OpendoorStudio branches out to include some Handmades

Fresh from the Junk Bonanza in Shakopee Minnesota,
 I decided to do a few upcycled and repurposed pieces.
I have been missing that a bit lately!

 I have added them to my OpendoorStudio shop on Etsy!
 I hope you will stop by to take a peek!



Junk Bonanza 2012 Thanks ETSY ... The Back Story

It all began last Winter.  After my Vintage Etsy Society Street Team won the  Etsy Team Sprirt Award and Cheyne from Etsy had been in touch with me, I saw that several admin were doing an event in Chicago at the West Elm on the north side.   I was planning to attend, I had never been to West Elm before ( a wonderful home decor shop...like Etsy live!)  They were participating in a handmade event.  Several handmade shop owners were showing their things and the Chicago Style Crafters team would be leading an ornament making seminar.   Three days before the event I received a call from Cheyne asking me to help at the location.   Seems the Team leader of the CSC team went in to premature labor.  Etsy had sent her all of the materials she needed for the event.   She would NOT be able to attend so I stepped in to help.  I asked my teammates to join me.  At the last minute, Niki from Bombshellshocked.etsy.com and my daughter Aubrey from Aubreyes.etsy.com decided to step in to help as well.

We coordinated where to pick up the materials, figured there would be several boxes that would fit in to my little yellow VW bug convertible... easily.  Upon our arrival we found that the boxes were huge and we would have to put the top down on that snowy December evening...in order to cart the boxes to the event.  We grabbed them, parked out in front of the building and hurried inside, just minutes before the event began.
West Elm... Aubrey, my daughter, helping on the left in the rust shirt with long dark hair.
Inside, awaiting our arrival, was Kimm from Etsy, and her assistant Sarah.
Kimm, Left... Niki and Sarah from Etsy
Niki... helping the little folk at West Elm, Chicago
Kimm is in the Teams department at Etsy and Sarah... Human Resources both based in Brooklyn.   After quick introductions, we jumped right in and instructed the crowds as to how to create their own ornament.  Oh So Crafty!

After much discussion and a great time by all, Niki suggested we go out for something to eat and grab a beer at  Goose Island, a local restaurant and brewery just across the parking lot from West Elm.  We did.  Several others joined us from Etsy as the One of a Kind show was going on in town as well.
Goose Island with friends.
 We had a great time! When we left   that night, we suggested they be sure to keep in touch and call us when they came  to Chicago in the future.

January 2012... I get a phone call from Kimm asking if I would like to join both she and Morgan for dinner.  They wanted to pick my brain about being a team captain, but Kimm had other ideas up her sleeve.
Kimm, Me and Morgan
VestiesTeam members at the Vecco Studio Event in Chicago
At dinner that night, in January, in addition to wonderful conversation... she asked if my team would be interested in representing Etsy at the Junk Bonanza in September.  I was flattered of course, but when I found out the dates were the same as my daughter's birthday... I turned down the offer, as a matter of fact, it was brought up several more times and I had turned it down each time.

In March, I received a call from Kimm... She had said that they would LOVE us to represent them at the Junk Bonanza and at that time, I figured it was not about ME anymore... but about the opportunities for my team!  I could not say NO.  Cheyne and Kimm had me on a joint phone call... and I accepted.  Knowing it would be a huge undertaking.  Thinking about building the display, curating using everyones items, many folks never having met before.  I had an opportunity in 2011 to head to the Junk Bonanza and I was glad for that.  I knew what we needed to do to make it a success.  I had to think about schedules, items, how would we get paid, what would we wear, how would we travel there, rooming situations and more.

I developed a marketing team within the VestiesTeam group, we made it public that if you would like to pay
Flea Market Style hit the newsstands... our AD was in it! Yippie!
for an ad in the Flea Market Style Magazine, you would be part of the marketing team.  We had to develop the ad at the same time we were putting together the Bonanza plans.   Thanks to Scott from TheCoachmansTrunk on Etsy who put the ad together for us with the original graphics by our own team mate Kiteless.etsy.com
Click on the ad to take you to the marketing team shops! Or...search" TheBestVintage" on Etsy and use Junkbonanza15 coupon code!
 It was a huge task.  All the while, Kimm was in contact with me and I was assuring her that I would NOT let her down.  I had experienced doing vintage shows many times in the past. I'd worked in display for several wedding companies in the past as well as working at a little shop that was nationally recognized for its display.  I was not a stranger to repurposing things and creating new things out of them.   The partnership between Etsy and the Junk Bonanza seemed taylor made for our team... as one of our own is an editor for the Flea Market Style blog. ( another story and by happenstance!)

It was a natural fit for our team!

Days came and went and the Bonanza came ever closer.
Anita and Thom at Brimfield a fav shopping spot in Andersonville, Chicago

Me at Brimfield in Chicago
 The week before, the VestiesTeam here in Chicago had a get together.  So much fun! Anita from Rollinghillsvintage.etsy.com , another team leader came in to town... so my days just prior to the bonanza were filled with spending time with team mates!  While in Chicago, the Monday before, I had the pleasure of meeting my JB "roommate" Thom from Circa810.etsy.com .  What a delight.  He has an eye for curation and sells the most awesome retro and mid century things.  His items are so clean and beautifully done.   We spent time in and out of some great little shops in Andersonville, just prior to our heading up north to Minnesota.  Thursday night the Vintage Etsy Society Street team local Chicago members gathered to talk shop! Team member Delia, even traveled from Southern California to join us!

