Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristen Grandi.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Kristen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Our story begins with my obsession over design…as a little girl, instead of buying dolls or toys, I would save my money so I could buy new bedding and was constantly dragging my furniture around and rearranging my room. As an adult, I worked at jobs that were just “jobs”…they paid the bills but they meant nothing to me. I knew there was more out there for me.
I always had a knack for finding forgotten furniture and “junk”, that may be a little rough and wonky but had good bones. I love the hunt. I love digging through barns and stinky junk shops looking for something I could re-purpose and rework into a fun and unique piece….things that no one else would have. I am not into cookie cutter things, whether it is your home or the things in your home. It should reflect you, your story and your lifestyle…it’s too easy to go out and buy the same big box pieces that all your neighbors have, that has no soul to it.
My hobby quickly turned into a business, as others wanted these unique pieces too. I ended up selling my finds straight out of the garage. I also lugged my furniture and junk around, selling at any craft show or venue I could find, and eventually I decided those weren’t quite right for what I needed. I knew there was a need for Junk Hippy and that I wasn’t alone…Junk Hippy became the place we “junkers” could call home and it grew into a community.
Junk Hippy is 100% family-owned and operated. My husband and I work together full-time, our girls and our family work the shows with us. We are proud that we’ve built our business from scratch, without any sponsors, loans, or even a credit card. We are not corporate, or a franchise, because we always wanted this to be something authentic, homegrown and true.
Today, we are in our sixth year and excited to see what is in store for us for the next six. We’ve had national recognition with County Living Magazine naming us one of their top 7 flea markets. We’ve made lifelong friends who we call family. Our girls get to travel, be around some amazing and creative people, and grow up learning to follow your passion and take risks.
When we started this, it was something so new and unique that it didn’t fit in any box. There weren’t any “junk shows” yet. We created our own box. People would ask whether we were a craft show or antique show. Nope.
My goal is to make sure we never fit in the box.
Now, we are in our sixth year and
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Has this been easy? Definitely not. Anyone who owns their own business knows, you don’t work 8-5. You get phone calls at insane hours. You sit in bed at midnight working on press releases. You are constantly putting out fires. You take a day off the computer and have 150 emails to catch up on the next day. Today, we’ve had 18 of our vendors start their own events. We’ve lost friends and dealt with some nasty things. It’s never easy. Sometimes I feel like I am constantly being tested. I doubt myself about 39 times a day.
Shawn and I are a good team though, we definitely lean on each other. You have to have a strong circle, you have to learn to take care of yourself and know that it’s OK to take care of you. I’ve learned that everyone will not like you or what you’re doing, and that’s OK too. What other people think of you is none of your business. Your skin gets thicker and you learn to let things go. Stay in your own lane and do your thing.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Junk Hippy story. Tell us more about the business.
Junk Hippy is based out of Oklahoma City, but we hold events in both Oklahoma and Texas. My favorite event is our Houston area show in Rosenberg. We go to the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds twice each year, and have three buildings full of vendors along with some really awesome local food trucks and live music. Our show has become more of a festival…like a mini-Round Top mixed with Woodstock. The Rosenberg show has the most creative displays and product. It’s really amazing sometimes how over the top these booths are, just for a one day show! If you need inspiration this is definitely where you can find it. Our vendors make it look easy.
One thing I hear pretty often is how different our atmosphere and energy is. We are laid back and love what we do and I think people feel that. Vendors have told me they may be completely stressed and when they walk in the venue, it’s just a big exhale and they know it’s all good. That is everything to me. I want everyone to feel at home and part of the family. Good vibes all the time!
Something I love about our shows is hearing the stories about everyone’s treasures. We’ve talked to shoppers who have used their Junk Hippy finds as a display in their store or restaurant, or as part of their wedding or baby nursery. I love that these pieces have a soul and a story and that they get to live on.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
When we started this, the stars were aligned. I know there is a little magic in everything we do. I think there is always going to be good luck coming your way when you are true to yourself, when you set your intentions and jump. Take the risk and feel the gratitude.
- Website: http://www.junkhippy.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/junkhippy_kristengrandi/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/junkhippy
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/junkhippy
- Other: www.pinterest.com/junkhippy