. Charles Illinois and he has been my dear friend ever since. I recently learned a lot about life from Tom and his family. Tom survived a heart transplant 90 days ago and is planning a trip to the Junk Bonanza!
The people came to JUNKMARKET once a month to buy our good junk! We moved 3 times to accommodate the crowds.
Customers waited patiently in line to get a chance to grab some good junk.
This area was known as JOB. Junk out Back. The really grungey junk!
They came in busloads! I know from experience you can fit several armoires in the luggage compartments under a bus.
A sea of customers flooded the JUNKMARKET every sale. Minnesota nice made for a delightful shopping experience...most of the time. We occassionally drew straws for the One of a kind/I got here first conflicts.
The displays were pretty.
The displays were fun.
The junk was sophisticated.
The junk was edgy.
The junk was good.
The junk was always plentiful!
It took a whole lot of folks with a whole lot of energy to make a JUNKMARKET sale happen!
Irene was the queen of ticketing and headmaster of the check out. You could hear her yell "Next!" from a mile away.
Lorraine shown above powerwashing. Everyone pitched in getting the junk ready to go.
Julie spent much of her time painting...when she wasn't sewing, organizing or ticketing.
Oh yes, the boys...we couldn't have done it without them. Ethan and Chris, brothers, made a great team!
And then there was Emily! She ran the show, always with a smile! You may recognize her as the mayor of the Junk Bonanza.
This junking business thing proved to be right up my alley. I never imagined what was about to happen next. Magazines, books, TV, speaking tours, and even the Today Show. Stay tuned for part 3...
at 3:05 PM