Two Jobs That I Love!

portrait

It’s something I struggle with. Do you follow me because of Vintage Green? Do you follow me because you know me? Do you want to know more about me personally? Or less about me personally? Is it my store? Me? Or a little of both? And what is oversharing?!?!

But, I took a leap when I posted working in San Francisco. And sharing that I’m working with a Christian School. Some of you have asked what? wait? you do what exactly? So allow me to share some of my other life with you 🙂

My academic degrees: An undergrad degrees are in Public Relations and In Advertising. My Masters is in Management. All my degrees were accomplished as an adult. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up 🙂 But I love that I use my degrees and feel blessed to have a hubby (and sons) who have supported my academic dreams. They cheered me on all the way!

For 12 years I worked at a Christian School IN West Michigan. I was the Director of Advancement. My responsibilities included: Annual Funds, Capital Campaigns, Endowments, Special Events, Alumni, Recruitment and Retention, Communications, Marketing….well, the list was long 🙂 And most days – like any job – I loved it. About six years ago Christian Schools International invited me for lunch.

They are a “parent” organization (which means my pension plan is with them) and they host a lot of training, development, strategic planning, networking….the list is long. My work with them involves working and traveling with schools all over the US and Canada.

On some Mondays and Tuesdays I head to a Christian School someplace 🙂 We spend two days creating a platform on what advancement is and does…..and then on the second day we create their map. The map they live and breathe and tweak adjust. It’s sort of like asking what do you want to be when you grow up – and then how will you get there.

I LOVE it. The travel, the people, the work. But 2-4 days a month allows me to help my parents with their needs, hang with family, and of course have my vintage dream store. I am blessed!

Thanks for letting me share 🙂

Junkin with My Hubby

indiana

A few weeks ago I talked Dan into going with me to Indiana. For 12 pieces of furniture. With the truck AND trailer. If you know Dan at all, you know this junkin life is not for him. I often kid that he would rather have a root canal, without drugs, before he would choose to go junkin!!

So, after much convincing we set off. Our first stop was a house that was for sale. I had been there about 10 days before. Brown, regular ranch. Nothing different or unique about it. So when I saw a brown ranch for sale I pointed it out. Dan said the Garmin said we had a little way yet. Nope, I was sure it was the house!

Dan backed the truck and trailer in. Off to the front door I went to get it unlocked. Except the key wouldn’t work. And I didn’t remember the front door having a screen door?? But I went in and out of the garage – so maybe I just needed to wiggle the screen door open and the key would work on the main door.

At this point Dan had the trailer all open and ready to load. So he tried the key. At which point he started telling me we had the wrong house. Off to the truck to check. So, yeah, okay, totally wrong address!! Hahahahaha. At which point Dan started pointing out the cops would be called and we would be charged with breaking and entering.

And he added…..all for your crap! We are going to be arrested for your crap!!

There is no way we could be charged with that. We had not broken anything nor had we entered!! Dan still cannot believe the neighborhood watch group didn’t call the cops. So back in the truck and off to the correct house. The key immediately worked there ;0 McCoy and I got out of the truck. McCoy was on his leash and staying on his leash. At which point Dan started telling me the house had rat poisoning, bugs, germs, rodents…you name it…..and McCoy would probably die from eating something…..all for my crap!!! (Nothing was ingested by McCoy and he is alive and wonderful!)

Now, I should tell you I am still laughing like crazy about the fact that we were at the wrong house. AND that when we got to the correct house Dan said he was staying in the truck until the door opened. AND if the cops showed up he was going to leave me. Hahahahahaha.

Then we arrived at the second house. Nine pieces of furniture waited for us. Three large dressers were on the third floor (this explains why I do not need a gym membership!). We decided to bring all the pieces to a cement patio and then decide how to load the truck and trailer.

Finally, all the pieces are on the patio and we are discussing loading when a…..well, shall I say….alcohol smelling gentleman comes over. He also had a very large slurpy cup that he kept taking long straw draws!! As I am locking up the house he starts talking with Dan.

Now, you should know Dan is much nicer than me. I kept loading, measuring, working and locking up the house. Every so often this guy would share something with Dan that made me snicker. Dan kept nodding his head and trying to be polite. Finally this guy heads home, we lock up the trailer and climb in the truck.

