Welcome to Chicken Scratch, a place for us to share some fun stories and tips.
Some of you know our back story but some of you may not. Sherri and I have been friends for longer than either of us care to confess to. Our paths first crossed as parents with kids involved in church youth group. Somehow, somewhere along the line, we chatted long enough to discover we both loved junking and kicking around flea markets. And it's no secret that Nashville has one of the best in the country. Sherri was a seasoned veteran at #NashFlea so she was my tour guide for several months.
One particularly fine fall flea market day, I mentioned I was thinking about selling some of the stuff I drag home. Sherri said she was game, so we partnered up, and that's how the #pickerchicks got our start.
It took us a while to find a place to roost, but we did. And then Sherri found us a consignment gig nearby. Between maintaining a booth and figuring out the ins and outs of consigning, our passion for picking blossomed into a bona fide sideline business.
You might ask yourself, what's the difference between a picker and a collector or an ordinary buyer of vintage/antique goods? That's a fair question.
A collector buys specific items to add to their collection of specific items, whereas a pickerchick has a list (it may be long or short) of items she's always searching for.
A buyer will purchase items on a whim. They see it, they like it, they buy it....but a pickerchick is (usually) more disciplined, and assesses the item's style, condition and price before plunking down cash.
If you want to move from collector or buyer to full-fledged picker, be prepared to pick in some strange and sometimes sketchy places. You'll pick in the dark, in the cold, in the rain, in the heat. You'll try not to think about the critters that have been on the piece you're picking up with bare hands. (You will know when you got your last tetanus booster.) You'll ignore the faint scurryings of spiders and snakes that are usually closer than you care to admit. Picking is not a convenient or even comfortable pastime. Be prepared to come home empty-handed occasionally. Brace yourself for the inevitable reality that some of your picks are only prized treasures to you. (Then again, there's always eBay.)
But if you're going to pick, I recommend you first find a picker pal. They make the road trips way more fun. They sharpen your instincts and compete with you for the best picks. They make it easier to haul a big find back to your ride. They cheer you up you when no one else loves your new-found treasure. They pull you back when you get caught up in a bidding frenzy. They will celebrate your success when you flip a pick for a lot more than you paid. Be picky....the right picker pal is the best pick you'll ever score.
WHO WRITES THIS STUFF?
I'm Terry Lea, owner of Re-Invintage Home, a vintage home goods shop just south of Nashville in Murfreesboro, TN. A lifelong passion for vintage picking led me to open a shop with my picking pal, Sherri in 2017. Come see us!