Calling all vintage lovers. Have you heard about Junkstock? Dive in, then mark your calendars and start planning your visit.
My brother-in-law, Jim, and I share this love for what my boyfriend calls “mindful clutter,” ie: vintage collections. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to the stories of old objects, and more recently, even had an aha moment about perfectionism thanks to my vintage collections (more on that in this post).
Jim’s garage is like a museum of his family’s history – a restored kid’s car, a desk that has survived three generations of workshops and will soon pass to the fourth, old Coca-Cola memorabilia – and well, have you seen my apartment? The vintage abounds!
In our vintage musings, Jim had told me about this massive “junk” fair that he had been wanting to attend. So you can imagine how it felt like kismet that I happened to be visiting family in Omaha, Nebraska at the exact time of Junkstock! It was time for Jim and I to make our Junkstock dreams come true.
What is Junkstock?
Junk + Woodstock, get it?
Junkstock is a flea market meets festival complete with makers, food trucks, live music, apple cider donuts, bloody marys, and good coffee. (This is a must in my book of coffee snobbery. You gotta keep the energy up to get through all the vendors!) Everything takes place at a former horse farm in Waterloo, Nebraska (close to Omaha) with barns and buildings reborn as vintage halls.
I’ve been to my fair share of flea markets and specialty vintage events, but what really made Junkstock stand out are all the details. It’s the most instagrammable vintage fair I’ve attended. I’m a sucker for aesthetics, but all those special touches did seem to add a lot of energy to the experience.
Junkstock’s Humble Roots:
I’ve often stood in my own way when it comes to starting projects and taking steps toward bigger dreams, so I love learning about start-up stories and growth, and Junkstock has a good one.
From the Junkstock website:
Sara Alexander, the Founder, and Mother of Junkstock, is very humble about her success and all of the blood, sweat, and tears she has poured into the event over the last six years. She never toots her own horn, so we at Team Junkstock have decided to toot her horn for her and share the Mother of Junkstock’s story.
When Sara first got into the junking business she was a stay-at-home mother, of two young boys, who had a passion for junking. She was remodeling a house and looking for thrifty ways to repurpose cool vintage pieces for her new home. Her passion quickly turned into a brand new adventure.
Sara started to notice the junking community around the Midwest growing but saw a lack of local events that brought junk vendors and artists together in Omaha. So in 2011, she started some small junk sales in a rented chicken coop at an old dairy farm in Western Omaha. That was so successful that in 2012 she opened a small store in downtown Papillion called The Junque Factory where she sold her unique repurposed items.
In the spring of 2012, Junkstock was hatched up and it was born later that June. Junkstock started with 29 vendors and quickly turned into a pilgrimage for junk, vintage, and handmade lovers from across the country. Junkstock remains a locally owned small business, but now features over 200 vintage, antique, and junk vendors that are joined by makers for the magical festival three times a year.
Had I not been flying home from Nebraska, I probably would have walked away with a bigger haul. Dylan was the real winner of the day with this vintage farmer fashion. You want a coat that looks good and actually keeps you warm? I’d trust a vintage coat from Nebraska.
Again, had I not been flying home, I may have debated one of these old metal containers (they seem like something from an old barn?). I love the idea of using them as planters, but I didn’t think they’d squish into the overhead storage bins without giving a flight attendant tetanus.
The apple cider donuts were VERY popular, so we did have to wait for close to an hour for our piping hot cloud of fall goodness (worth it), but at least we could shop in the meantime.
Dog Peeping at Junkstock
What do I love as much as vintage? Dogs! The event was dog friendly, which meant it was very Quelcy friendly. 🙂
There ya have it. Will I see you there next year?