I was dressing to go out one evening, standing in front of the old oval mirror that hangs in my bedroom. As I touched up my lipstick and brushed my hair, I glanced down at the dish on the dresser where I drop my watch and earrings each night. The contents vary from day to day.
As I studied the necklaces, earrings and other accessories, it suddenly occurred to me that most of the things dropped so casually in the dish are Spokane treasure hunting souvenirs.
I bought the pedestaled metal dish at a flea market at the Spokane Fair and Expo Center. In it at the moment are a one-of-a-kind “friendship” dog tag necklace from Finder’s Keepers; a pair of sparkly 1960s earrings purchased at Value Village as a gift for a friend who collects such things; a small chalkware Madonna picked up at Pink; a ribbon that was tied around a book I found at Eye Candy Antiques and a small pair of 1940s Native American turquoise earrings I spotted in a display case at Vintage Rabbit Antique Mall.
All were local purchases made from people–most of whom are women–who live and work in my community.
That, I like to believe, is the secret to what makes Spokane’s large and thriving “vintage” community so strong. It’s built on personal connections with deep commitment to not only a love of everyday things burnished by time and history, but to true entrepreneurial spirit.
Before I left the room, I grabbed my camera and took a quick photo, capturing a still life of objects gathered around town. Each piece has a story, and the face of a friend or neighbor attached to it. Forget silver and gold. Sometimes the best treasures start out as just a little a bit of junk.
Special Delivery From Spokane’s “Junk Post”
Don’t we all wish we had a best friend who would call to say, “Hey, this is perfect for you!” and then point us toward a great vintage find? Well, Brian Gallagher’s Junk Post Facebook page does just that. Gallagher scans craigslist ads and other area sources such as local antiques shops and dealers, and then posts selected vintage items-for-sale on the page.
Both Brian and his wife Coquille are deeply involved in the Spokane antiques and collectibles community. In addition to Coquille’s design and creative endeavors and custom special-event coordinating, her unique line of Coquille Vintage repurposed and salvaged items is now sold at Pink in downtown Spokane and at area shows and sales.
With a broader focus looking beyond Spokane, Brian reaches out to “junkers” dealers and collectors across the country with his JunkNationReview.com site as well as on his Junk Nation Review Facebook page.
Gallagher, who works full time as a production manager for Global Harvest Foods in Mead, has big plans for JNR.
“My goal is to eventually travel the nation full time reviewing shows and sharing pictures,” he says. “I want Junk Nation Review to be the place that everyone visits to see all of the new creations and hottest ideas.”
Cheryl-Anne Millsap has been writing about antiques and collectibles since 2001. She can be reached at email@example.com
With spring comes the feast of antiques shows and junk sales. Here are a few close-to-home opportunities:
Fri.-Sun, April 13-15: BoHo Art Retreat: Elaine Tolson will be hosting her spring vintage-inspired crafting weekend in Col. For more info go to elainetolson.com
Sat.-Sun, April 14-15: Funky Junk Show: Spokane. For more info go to funkyjunkantiqueshow.com
Sat.-Sun., May 19-20: Two Women Barn Bazaar, Spangle, WA. For more info go to twowomenvintagegoods.com
Sat-Sun, June 2-3: Farm Chicks: Back at the Spokane Fair and Expo Center. For more info go to farmchicks.com