At which point Dan tells me he should not be driving with the fumes he just inhaled. Hahahahaha. And then tells me how this guy went on and one about what a “damn shame” it was that this lady passed away. Finally after several of those comments Dan asked what happened. The guy said she was 87 years old and one night she went to bed and did not wake up in the morning. Ending with a “damn shame.” At which point Dan told me…..that’s how I want to die. That is not a “damn shame!”

All this for your crap!!!!

I think I laughed all the way home. We had the wrong house, had an interesting neighbor, hauled heavy furniture down three flights of stairs…..and had a great day getting my crap! ;0

Part of what makes this funny is Dan’s dry sense of humor. I’m still laughing and repeating the story…two weeks later. And that is not a “damn shame!” You just cannot make this stuff up!

Haahahahahahaaa

McCoy and his Seventh Street Peeps

img_7845-1

McCoy. That’s really all I need to say. He has his own peeps, and is loved by customers and neighbors alike.

A typical day at the store is customers who come in just because they saw the sign that says “My Puppy, McCoy, is in the store.” Returning customers know his name and fuss with him. A handful of McCoy’s very favorite peeps bring in treats! (In case you want to be on that list please know McCoy is allergic to peanut butter – makes him shed like crazy)

Overtime Sports is next to Vintage Green. Jenny and Jay own the store. Their children, Alex and Rachel, love McCoy. They even have him over for sleepovers 🙂 Seriously 🙂 Jay, who is not a dog appreciator even fusses over McCoy. They keep treats at their store for him. When Jenny walks past my store she says, ” Hello McCoy, ” you need to know that McCoy loves Jenny. So wherever he is in the store he run to the door to see her 🙂

Sometimes Heidi, and her children Ainsley and Hunter, work at Overtime Sports. They are allergic to dogs. But that does not stop them from fussing all over McCoy. They take him for walks, play with him, pet him and invite him over to the store just to play! McCoy has his own playgroup 🙂

This picture is Ainsley and Hunter putting McCoy on the board and pulling him all over the store. Heidi captured the picture for me. How fun is this for McCoy!

Sherry, Owner of Booked for the Seasons, has a Keurig. We head over there a few times a week for coffee and tea. McCoy loves playing over there. He sniffs everything out and tries to get Sherry (and Diane on Wednesdays) to share their snacks with him. McCoy has even made friends with their customers!

Nail Haven is also part of McCoy’s circle. Pixie is their resident puppy. I think she weighs about four pounds!! And is cute as a button. When we put our sign on the corner McCoy runs in to get his nose kisses from Pixie. Sometimes Lib (Pixie’s partner in crime) and I find ourselves out back with the puppies for a potty break 🙂 They are so excited to see each other.

Dave, our mailman, always says hello to McCoy and gives him a pet or two. McCoy loves seeing Dave in the store. And it’s so sweet……as Dave is leaving he says, “have a great day or see you tomorrow” to me…..and then he says Bye McCoy 🙂

We (Dan and I – and our sons) are so blessed to have McCoy. He has made our lives immensely richer. Four-and-a-half years ago I was with my great niece, Abi, at a fall festival. Along the fence were lines of rescue dogs. Abi and I crawled along the cages and fussed and petted over all of them. When we got to McCoy he was in his cage lying down. He came out of his cage, climbed in to my lap, looked at me and I think both our hearts melted. Umm….honey, I’m bringing home a puppy! (Our last dog had passed away about six months before at 14.5 years). So having McCoy claim us filled that empty spot in our hearts.

I’ve come to realize that not only are we richer and happier in our lives with McCoy, he also blesses so many people every day. And I love, love, love that he has his very own special peeps on Seventh Street. <3

Longest Yard Sale 2016

IMG_7245

The Longest Yard Sale! LOVE it!!

There are so many great treasures for sale on 127 during those four days. The first year we stopped when it was dark and started when it was light. This year we realized we could meander, really look at items, chat with people and know the truck would still be full by the end of Friday. It was also REALLY hot this year. By 7 p.m. the first night we were headed for the hotel, a shower and a really cold hotel room.