Saturday arrived and I had to work.   I would not get out of work until late that day and then had Sunday to pull things together.  I had to plan what the set would look like and I had been toiling over that all Summer.  Not exactly sure how it would all come together as several of the large pieces were still sitting in a friends green house an hour away.  Timing would have it, they were selling their business and would not need the pieces for their orchid growing.  When I saw the wire "fencing" pieces, I knew they would be perfect.  The logistics of getting them home and packed were ever looming on my mind.

It was Sunday and I spent all day organizing my items... again, never having seen anyone's items in person... not knowing how the 6 personalities would come together.   Sunday night... Niki came out from Chicago after doing the Renegade show.  I had her things and put them aside to pack in the trailer.  One team members things down... 3 more to go!

Monday, first thing in the morning... I headed, with my husband, to pick up the 6x12 trailer.  I would need to fit items from 4 people inside, we were going for an "industrial meets Mad Men" theme and I wasn't sure how that would go over in the "chippy shabby" world of the Junk Bonanza.  I wanted everyone to have success selling their finds.  Keeping my fingers crossed that it would happen.
My Husband and I arrived with an empty truck to pick up the trailer in Addison Il.  then on to Dundee to pick up the fencing pieces.  It was a good thing we did what we did... the truck was empty.  My original plan was to pick up the trailer, bring it home to fill it... and then head north to pick up the fencing... as it stood... the fencing pieces would barely (by 1/2 inch) fit diagonally in the trailer.  I had to "punt ", knowing now I would have to head home and remove the cap from the back of the truck to fill it with things ( including the fencing) to bring north for the 8 hour drive.
Move over Sanford & Son!
When we arrived home, we recruited the family to help remove the cap and put the items that were metal and wood, in to the back of the pick up truck... literally, it looked like a junkers trunk.  The ones who go around collecting metal.  My family helped fill my portion of the trailer.  My husband tied the metal in the truck bed down in the dark... Monday night... and I headed over to Susan's ( sugarcookielady.etsy.com ) to pick up some things she would be unable to fit in her own vehicle. 
I left my house at 12 midnight Tuesday morning to head to Rockford to pick up Thom and his things.  Due to the loosly tied items in the back of the truck and road construction, the hour long trip took 3 and I arrived there at 3:30 AM!  We had a deadline and needed to be in Minnesota at 1 pm Tuesday afternoon.
Thom's well curated garage!
I finally slept and woke at 7am. Thom and I thought we would pack the truck in the morning, by the light of day and that was a great idea, but Thom had so many wonderful things... his garage looked curated!  Maps, globes, mid-century tables and carnival finds.... among his goodies!    By the time we had packed EVERYTHING in to the truck... it was 10:30 am.
Thom enjoying his morning coffee before packing up the truck!
Master packers... got it done!
Ready to Roll!
We had to be on our way.  Susan had gotten a late start too, so we met along the way.   It was 2 pm when we reached Black River Falls in Wisconsin, a darling town, where we had lunch and Susan and Thom could not help but  wonder into a local thrift shop. We didn't have room for ONE MORE THING in our truck!

Barbara Left and Susan begin to unload in Shakopee Tuesday Evening.
We headed North again, a head wind at about 40mph all along the way,  slowing us down.  White knuckle driving at its best.  We finally arrived to see Nickey and Jake from Etsy, and Barbara from ionesattic.etsy.com  to help us remove the things from the truck... with an hour and a half of set up time on Tuesday left!!! ( 6:30 pm)
Putting up the Set
Thom helping with the building of the booth
 We hustled our things into the event... and began construction.  It was AMAZING.  We had everything we needed to set it up.  It was like we were a " well oiled machine".  Everyone stepped into their roles.  Susan brought her sewing maching and stitched the curtains for the set, She also made cute aprons for us out of muslin and painted the Etsy "E" on them in orange.  Details were amazing!  Barbara was from Shakopee, Mn. where the event was being held... and was our "on the ground" point person...she had the idea to unify the tags and add an Etsy "E" to them as well.  We used vintage playing cards for a more uniform look.  In addition, she supplied us with snacks and food along the way.

