Today I’m sharing my amazing trip to the Funky Junk Sisters’ Great Junk Hunt in Puyallup, WA. I’ve followed the Sisters online for a while now and I adore their stuff, so I was super excited to find out we would be in the area during the show. I bought two tickets for the early buying event the night before the actual show so we’d have first dibs on the best stuff and I can say it was totally worth the price. I arrived early to pick up my tickets at will call and was directed into the building where the show was being held to see row upon row of this. I swear I heard heavenly music as I entered! Let’s just say I walked very slowly while trying to find the person who had the tickets. I did restrain myself to just looking from afar rather than actually shopping and bothering vendors as they were putting the finishing touches on their booths. Although I was drooling over all the possibilities, I wanted to be respectful of the vendors who didn’t expect shoppers for another hour. But I won’t lie – getting to look at everything without fighting crowds was absolutely wonderful.
The hubs joined me after parking the car and we wandered row to row pointing out things to each other. Eventually we did have to head outside and get in line for the doors to officially open, but thanks to our unexpected preview we had a game plan of which booths to hit first. And we had the perfect way to carry them thanks to the little red wagon we borrowed from my mother-in-law!
Once the doors opened, both the hubs and I bee-lined to different booths and scored the items we’d both liked then met at a third booth where the hubs had spotted a cool metal jug. With our top three finds purchased and in the wagon we started going booth to booth to look in detail. I was pleased to realize that although it was crowded, everyone was so respectful of each other. No one rushed the doors or tried to elbow out others. And I constantly heard, “Excuse me, I want to step past you to look at something.” But it really sank in when the sound of something falling and breaking caused the entire crowd to react in unison with a distressed “oooohhhh!” I also enjoyed spotting a few pieces I already had up for sale, like this yellow jug I spotted hiding under a chair. It’s twin lives in my kitchen cabinet top décor!
I won’t lie, I did have a few favorite booths. B’Aase Repurposed was one of them. They pulled me in with those insanely adorable planters out front and every time I went by I seemed to find something new to check out. I’m kinda wishing I’d bought that first light fixture hanging in the back on the left because it would have been a great addition to the laundry room’s new vintage vibe!
I wanted this little metal one on the tracks for my garden sooooo bad, but it was super heavy which means it would take an act of Congress to get it back home to Alaska so I had to pass. I later saw it being carried off to someone’s car, so I’m not the only one who loved it.
Across the way from this booth was Built From Scrap, who created this fantastic cart table that was previewed on the event’s Facebook page. Even the hubs commented how cool it was! Although I didn’t get a picture of their booth (but you can see it on their page here) I did buy an amazing rusty pulley from them for and chatted with the owners Joe and Tonya. Apparently I made an impression when I mentioned that I was going to use it as garden art in Alaska because Joe later sought me out in the crowd to ask if I’d be interested in a pulley wheel on a stand that he had out in his truck. He even offered to bring it in for us to check out! At just $10 I couldn’t pass it up so it got added to the wagon too.
The row up from them was Whimsical Details, who had the most ADORABLE booth. I love every single thing about it! Her style is so on par with mine that it felt like several ideas I’ve had suddenly sprang to life as I browsed her displays. Don’t be surprised if you see some DIY projects in the near future that have been inspired by her!
I scored some fantastic metal numbers for the gallery wall at Our Country Homestead’s booth. Although they had a large selection of letters to pick from I didn’t see any numbers, so I asked if they had any. It just so happened that they had a small batch tucked away that they let me look through! After testing several groupings I ended up with a 9, 0 and 7 to symbolize Alaska’s area code for just $36!
Remember the little piggy pot I shared in my last post? I got it from the Cat’s Crate booth, which had lots of other great stuff. I loved their basic, rustic furniture paired with great antiques. I didn’t even notice the moose horseshoe rack in the back until I was editing the pictures back home!
The Weathered Home had a great set up and Serendipity Design – Flea Chic’s booth included a real retro trailer! I also enjoyed browsing a joint booth run by B Designs Home Décor and EMJ Design who had a simple classic style with a nice punch of color.
All that amazing stuff had me on a serious junky rust high and smiling like a fool! By the time we’d hit all of the downstairs booths the wagon was pretty full, so the hubs had to make a trip out to the car to unload it while I headed upstairs. Luckily for him, I didn’t need it upstairs since I only bought a few small items at those booths.
After almost 2 hours of shopping here, the final haul all loaded up in the car. Notice that tall trellis in the middle? That was a surprise. I saw it and loved it but thought it would be too difficult to get back to Alaska so I passed over it, but the hubs secretly went back and bought it while I was at another booth! Yeah, he won some serious brownie points on that one! I spent a good portion of the ride home just looking back at everything grinning like the Grinch.
The entire experience was wonderful and I’ll do it again every chance I get! Now that I’ve got one big show under my belt I thought I’d share my top 10 tips for junk hunting:
- Carry cash – Although many vendors will accept credit cards these days, cash is still king.
- Bring a cart or wagon – This was the best advice I heard before attending the show. Make sure it has a long handle and is easy to maneuver if possible.
- Be ready to measure – Have a tape measure if you’re looking for pieces to fit a specific spot
- Talk to the vendors – Even if they don’t have exactly what you’re looking for, they might have it back at their shop or know another vendor who does.
- Get there early for the best selection – Don’t be the pesky early bird who hassles vendors while they are still setting up, but the best pieces usually sell first, so be there to buy them first.
- Have a plan – When shows are large and have multiple vendors navigate the booths in a particular pattern so you don’t miss any.
- Grab a map – Not only is a good resource after the show to contact vendors you want to follow, but it’s an easy way to note where you purchase large items that need to be picked up when you leave or booths that you want to revisit for particular items or sales.
- Wear comfortable shoes – This is a no-brainer. Wandering booth to booth should be fun, not painful.
- Be willing to negotiate – Most vendors are open to offers, especially if you’re buying multiple items or a larger piece.
- If you love it, buy it – The majority of items at these shows are unique and one-of-a-kind so if you can’t live without it buy it before someone else does.
I hope that helps during your next junkin’ trip. If you have other tips to share, please leave a comment below. I’ll do a post on how I’m using these finds around the house soon, so stay tuned!
Linked to The Scoop @ Cedar Hill Farmhouse, The Everyday Home, Confessions of a Plate Addict, and White Lace Cottage. Also linked to Knick of Time’s Vintage Inspiration Party #199.