Well it has been a week now and I still can’t get over the crowd we had at Junk Market this past Saturday. Tate, I and the entire Junk Market and Eco Chic team are so grateful.
This was the first indoor event for Junk Market. The past two seasons (four events) have been held outdoors in the parking lot of Eco Chic Boutique. But due to wind and rain we made the decision to move it indoors so we wouldn’t get surprised by mother nature. What we didn’t expect was the tsunami of people that would arrive ALL AT THE SAME TIME.
Someone explained it as a tidal wave of cars as they saw them moving towards the fairgrounds. So what happens when you put walls around that many people. (3,000 to be exact). You get a “little” congested. So we apologize to any of you that got caught in that rush but you can rest assured we have already remedied that for the next Junk Market on Sept 19th and 20th.
We’ve extended the event to TWO days and TWO buildings along with outside booths and food and entertainment. Can I get a WhOOP WhoOOp!!
I remember our very first Junk Market in the spring of 2012. We had 31 vendors. Many were friends and customers who put together booths at the last minute to dip their toes into the world of vintage and repurposing.
Eco Chic Boutique was two years old and secrets be told it was NOT doing very well. Tate and I had poured our heart, soul, blood, tears and every last dime into making the store a success. The Junk Market was a last ditch effort to save our store.
We had no clue what we were doing. We just knew that we saw a passion for repurposed furniture and vintage finds from our customers and had heard of other events around the country and thought maybe, just maybe, Fargo would embrace such an event.
It was our Hail Mary to keep our store open. We had sold everything we owned that we could live without to keep our business open and this was our last chance to do that.
Thanks to our wonderful landlord Sam Skaff who allowed us the freedom to use his parking lot and give us the grace to be three months late on rent. He never hounded us or pressured us. He just loved on us and in the end proved to be our biggest champion. We are forever grateful to him and his family for their sacrifice and support.
I remember hearing about lines of people gathering hours before an event and wondered if we would get any line at all waiting to get in. I remember looking out at the lot 45 minutes before gate opening and seeing nobody. I was scared and discouraged thinking nobody would show up and I would disappoint the hard working vendors who setup at 5am that morning in the dark.
I was busy running around for the next 30 minutes when Tate (my husband) tapped me on the shoulder and pointed behind me. I turned to see the crowd that had grown to about 200 people in line. The line had started to wrap around the building. Tears rolled down my cheeks, and I looked at Tate and said “I think we are going to be ok.”.
We were more exhausted that evening than we had ever been in our lives. The work and stress had depleted us. In the midst of our exhaustion we had sold lots of stuff out of our Eco Chic booth. We couldn’t help wonder if the number of customers would match the debt were facing. That night we added up our sales and low and behold the sales from that day….equaled THREE months rent. We were able to pay our landlord Sam that Monday and for the first time in a long time sleep without waking in the middle of the night afraid of what was to come.
The Junk Market that day became more about family and less about business. Yes, it was an event that kept us from bankruptcy and yes it was an event that allowed our vendors to support their families and dreams. We even had a vendor at our fall event who used the money she got from selling painted furniture to help fund her dreams of having a baby. THAT MY FOLKS IS THE POWER OF JUNK MARKET.
But it was also an event about trusting in the Lord and the good people around you. Much like this past Saturday we were caught off guard by the overwhelming support of the people of this community and around. Yet through the help of others and the kindness of the customers we had a blessed and successful day. Of course the weather was perfect the first time we moved indoors but that is only mother nature’s way of reminding us she is in control.
During the first Junk Market I found myself in the bathroom praising the Lord for the blessing he gave us that day. (Seriously it was the only place I could get away from the crowd and get a moment to cry and be grateful) This recent Junk Market I found myself in the bathroom again. This time dealing with plugged toilets and overflowing water. (This is also where my family found me when they arrived at Junk Market) I’m not sure why I always end up in the bathroom. Maybe it is a euphemism for the crap we’ve gone through to get here. Whatever it is I will be grateful and continue to pray and plunge toilets.
So that is a small segment of the story of Junk Market. Why do I share that with you, you ask. Well it is because we have great hopes of creating an event that draws vendors and customers from all over the nation and I think it is important to remember where we started. I also want you to know you are a large part of the success of Junk Market. Because you are. This is your show and without your support we would be crying in the bathroom for other reasons.
So as we look back at last weekends event and we look forward to the first ever two day Junk Market in September. I just want to take a moment and say Thank YOU! Thank You for showing up. Thank You for trusting us. Thank You for buying. Thank You for standing in line. Thank You for your patience. Thank You for being kind to our vendors and our team. But most of all Thank You for supporting our little Hail Mary event these past three years. We promise. The best is yet to come.
So let’s get on to the good stuff. Here are some photos from Junk Market Spring Edition 2014 taken by the beautiful Sarah Hardie.
There was plenty of painted furniture to be found.
Katie Stromland always brings the color to the party.
Something about yellow and turquoise that gets my heart pounding.
YOU were so patient and kind. We love you for standing in line.
Here is Bryan one of our gate entrance Junk Hunks. I’m not sure what Scott and Tate were doing at this time. We will have to see if we can find photos of them at work. We heard the three had a pretty good time out at the gate meeting the customers. And by that we mean they keep the comedy and smiles flowing.
Me, Laura and the infamous Ethan greeting customers at the front desk.
I’m not sure our Chalk Paint® expert Michelle got a bathroom break the entire day. She talked nonstop about Eco Chic and the Fabulous Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan sold in the Eco Chic booth.
If you like the Godzilla arches out front and the Junk Market booth you can thank Carrie and her husband Scott for their design. They surprised me with it the day before the event and I was blown away.
Ethan…the cool kid of Junk Market.
Rust makes me happy.
Carrie is going to be mad, her cafe lights weren’t lit in this photo. She might have a slight addiction to cafe lights.
This was the first season you could get Junk Market apparel.
Oh the Godzilla arches as we affectionately called them. They will be a staple of Junk Markets for years to come. Scott and Carrie put many hours of hard work into them.
The first 75 people to buy Early Bird tickets received a free tote. (Early Bird Tickets for Sept event go on sale June 1st at www.beingeochic.com)
I love color.
I love color.
I love..ok. You get it.
Oh Look. The Cafe lights are on!! There must be a party at the Eco Chic booth.
She smiled like this from 6am until 6pm. She is nice like that. Thank You Laura.
Buttons make me weak in the knees.
OMG! Color! I think I might cry. (In the bathroom)
The sun was coming up. The Early Birds were about to get the worm. And by worms we mean donuts!!
Rustic & Color!! Gosh I love this.
My two favorite colors. Florence and Yellow.
Hi Donovan! Where is you good looking sidekick Hidie?
CoWS! My second love after goats.
So Simple. So Elegant.
Chairs and Chairs.
These were a huge hit as Mother’s Day gifts. Next time we will need to make more.
Let’s sit and take a moment to appreciate all the color, laughter and joy that came out of Junk Market Spring 2014. Don’t worry there are more photos to come. We barely scratched the surface. We want to thank our AMAZING VENDORS! Without you this event would not be possible. We will feature more photos in upcoming blogs so you can see even more of the incredible talent that filled Junk Market.
Until then I will be off crying in a bathroom.
Just Kidding, I’m going to get another up of coffee.
So in Love with Junk Market,