Sunday, June 30, 2013

a day in the life of a picker

Probably the most common question we get is "Where do you get all your stuff?!" (and yes, it's usually asked with an exclamation point).  Our answer is generally "...everywhere!" because it's true - we go alllll over the place.  If we didn't have to spend time trying to, ya know, sell stuff, I'm sure we could be out picking 100% of the time.  It's for sure the most fun part of our job.  We get to go to estate sales, antique shops, people's houses... and, well... everywhere!  It's always an adventure.

Jess went on a solo picking adventure a while ago and took some photos to illustrate what a day looks like when we're out sourcing merchandise for the shop.  This was, believe it or not, sort of a lightweight day, but it was a nice day nonetheless. 

The day started with a trip to a thrift store... which wasn't incredibly fruitful... so I didn't bother to take a picture of it.  However, here's a photo of my haul from the exact same store from the week before, just to give you an idea:

After that, it was time for a  visit to my uncle's house...

He lives in a big, old house that belonged to my grandparents for many years.  It was a general store and post office for around 50 years, and still has a ton of things left from that time frame.  He's also a grade A picker, and gets tons of amazing things for us all the time.  He's basically our #1 go to guy.

And he has an incredibly sweet dog named Bandit who makes every trip a lovefest.  That's him with his nose all up in the camera.  Next to that is a few pieces we got... I know the Billy Burro cup is Sanrio and isn't old at all but man it was so cute I just couldn't resist it.

The most amazing find of the day was three HUGE cardboard advertising pieces that had been hidden behind a shelf for WELL over 30 years.  Two of them were actually in French! Swoon.  I'm kind of in love.    You can see all of them, and some other finds on our facebook, if you're curious.

After that, it was a visit to an estate sale.  I had gone to it the weekend before, but had been in touch with the owners of the house when I found out there was a lot leftover... so I went back for seconds!

I ended up leaving with a good little bundle of clothing and a typewriter!  And I got to meet a cute, white faced old Corgi named Pippin... you may notice that I enjoy hanging out with dogs.

From there I headed north to go see some other people, but first... an emergency stop at a tent sale on the side of the road!

That random stop yielded a great 1920s leather suitcase, a few hats, an old photo, and a perpetual calendar pencil cup.  Yeah!

 Then a drive down a long, winding road lead me to my Grandma's house, where she showed me all the things she had found for us in the past week or so while she was out at yard sales.  She's become a picker of ours as well :)

I wish these books or that barrister bookshelf were some of the pieces we got... SO beautiful.  My grandmother has fantastic taste in old things.

From there, I rolled up the road to my parent's house for a relaxing evening, checking out their garden and (surprise) hanging out with their dogs.  

and then... time to head south! 

I got home just as the sun was going down.  My street always looks pretty nice in the early evening...

So... roughly a 10 hour day, over 100 miles and we got (let's see if I can remember this all..) 3 advertising pieces, a few pieces of glassware, 2 hats, a suitcase, a few pieces of clothing, a table from the 1800s, an antique egg scale, a photo, a perpetual calendar, a typewriter, some pottery, aaaaand... I'm sure there's more but I can't recall.  A very sleepy Jess.. we definitely got that.  Phew.  But I would drop everything I'm doing right now to go do it all again.  If you've got a lead for some sweet stuff, let me know because I'm always down for a road trip!



  1. Love this post! (and all the dogs!) Do you set out with a budget? Are there any items that you loved that you've had to walk away from because you couldn't afford them/ didn't need them for the shop?

    1. Oh Ashley, you're the best at asking the right questions! :)

      We usually set out with a budget, but we (especially Jess) have been known to be a bit too flexible with it sometimes. It's really hard to leave behind the perfect piece... so... we very often don't ;)

  2. Wow, you have the best job ever! Thanks for letting us tag along.

    1. aw, thank you! We think it's a pretty swell job.

  3. I love that advertising board, I love vintage advertising.

    1. Thanks! We love vintage advertising too! It' so hard to come by without spending a ton of money, so anytime we can get our grubby little hands on it we're VERY excited :)