The first Rust & Found buying trip of the year is now in the books and it was also a new one for me! I grabbed my sister as a shopping and travel buddy and we headed to Atlanta for my first adventure into Americas Mart. I've always loved adding in some "new" items to the shop to mix in with all the vintage and found decor. It's a great way to also show our customers how you can have different decor styles all in one home and also lets us add in items we love but can't always find when we are out junking.
In addition to overwhelming amounts of furniture, lighting and decor (3 buildings- 20 floors each!) we saw loads of the things we always love... vintage glass and salvage, also natural details like geodes, antlers, shells and more.
I have to admit, the amount of pain my feet were in from covering each of those 20 floors dulled much of my excitement by day two. Man, is that a lot of time on your feet, but we pressed on... in search of the showrooms that offered wine, candy and food! Those were extra special and gave nice sugar boosts. A bowl filled with Hershey kisses is often all you need!
Hot Trends We Love!
Industrial is sticking around folks! What's new is learning how to mix it in with your current decor style. Little touches here and there using fun decor pieces can ease you into it. Want to go bigger? We saw loads of lighting (my fave), and furniture pieces like seating or storage that will give some industrial impact.
Boho chic! You can't go wrong with a little bohemian to soften up a space. Go as small as a shaggy rug or macrame wall hanging. Go further with loads of pillows, soft tufted velvet and rich textures added to the mix.
Stripped down and bare wood. This one I've been doing for a few years and it makes me happy to know I can go a little further with it. I love the warmth you get when you strip off an old finish but leave some of that color or stain in the grooves and details. It keeps the previously loved look. We aren't talking about "refinishing" here. This isn't your mom's stripping and re-staining with a nice gloss coat. This is an imperfect look that shows the warm character and imperfections of the wood.
Metallic, and especially gold tones. Personally, I prefer this touch only in moderation because it's easy to go overboard. But simple touches like a special focal light or chandelier, a collection of gold or copper items on your coffee table or mixed in on your bookcase. Maybe a few pieces mixed in with your vintage mantel display.
The amount of inspiration that came home in my head is mind boggling. I'm actually wishing I'd taken notes here and there when something in a showroom sparked an immediate idea. Now that I'm home those ideas are all jumbled and faded. Middle-age stinks! A special thank you has to go out to my sister Tracey, who kept me focused and made it even more fun.
The best part now will be waiting for the boxes to start hitting the doorstep! The shop's spring re-opening event is going to be a fun one. Watch the blog and facebook for those dates to be posted soon!
Ok, ok...not with Chip & Joanna themselves, but a day with their vision! Did we love it or were we disappointed?
Let's back up to last January. We get the dates for our daughters graduation from Air Force, held in San Antonio, and I begin to think maybe we could do a little junking in the area so I grabbed a map. I've no idea of what is where in Texas, and then I saw it. Waco is only 2.5 hours away! What?? Well that was a no brainer. Our trip was immediately extended to allow for a road trip.
Jump back to this week. We hit Waco Monday morning and what do I see before me but NO LINE! The place was packed but we lucked out and didn't catch the hour wait to get in that we had read so much about. Whew! Lucked out, but we later find out why.
Once in the door the hardest part was figuring out where to start! I didn't want to miss a thing!
I'd been well informed and knew that we weren't going to grab any "Joanna Finds" here. No "one of a kind" pieces from her junking trips. Those items were pretty much limited to the displays pieces. Amazing industrial tables and unique buffets. And not for sale. The days of shopping at Magnolia for "unique finds" were over when they moved from the small original store. This store was for the masses. 25,000 shoppers a week to be exact!
What I was excited about was to see the process, feel the vibe and to hang out with my bestie! Sadly she wasn't here. Apparently she has other work to do like design houses, open a bakery, film a TV show. So I hung out with Chris instead. My other bestie!
Let me tell you about the part that amazed and impressed me. The vignettes and displays never empty, always look perfectly staged, and all while hundreds of people are inside with us snatching things up! How?? It took me a few minutes to notice, but each area has IT'S OWN PERSON! That's right! A person that perfectly positioned those wooden spoons after I played around with them. And when I selected a ceramic colander from this display... one appeared in it's place within seconds!! These displays were never empty or picked over, never out of place, and that was just mind blowing considering the amount of people inside that were purchasing or picking things up. But there's more....
....after stepping down into this beautiful larger room, we noticed an enormous space on the left side that was open for viewing, but "employees Only". This was the supply room for all those displays out front! There were busy young people walking in and out with lists and carts, pulling items that needed refilled in the shopping area so that it looked perfect!