The people you meet on 127 are there for the fun also. You talk and chat with people that you would never meet. We love meeting people from all over the United States. We love seeing some of the repeat vendors. One of our vendor friends saw us and said, “it’s the Michigan girls” 🙂

The treasures…..Only my truck and so much cash to spend (someday a trailer and more cash would be the goal). One of the problems of being a picker is you find cool treasures and want to keep them. I am strict about one thing in means one thing out. Well, this year I found a treasure to keep (you can see it is hung already and it replaced three floral pictures), I love this old church song board. The Psalther Hymnal numbers for Amazing Grace and Old Rugged Cross are up. More old Hymnal numbers will be going up. Thanks Aric at Rustic Diehls for this <3 If you have never been on the Longest Yard Sale you should put it on your calendar. But save some treasures for me ;0

Why do I Still Have this Box?

IMG_6719

Last summer, while at an estate sale, I found this box. Which I loved. Carried it up the stairs, unloaded and then reloaded my car for it. Gushed over this amazing find. Envsioned it on a farm table filled with all kinds of eye candy. Envisioned it with a plastic base and then filled with ice and beverages. Envisioned it on a picnic table filled with picnic treasures. The list went on and on for this cool piece.

Well, it is a year later and apparently I am the only one who loved it, envisioned it and wanted to keep it 🙂 (And one of my continual struggles is that you cannot keep it all!)…….and here is the question??

Why does this happen? Those of us who are Junkers/Sellers/Vendors/Owners…..we have this happen more than we understand. We found it, fell in love with it, and a year later…..we are wondering why we still have it! Those poor items become the Christmas tree that never got picked. If I could only look at an item and know if I should pass on it or if it would sell right away. The goal is to find something that YOU will love and want to bring home right away.

If anyone knows the answer to why I still have this box (or for that matter all the other treasures I STILL have :)….) WE (on behalf of all my vendor friends) would love to know the secret!

Box: 33×28 and 8 in. tall $30

Five Very Different Estates in One Day

IMG_6503 (5)

Yesterday I went to Indiana Estate Sales, with my friend Debbie (Purple Fairy Flower on Etsy), and every house we went to was so different. Of course, we hit every junk shop we drove by as well 🙂

The first sale was a 15,000 square foot house!! The ceilings were so tall, the windows were huge, everything was “done”……at one point Debbie said we looked like white trash because we were standing in one place with our mouths hanging open (hahahaha)….and we were. Cabinets were $4,200!! The backyard had an amazing patio, dining, pool area. Sigh…..to be rich ;0

The second sale….I’m guessing was a Catholic grandma. Amazing Catholic books and Bibles. And several pictures, words, etc. that were religious. The basement was full of holiday decorations too. It was fun to look through all the decor items there.

The third house seemed like no decorating happened after the late 60s. The twin yellow/gold twin beds-bedroom was a throw back in time. I’m guessing this house to be around 4,000 sq. ft. There were two rooms in the basement filled with floral arranging decor. Great little cocktail/bar area all set up as well 😉

The fourth house………..well, we spent the least amount of time there. It was a smokers’ house, but other “smells” were mixed in as well. It was also a very modern, Asian style. We used numerous wet wipes to try and get the smell off of us. We also put lotion on trying to get rid of it. You know how you feel like the smell is even in your hair :(….Eeeewwwwww….

The fifth, and last house, was where we spent the most time. I’m thinking an elderly man lived there. The upstairs had lots of books and decor just stacked and sitting around everywhere. But the basement was a tool palooza. He also had at least five old washing machines! The round ones on feet……apparently when someone’s broke he took it to fix or for the parts. The work table I bought had to be taken apart (a huge thank you to them for taking it apart for me!!), so we could get it out of the basement. (Definately built IN the basement)……I also bought 35 old tin cans that he painted and labeled for all his tool parts).

After repacking the truck I used the new netting (thanks to my hubby for ordering it!)…..making sure all my treasures stayed in and safe!

The best part??? Spending 12 hours with an amazing friend…..laughter, tears, ranting, sharing, prodding, and loving! Treaures all day long <3

Flea on Seventh

IMG_6286

Sunday, July 31, 2016. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 30 vintage vendors.

So excited (ok…maybe those words are an understatement!)…..to be part of Coast Guard Festival. This idea began last October when I sat down with the festival. Lots of questions, things to be worked through, vendors to be found, details to be worked through…..and finally the stamp of approval. Did I mention excited 🙂

I’m thankful for the people who have come alongside me on this idea. The people who saw my dream and got excited with me. It’s amazing to think one year ago I opened my dream store – and now hosting a Vintage Market!

