Junk by Jenny lives by Merriam-Webster’s definition of junk with the notion of “maybe used again.” My unending devotion of bringing new life to every piece of junk I encounter has transformed a hobby into my business, Junk by Jenny. It is my hope this site will inspire you to revive the junk in your life. I look forward to sharing in the relics of the past with you, one piece of junk..
A divine intervention, by definition “is the interference of a deity in human life, popularly extended to any miraculous-seeming turn of events.” (dictionary.com). Couple this with a song that plays during the most opportune times, has yieldied clear answers for this weary soul.
In June, I announced I would be opening an occasional shop in downtown Morris. Today, I announce something drastically different. I am putting my daydream of being a shopkeeper on hold, along with my vendorship at the many shows I participate in throughout the year. Honestly, it feels remarkable. With a statement that is hard to verbalize, I am saying it anyway: “I am proud of me.”
I truly will never quit my daydream. Someday, when there is more time; a Junk By Jenny bricks and mortar location will exist. Until then, I don’t want to ever regret missing time with my kiddos, with Junk Hunk, my family, and friends. I want to devote the time they deserve to the high school students I teach in my business classroom as well.
I credit the quiet moment in late August at Itasca State Park as an awaking. Actually, the moment was far from quiet. Our kiddos were biking amidst our campsite as other camp go’ers strolled by. Everyone had their campfires bustling and crackling. Laughter and muffled conversations could be heard with the cackle of loons in the background. Even with all of the oh-too-common campground sounds, the moment was still, almost as if I had hit pause. The sun seemed to hang still, as the evening light flooded the northern Minnesota landscape. My to-do lists, plans for store remodeling, and filling my trailer for my next upcoming show faded. This divine intervention was my cue.
When I came to that realization, of course I spent the coming days and weeks questioning my decision. Call it karma or divine swoops, but in most instances, Florida Georgia Line would make their way to my radio or Pandora station. Although their SIMPLE song is about a love story, so much of it relates to my decision to re-shift my focus as a picker/junker.
Ain’t no need to complicate it, we both know that’s overrated
We’ve been there, it’s safe to say it ain’t our style.
It’s just that simple, S-I-M-P-L-E
Simple as can be. | Florida Georgia Line
Florida Georgia Line - Simple - YouTube
Now, you should also know a true junker can never really turn it off completely. I will still be thrifting, picking, dumpster diving, and on the constant search of the next cool piece of junk. I will continue to host my annual vintage sale at our home in Mid-October, aligning with our fall break from school. I also am THRILLED to have a presence at Crooked Hinges, a new occasional shop opening in St. Joseph, Minnesota, also in mid-October as one of their consignors. Stay tuned for more information on both as that time gets closer.
My wish for you is to find SIMPLE in your life and hit pause from time to time. You will never regret choosing you and those closest to you.
….a very exciting secret! Drum roll please. Shout it from the roof tops. Junk By Jenny is opening a store. I’m excited beyond belief that I am really taking the leap of faith. Just after I officially made the decision, this quote popped up on my news feed.
It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.
Two roadblocks (well, seemingly road blocks) always mentally stood in my way as I dreamed about opening a store and becoming a shopkeeper.
I already have a full-time job. How could I ever run a store and have a full-time job? I teach business classes to high school students. I teach graphic design, finance, digital media, entrepreneurship, marketing, pricing, basics about business, and college-level accounting. DUH! These are the very skills a small business owner needs and utilizes. My store will benefit from me having this established skill set and it will only enhance my business classroom.
We are raising a family. Won’t starting a store will take away from my family time? First of all, my kiddos will have a front row seat to see their mom chase her dreams and build work ethic right along side me. And second, Claire’s go-to play activity is “playing store.” In fact, when we toured my bricks and mortar location, her face lit up when she realized what was happening. She said, “Mom, are WE starting a store?” Her questioning of “WE” sealed the deal for me.
So, with those 2 roadblocks gone, I proceeded to take action on turning my day dream into a reality. I spent the month of May thinking, praying, and talking about this. I tend to read my horoscope after the day is done and most often it pointed me to taking this leap of faith. “WE” will spend the summer doing all of the obvious summer things like Little League, swimming, camping, road trips, and shenanigans. “WE” will also spend time in our store to prepare the retail space. It is my goal to open in early fall.
So, enough about the story, right? What are the juicy details?
I will be joining Just uS and ReMax Prairie Home Realty on main street in downtown Morris, Minnesota. When I toured the building, the basement space spoke to me. Although they were hesitant to bring down there, I knew instantly this was the future home of Junk By Jenny. The large space, old concrete floors, and “off the beaten” path feel were just what I was looking for. Since I won’t be open traditional retail hours, I will be out of the way and brewing up goodness in the basement instead.
As of now, I hope to be open 1 afternoon/evening per week and 1 weekend per month. I will still take Junk By Jenny on the road to Junk Bonanza, Market on the Farm and Market Under Glass. I hope to fall in love with the Pinners Conference in June, to make that an annual event as well. I am uncertain about my annual fall sale at my house. However, we can just throw a bang-out party at the store instead. We’ll see what the fall brings.
In addition to my retail space, I will utilize the large square footage for my personal workshop and storage. Finally, Junk By Jenny will be under one roof; instead of being scattered throughout two counties, in my garage, shed, trailer, and in my ‘burb. Needless to say, Junk Hunk it THRILLED about having a garage back.
I still have another trick up my sleeve that is oh-so exciting. In addition to my retail hours, I also will teach a monthly workshop and be available for private parties. Talk about the perfect collision of being a teacher and a junker. I will be using the summer to plan my workshop schedule and will have that available at that grand opening.
Speaking of a grand opening, who doesn’t love a good party? Expect one when it’s time to open. I image there will be awesome give-aways, deals, and yummy goodies.