  Tuesday night... we checked into the hotel... exhausted and ready for a long day of completing our booth space...I could hardly move, muscles I had not used in years... were aching! Niki from bombshellshocked would join us Wednesday morning (she flew in... that smart girl) along with Linnea from BrooklynStVintage.etsy.com who arrived with her husband toting some wonderful repurposed finds on their own trailer.
The  "wedding cake" arrangement soon to be filled with instant collections
We pulled it all together!  All posing with the Vintage Etsy Society Team Spirit Award!
We worked like dogs to get the booth set up.  While I was traveling, on Monday morning with my husband, I pulled a little envelope from my purse and imagined how the set would come together.  I had toiled all Summer and finally it came to me.  We would attach the grid/fencing to a large piece I  had ( an old step back cabinet) and try to create a dressing room for Niki's customers to try on their clothing. As an experienced salesperson... I knew, as soon as someone had to walk a distance away to try something on, they may refuse and a sale would be lost...we needed to have a dressing room built in. We added some cream colored curtaining that I normally use as table covering for my usual vintage displays and that came in handy as the interior walls for the dressing room...
The dressing room and Susan's mirror in ETSY orange!
 Linnea  brought a beautiful ball jar lamp she had fashioned out of an old jello mold and wired in a swirl pattern. We hung that from the ladder suspended above the dressing room... I had also asked Linnea if she would be able to make some hanging/floating shelving out of old reclaimed barnwood...
Linnea's floating reclaimed barnwood shelves and Barbaras chairs.
to suspend off the grid, to house some of our instant collections... I remember our conversation from months back... trying to get her to understand my thoughts, sight unseen, describing what I wanted for the walls... she and her husband pulled it off perfectly!
Niki Rockin' the turquoise!  Thursday Morning!
The set was solid, topped with vintage ladders to support lighting and more.
Thom and I had discussed all of the round tables it seemed we all had.  We thought to pile them up like a wedding cake and top them off with an awesome mid-century lamp, like a candle on top!  When we arrived, we did just so...
MY FAV view of the booth! loved the " happy accident" that happened with that pole! PERFECTION!
We didn't know there were going to be 2 large poles in our 20 x 10 foot space... flanking either side. One of the poles was a retro style and lent it self perfectly as a back drop for our curation!
Susan, Left and Linnea Right... ready for the crowds.
 The other had a horse racing scene on it so we wrapped it with the orange sheets I found... and put up our team banner.   Another concideration was making sure everyone was equally represented in the booth!  Amazing how it all worked out!

Last minute additions by our Art Director Barbara
The interior of the set was incredible!!! 
 I loved the environment we created.
Barbaras chair and my repurposed ladder/book shelf!

That night we decided that Susan would handle the money and what a great job she did!
Thom Charming a happy customer! Sharing the Junkbonanza15 coupon code!
 I had won a lunch with Ki... so Friday we drew names from the hat to see who would join me for the lunch to pick her brain... Thom, Linnea and Niki and I were the lucky winners. An amazing time we had having lunch with Ki.   She filled us in on what is up and coming... but I have been swarn to secrecy... so you will just have to buy the Spring issue of Flea Market Style Magazine to find out!
just after lunch with Ki!

A fav booth... hunt and gather!
The booths were amazing throughout the Junk Bonanza!
an amazing booth!

Janice, Mark and Judy at the bonanza!
Vestiesteam members left to right Thom, Jamie, Barbara and Linnea!
Team members from all over came to see us!
Jamie Joined us all the way from Kansas City, KS! 
She was DARLING! 
 She stayed to help the team while some of us stole away a little time to meet with Ki
be sure to visit her shop!
Niki and Margo from ruffbymargo.etsy.com lending a hand.
Margo from Texas
Team Spirit!
Etsy Swag!
                                                                 The VestiesTeam was well represented at the show! 
                                                                                      Folks were flocking to our booth!
Susan was kept busy checking out the folks in line. We would stock and restock every evening.

On Friday night we hung out on the porch of the hotel... snacking on Wine, Beer, Champagne, Cheese, fruit, crackers and a giant cookie cake presented to us by Nickey and Jake!  So Cute!
Nickey and her Mom!
Nickey and Jake... our light hanger extrodinare!
                                                                   Saturday Ian, from Etsy came in for a visit.
Ian Left, and Niki at the booth Saturday afternoon
 Nickey conducted her shop critiques... what a great experience!  I would recommend that for everyone!  We had a delightful time. 
Niki helping  break down the booth
Views from after the show Saturday night.
Susan and Niki hamming it up ... Booth is cleaned out... we are ready to roll!
 We took down the set and were the LAST to leave Canturbury Park!!! They had even locked the gates and we had to find security to let us out!We stayed the night and all slept in in the morning... readying for our long drive home!

All in All, it was an AMAZING EXPERIENCE one that can NOT be topped! We all still like one another and my team The Vintage Etsy Society Street Team... ROCKED!!! 
       Thank you to Thom...an amazing curator and resident Tall and helpful guy!  Barbara...a former art director who made the booth look amazing  and kept us nourished, Susan, who was our money guru and sewing maven.  Niki who was the life of the group...and Vintage Clothing Goddess!  Linnea with her gentle spirit...and imaginative eye... making lighting and wall pieces for the booth! Nickey and Jake for lending a hand and for your inspiration and Etsy guidance.

WE MADE A WONDERFUL GROUP AND REPRESENTED ETSY THE ONLY WAY WE KNOW HOW... WITH EXCELLENCE, PATIENCE AND WILLINGNESS TO SHARE!  Showing off our Etsy team spirit award winning team... to all... including Ki and Tim Luke from HGTV!
 Ki, VestiesTeam member Margo, Tim Luke and I
 They LOVED us!  Thank you all!  
Now to get some rest!
Goes without saying!