How smart! We were in awe of the process. Even Target doesn't have full perfect displays at all times, and I doubt my Target has 25,000 people a week shuffling through.
Where we were both the most impressed was when we exited the lower level into the "community park" area. This place was booming with kids playing ball, moms pushing babies in swings, community vegetable gardens being tended, and plenty other activities that seemed to be local people and not necessarily shoppers. I'm sure this was Chip and Joanna's plan all along. A place to BE.
Food trucks, plenty of picnic tables and ice cold bottled Coke. We devoured several amazing crepes and enjoyed some people watching.
There were only a couple of disappointments that day.
1. I had a list of all the antique and vintage shops where Joanna finds some cool things and that had been recommended to me by several people. But why one earth are they closed on Mondays?! Most local stores were, and this is the reason I feel we didn't have a long line to wait to get in. It's not the best day to visit Magnolia Market if you have options. We didn't. Our flight home was Tuesday so I knew going in we wouldn't get to do a ton of shopping. We did find some fun picking back in San Antonio though.
2. Sorry Clint, but Clint Harp Studio was the other disappointment. After seeing all the "made for the masses" items at Magnolia I was excited to visit Clint's studio and grab a small made by hand item. Maybe a little cutting board or a turned candlestick. Something to take home that was made by someone we love to watch.
We saw Clint and a few other guys working out back, but as we entered the shop I was so let down. It was more mass produced home decor. What? Why? Why is Clint selling little notebooks, pillows and ceramic bowls? Nothing he made. I wouldn't have minded if the shop had been half the size but only carried some small handmade items. At least it would have had something to do with wood working. We left here empty handed and after only a few minutes. I just didn't get it. But we still love you Clint.
Was the 5 hour round trip drive to Waco worth it? Absolutely! Honestly, I bought nothing but a ball cap and a T-shirt. There wasn't anything in Magnolia that I can't purchase from my wholesalers. But it was the "experience" we went for. Inspiration, motivation, a little obsession and to stalk... I mean visit my our best friends, Chip & Joanna. Too bad they had other plans and couldn't hang out with us! :)
You have been on the road junking for 3 days. Trailer space is getting limited. Money is getting lower. How do you decide which sales to stop at and what to buy?
For me, I stick to the same rule of thumb all week and I think it would work for you too. Don't waste time stopping where it's likely you'll not find a thing! As we drive we slow down at the smaller sales where it's a family sale or a small group sale, and if I spot toys, little tykes or tables of clothes we hit the gas and keep right on rolling. The odds of that stop having enough items to make it worth your time are small. There are over 600 miles of shopping on this trip, so make it count! When I spot a sale at an old barn, or a large field venue full of dozens of dealers we hit the brakes. They likely
have rusty junk, odd items or something I didn't know I even needed. I do get
pickier as space gets tighter, but where there is a will there is
a way to make it fit!
If you are searching for baby items etc, then just do the reverse! Whatever you are hunting for, the Worlds Longest Yard Sale will have it.
Another lesson learned...
When you are shopping in 95+ degree heat you open all your trailer vents and windows so as to not die of a heat stroke while loading. Great plan! Until you drive into a huge storm and it takes another 20 minutes to remember those open roof vents and windows! ... someone has to get out there, and it's not going to be me! Haha
Starting our road trip four days before the Worlds Longest Yard Sale technically starts means less traffic and first pick... YAY!
But it also means about 50% of the venues aren't set up just yet. Each day will get busier, but today was not much about buying. We drove the sale through part of Ohio and most of Kentucky and hit a few of our favorite venues that we knew would already be setting up, but mostly we sweat! Clear skies and 94 degrees!
We weren't even 2 miles out of Ohio when we spotted a vintage car show. It was great timing to grab lunch and make hubby happy. I spotted the perfect truck in the perfect color, if only I had LOTS of money!
We did manage to find some great stops today, and map out more for out trip back home later this week.
This is the type of thing you watch for while cruising route 127. Lots of farmers rent out their fields for the larger venues. You see a group of tents ahead and slam on the brakes! Each day this week the traffic will get heavier with shoppers, so long
before you see the field you see the line of cars pulled off the road,
and THATS when you hit the brakes!
Leaving earlier tomorrow to beat some of the heat and fill the trailer
a bit more. Wish us luck!
Who Am I?
I've tried it all...hair stylist/faux painter/stay at home mom/jewelry artist/late in life college student/retail shop owner/design consultant/home stager. Through it all I've loved doing home renovations, DIY and thrifting.