Finally, it is important to mention my shop will be chuck of full of Junk By Jenny goodness, but I will sell wares from some of my other junker pals. Expect to find:
The famous vintage flannels and hats AND pillows from dear junker friend Wendy from Winique Antiques
Amazing signs made from vintage fabric and molding from another junker pal Melissa at Hello Sweet Melissa
More cool signs and upcycled pieces from local lovely lady Nicole of Rustic Charm
And…more I visit with throughout the summer.
I will also sell a vintage-inspired candle line.
I am most excited about being a paint retailer. My application has been approved and will begin training with Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint. This ancient form of painting is amazing in every way. I cannot wait to share it’s amazingness with all of you.
So, if you see me this summer with an extra bounce in my step, you now know why. Or, if I look dog tired, you’ll also know why. Cheers to the amazing things that are to come. As Hugh Laurie said, ” Now is as good a time as any.”
What’s not to love about Pinterest? If you are anything like me (or the other millions of users), you can easily get lost in the scrolling, only to have found an hour has passed. Much like Google or YouTube, Pinterest serves as a one-stop shop for just about anything. You’ve likely created both Pinterest successes and and perhaps a few Pinterest failures.
Imagine this. Take the online experience of everything Pinterest and bring it to life, in a delightful face-to-face, touch & feel event. This oh-so “pinteresting” idea is coming to Minnesota in June, formally known as the “Pinner’s Conference.” I was asked to join in on the fun as an exhibitor and teacher. So, Junk By Jenny is hitting the road again to share my love of everything rusty, crusty, and vintage.
There are oodles of amazing presenters and exhibitors, spanning wide variety of topics…..just like Pinterest! You’ll find my class in the Lifestyle class category. I look forward to teaching my audience about using vintage vessels as a creative way to plant fresh greens, inside and out. My exhibit booth will be filled with my usual vintage goodness, along with seasonal plants and flowers. Visitors will also have the opportunity to plant their own fresh greens in a vintage vessel. What fun, eh?
You can purchase your tickets on the Pinners Conference website. Lucky for you, I am offering a promo code to receive 10% off. Use JUNK as the code to take part in the discounted tickets.
The last time I shared my junking shenanigans, it was October when I re-capped my annual fall sale. Six months have passed, and I decided to dust of the keyboard. So, without further ado, I welcome you back to www.junkbyjenny.com.
You might find yourself asking, “Why the long blogging break, Jenny?” It is safe to assume I have either been packing or unpacking boxes for these past months. We sold our turn-of-the century classic old home to the most lovely buyer. People who know me best probably couldn’t believe the gal who loves everything old was willing to leave a 1898 home. However, we were beyond excited for what awaited in the next chapter of life. With our life packed in a 50-foot trailer, we made the big trek across town. We love everything about our new home. Even more so, we are head-over-heals about our neighborhood, especially whom we share it with. I’m (hesitantly) proud to say I only have half a garage stall and a spare bedroom left of boxes to unpack. Throw in some painting, decorating, and re-vamping; needless to say, I have busy. So there is the answer to the previously posed question.
Boxes, boxes, and more boxes; of which have consumed my life since November leaves me asking, “Why do we need all of this stuff.” While some of the stuff is easier to part with others, I still have wrestled with deciding on what to keep, throw, or donate. Several times during the moving process, my personal life and junker/picker life collided, bringing about a more conscientious awareness of the people I meet when picking. As the saying goes, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” This oh-so familiar phrase is sort of my motto as a picker. Until recently, I always looked at picking as a way for other’s to peddle their junk as a new-found treasure for myself to breathe new life into.
What happens, however, when one man’s junk is truly his treasure? During a recent pick, this very idea literally stopped me in my tracks, changing my life forever as a picker and even in my personal life.
A few weeks back, I received a call from a woman who was, with the help of her siblings, preparing to move her father from their forever home and were faced with the task of cleaning out decades of stuff. After I was assured all of the true keepsakes were divided among family members and her dad was a peace with the move, I arranged for some picking fun. The woman was as kind as they come. Her 90+ year old father was charming and full of stories. It was obvious they were at the end stages of the move and had work meticulously to prepare for my arrival. It was almost as the remaing “goods” were staged for my liking. The goods ranged from unique furniture and mid-century modern pieces, delicate vintage fabrics, hats, and bow ties, among many other treasures. I purchased my typical “full to the brim” suburban load. As Claire, the kind woman, and I built a pile in the entry, lovely Warren joined us to help load the treasures.
As the pieces left the house, the daughter was all smiles knowing the her hard work to clear up space in the house was becoming a reality. However, for the enduring elderly man, he saw a treasures leaving; treasures tied to decades of good times. He paused as he brought the beautiful red suitcases to the suburban, reluctantly handing them to me. He begin a short trip down memory lane, telling tales of the travels as a salesmen or outings with his wife. My heart sank, knowing this was a piece of his past now in my hands. Next was the beautifully weaved picnic basket. Like the suitcases, Warren recalled the many memories tied to the basket. At this point, I held back tears. How could I be the one to take this man’s treasures? As I stood with Warren, his daughter uttered words that I will forever cherish and remember. “Dad, it’s all just stuff. You get to keep the memories.”
You get to keep the memories. You do. As I pulled into my garage that afternoon, partially full of boxes, I realized with a clear mind, it’s really all just stuff. When I part with it, in whatever capacity, I will get to keep the memories. Just the same, Warren’s beautiful suitcases and picnic baskets are packed in my trailer, ready to go to Junk Bonanza. I will share with the buyer’s Warren’s story, his treasures, and his memories. I will remember that one’s man junk might be his treasure. Accumulated treasures become stuff. And in the words of Warren’s daughter, “Dad, it’s all just stuff. You get to keep the memories.”