Monday, September 29, 2014


I did it!  I don't have any pictures on this computer to share, but they are all over Facebook....  Go check it out!  I finally, finally got the "barn" aka Morton building ready for a sale this weekend.  I am going to continue hosting occasional sales at the barn and also randomly be open.  If you are in southern Iowa on highway 5 look for my flag...if it is out then I am open!  Because Facebook is SO easy to navigate I am constantly posting on there and not so much on my blog.  Please hop on over and like my page for constant updates.  Thank you!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Upcoming Shows!

Goodness, what have I gotten myself into!  I am doing THREE, yes THREE shows back to back.  Which would be less stressful if this was my full time gig and I had more time to buy, clean, and tag things.  Or, strip, paint, and seal things!  But, I don't.  So this will be a learning experience!

First up, a new show, Vintage & Made Fair, to be held in Des Moines at Old Historic Jordan Camp.  My good friend Tricia Hall with Vintage No. 35 and Rescued Junk are gearing up for a great show.  I'm so excited for them.

The next weekend I have the Walnut Antique Show.  This show has been around forever, but I have never attended as a customer or as a vendor!  I'm a little nervous.  Last year I was thinking about going and it rained, and rained, and rained!  Please no rain this year!  I will be sharing my space with my good friend Susanne of Pood's Picks.  After reading the vendor information, it sounds like we have an hour to set-up!  Ha!  I am a one woman show and I will never be even close to being ready!!!  Should prove to be interesting.

The  Annual
Walnut AMVETs Antique Show
Father's Day Weekend
June 13 - 15, 2014

The third weekend in June is Junkstock!  I felt honored to be asked by Sara to be a vendor.  Thanks Sara!  Again, I have not been to this show as a customer or vendor, but I had already scoped the whole thing out.  They even have youtube videos!  So when Sara tried to explain Junkstock and gave me some people to talk to and places online to visit, I laughed, told her been there done that!  SO excited!!

What do you think!?  Will I be busy in June?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Window Displays

Have I told you how much I enjoy doing a window?  I moved into The Hall Tree on the Centerville square in August and I convinced the owner, Emily, to let me have one of her windows.  (She has 4!!)  I thought that being a teacher, three little ones at home, etc... that it might be a little much to do it by myself.  I asked the other vendor there if she would alternate with me.  She said yes!!

For my first window I wanted to make sure that people knew I had moved in, so I wanted to include my name.  I have a bunch of projector screens from an auction, so I used one to make a sign.

Then I just added some junk until I was happy.  Here is the September window.  My very first.

Then, it was Pood's Picks turn.  I don't have a picture to show you, but it is on Facebook!  My page-Junk Parlor and hers-Pood's Picks.
November, my turn.  I had picked a load of mannequins and wanted to use one.  The Hall Tree is a woman's clothing boutique so I thought it'd be fun to dress her up.  I LOVE music sheets.  I hand stitched music sheets to a hoop skirt and added some vintage jewelry.  I also had scored a ton of frames and I wanted to put her front and center; the frame accomplished this.  I added in a little more music sheets and tried to balance out the display with some junk.
December - Pood's Picks  I had this vintage Santa from my grandma, that wasn't for sale, but I thought it'd look great in our Christmas window.  Susanne had already planned on putting in a mantel and stockings and so it was a perfect opportunity to use Santa.

January - The Junk Parlor  I really couldn't decide what I wanted to do.  I have these busts I wanted to use, but at the same time I didn't know how they would look on a white background.  (I just had a great idea on how to use them in my March window-now I just have to remember!!)  Anyway I had just brought in a ton of suitcases from the barn to clean, price, and take to the store.  I decided to incorporate them and traveling.  I had this Iowa map and I thought it would be fun to do a chalkboard quote.  I searched awhile on the Internet for a good one.  There were lots, but this one I liked the best.  "Go on adventures with me."

I can't wait to do more!!!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Well, I did it, I made an Instagram account.  Now I can't figure everything out, but I LOVE editing my pictures!!  Sometimes it is hard to pick which one to choose, but I LOVE the effects!

I'm having problems getting these pictures to my Facebook page.  I've followed the help directions a million times, but it's not working!!!  I will keep trying.  Until then, how do you get people to follow you on Instagram?  #help

Thursday, December 12, 2013

What's going on?

Well, I have set up at a few small shows...

I have expanded at The Hall Tree in Centerville, Iowa...

I have grabbed some cool picks...

 I have LOVED doing window displays at The Hall Tree.  This one was done by Poods Picks, but with my Santa.

 And, after being at The Brass Armadillo for about 9 months I have decided to move out.  January 11 will be my move out date...2 hours away when this is my part-time job is just too far away!

And, I have been trying some new things in marketing..

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Taking it easy today.  Kash got up early this morning complaining of being sick.  That he is!  I don't want to get to far from him or I'll be cleaning up after him!  So, chillin' today which I don't do much of.  I always feel like there is something to be done and sitting down is wasting time.  So, I am productively being lazy today; if there is such a thing.