The market will have space for 30 vendors. As of today 16 of my favorite vendor people have said yes! It’s going to be a fun day working with my friends – and their treasures are amazing.

So now comes the real work. All the details that go in to a hosting an event. Follow along on this adventure with me.

Vintage Green is One Year Old!

IMG_6087

365 days have passed since I signed a one-year lease, since I was unbelievably nervous about the undertaking, since I checked off “owning my own vintage store” on my bucket list! And what a year it has been 🙂

In no particular order…..here’s my year recap:

I hired a CPA! It was either pay me or hire Mark. Smarter to hire Mark 🙂
It takes a LOT of work to bring new treasures in every day.
Being open seven days a week is not healthy to life balance.
Learning my hubby already has a full-time job; and can’t spend all his time fixing treasures!
February is S.L.O.W. – I need to figure out how to remedy that.
I spent 12 months worrying about paying all my bills. But I managed it ($14 to spare in February)
There are LOTS of people who share my favorite color 🙂
McCoy is by far the favorite at my store.
Prices at Vintage Green are fair – and I believe that is appreciated
The Christmas Open House was AMAZING. Thank you to everyone who came!
Every day I spend at least an hour on social media trying to promote the store.
Last summer I sold at 13 shows – this year seven. Balance in my life is more important.
My store neighbors have been amazing. They have been so helpful and encouraging.
This is the first time I have worked in the community I live – I love it.
Thrilled to find how many people love to support local business.
Estate sales rock! You find cool things and see the inside of houses 🙂
So many customers have encouraged me with the store – so thankful.
I love having pop-up shops and classes at the store. A crowd is always fun!
Owning your own business requires second guessing and tweaking every day.
People love antique stores that don’t smell like old treasures 🙂
My painting skills may have not gotten tidier…..they are still messy! Yikes!
I have a whole new appreciation for retail.

Honestly, the list could be WAY longer…………..but here’s my best recap:

I opened a vintage store, I opened my dream…………and I now share it with so many new friends, and my family. I’ve opened my door, but really my heart, to so many new friends. I am BLESSED. Who knew opening a store would bring me so many new friends 🙂 I encourage each of you to follow your dreams and enlarge your friend circle. I love being part of your life and stories – Thank you for letting me in <3 Feeling the love of the past year, my friends <3. Thank you!!

Cabinet Overhaul

IMG_5401 IMG_5351 IMG_5400 IMG_5398 IMG_5399

Three weeks ago I posted a cabinet that I was going to spend the weekend redoing. Shortly after the post Beth contacted me. She came over and checked the cabinet out. And just like that my weekend project became a custom piece! A few days later I went to Beth’s and checked out her colors, style and we looked at paint samples and paper ideas together.

I’m so thrilled with how this cabinet turned out. What I am most thankful for is that Beth loves it. Loved doing this custom piece (thank you Beth!) and please let me know if I can paint/paper a custom piece for you! 🙂

I’m Not A Maker

IMG_5339IMG_5341 IMG_5342 IMG_5350

I’m not a maker. Many of my Vintage Peeps are. They use pallets, boards, all kinds of materials that they repurpose or rebuild in to something amazing. This would be the time for me to confess: I’m not allowed to use my hubby’s tools. The only tool I have is a screw-driver set. Apparently I’ve used tools incorrectly and wrecked them! (sorry honey!).

My passion, and skill set, is to find a piece of furniture that needs “shoring up” and then painting, etc. Fixing something up so it can bring joy to someone again. Usually I purchase the old, sad, brown items and give them a fresh face.

Last month I was at an estate sale, and in the basement was this old storage box. It had the “leans!” When I told the estate guy I was buying it he was surprised. When I brought it home my hubby asked how on earth it was going to be saved. Honestly, this piece was too far gone. But there was something about this piece that I just couldn’t leave it.

And so for the first time in my junkin’ career I bought something to take apart and reuse. The patina on the inside was just too gorgeous to let go. The front door of this cabinet came with great hardware and trim. The shelves were not attached to the cabinet, and they also had a great patina. Every part had potential to be something better.

The inside shelves are now the word boards. The front door is an awesome chalkboard. And the sides and top pieces are coming apart to become word boards as well. The cabinet could not be saved, but the pieces and parts will live on 🙂

In case you are wondering……I did take the cabinet all apart using only my screw-driver set!