For the 4th of July I set up a booth at The Exline Country Store in Exline, Iowa.  They are trying to get a bigger flea market set up and get more people to come to their little town for the festivities.  The word on the street was that there were twice as many vendors and twice as many people, so I'd say something is working.  I didn't sell very much, but got to chat with some customers and other vendors.  It's amazing how everyone has their own story about what they like and what works for them.  I got some great tips from a neighbor booth Poods Picks.  I'd seen them at an auction or two and I'd seen them posting items for sale on Facebook, but we had never had any interaction.  I actually went to school with the husband, David's youngest sister.  But back when we played together, these guys were "old."  (For pictures of my booth at Exline

I'd say they have had success because they are good pickers, they BOTH like to junk, they make good use of Facebook and they work out of their home.  And, they are nice.  I think all of these things help make a successful business.  So, go check them out on Facebook - DavidandSusanne Hutt(Poods Picks).

So, this brings me back to my title.  Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.  All capitalized because I feel like I have lots of BIG decisions to make.  One of which is what to do.  Should I rent a store and have my own home base?  Should I buy a building and recruit other vendors?  Should I fix up part of my workshop and stage it like a store?  Should I travel to a show every weekend and sell from a booth?  Should I sell on facebook, etsy, ebay and focus on going online?  The problem is I DO NOT KNOW!!!  There are pros and cons to every choice.

Any input or advice?  Please comment, I'd love to hear it.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Learning from Junk Jubilee

If you follow me on "Facebook" then you know I learned A LOT from Junk Jubilee.  Junk Jubilee is a huge venue at the Iowa State Fairgrounds where vendors of all sorts set up their booths.  These vendors had to submit pictures of their items in order to be allowed to sell at Junk Jubilee.  This was my first show EVER!  It was crazy huge and stressful and awesome. 

So in preparation for my first show I collected a lot of junk.  As I painted and prepped pieces, those nicer pieces then had to go to The Columns so I could keep my booth full.  That meant that I took a little more junky stuff.  The stuff that I was going to fix up/clean up.  I filled my dads stock trailer, the cab of his truck and two mini vans full!  My dad helped me unload and then he left and I was left with a pile.  I had laid out my large pieces in my Morton building at home, but the space we were given was not quite as big as the dimensions we were given.  A couple feet can make a BIG difference in a layout.  So I had to go on the fly.  I got it done and other than Broad Street Market's ginormous cupola or another guys like 50' ladder I think I had my stuff stacked the tallest!  Check for some pictures.  I did have to take a few things to the van to add later as things sold, but pretty much I squeezed it all in. 

I was very happy with how things sold except for my big pieces.  I was told going into this by more than one vendor that people will buy big things.  So, I brought my big things and then I took home my big things.  :)  I did not sell a single big thing.  So that brings us to my lessons learned as a first time vendor.

1.  Have something eye catching.  Even if you know it is crazy and won't sell.  Or something ugly or crazy or whatever.  You need something to make people stop at your booth and look.  I lucked out in this department and had 5 awesome pieces of 6' long architectural salvage.  I even had them on the floor and they still caught everyones eye.  They did not sell for me that weekend, but they did draw people in to look at what I had to offer.  Lesson.  Have an eye catcher.

2.  Signage.  I knew going into the show I was going to run out of business cards.  I had just got them and was going to use them as price tags.  I realized I was running out, but it was too late to get new cards in time.  I had my name on one chalkboard sign - it sold.  So next time I will have my name on something that is not for sale and on multiple somethings.  I will check my business card inventory early enough that I can order more if needed.  Lesson.  Let people know who you are.

3.  Checkout services.  So, I was lucky enough to have someone recommend that I get a square card reader.  I did and it worked wonderfully.  But, in all my reserching on line and brainpicking of other vendors, no one mentioned a checkout counter, but guess what everyone had!?  Whether it was a small table, bookshelf, file cabinet, everyone had something.  What did I have?  The floor.  You cannot wrap and bag smalls in air.  It is also a nice spot to hide things you need, but don't want everyone to see.  Next time I will have a checkout counter.  Lesson.  Bring a checkout counter.

4.  Don't kill yourself.  I didn't bring my absolute heaviest piece, but the next three or four heaviest pieces.  Remember how I said my big stuff didn't sell?  Next time I will bring big pieces, but lighter big pieces.  Lesson.  Save your back and pack lightly.

5.  Talk.  Talk to other vendors, pick their brains.  I was lucky to be close to Traci, The Shabby Next, whom I'd met through Facebook.  Then, I met everyone else close to me who I'd liked on Facebook, but didn't know.  I did a lot of brain picking.  The main difference between myself and them?  I was only doing this part-time to my real job and this was their real job!  Learn from who you want to be - talk.  Talk to your customers.  It is borderline, I had already read that on numerous blogs.  But, a lot of people talked about something I had and a memory it stirred up.  Or said they'd rather deal with me because I'm a teacher.  Or said, you are from Centerville?  Do you know...  Lesson.  Be nice and talk.

I'm sure there were many more lessons learned, but these were the main ones.  It's been two months now!  Yikes, the summer is almost over already.  I'm going to put my lessons learned to the test on July 4th in Exline, Iowa.  I've also signed up to do the What Cheer Flea Market in What Cheer, Iowa on August 1, 2, 3 and then in Des Moines at the Historic Valley Junction Antique Jamboree on September 9.  Stop by and say hi!