Today I get to introduce you to the amazingly talented and altogether awesome women from Junkies Vintage Boutique, Allison and Veronica.
I am someone who loves to surround herself with creative and passionate people and these two exude both from the moment they walk into a room. (Or in my case, it was the moment I walked into their flea market booth.) I met Allison and Veronica during my first time selling at Hoots Flea last summer. What I love about Flea Markets is how proud each shop owner is of their space and the effort they put in showcasing their merchandise and creating interest for their customer. Allison and Veronica set themselves a part to me because it’s wasn’t just their flea market space that drew customers in but their bright smiles and personable persona. These ladies love what they do, are excited to help you find what you are looking for or even just chat about their love of Junk! So obviously, I immediately had a girl crush and had to get to know them!
Crafters and rescuers of found objects, these ladies are not afraid to get their hands dirty! Between flea markets and shows, thrifting and junking , running their vintage boutique in Rural Hall, working second jobs, volunteering at local events and Veronica finishing up school – did I mention trying to find time for a social life?! I know the life of an entrepreneur can seem glamorous and magical sometimes but the truth is it is not for the weak at heart. The passion for what they do and running their own business is what keeps them going.
So in Small Biz Spotlight fashion, let’s get to know these biz owners and what makes their brand unique!
How did you guys meet and how did Junkies come into existence? Who came up with the name?
V: We met in 2011 when we both started the Interior Design program at Forsyth Tech. We hit it off in our first semester, both had similar styles and really enjoyed bouncing design ideas off each other. We were participating in the Habitat for Humanity ReStore Spaces fundraiser event our second year and both fell in love with re-purposing and up-cycling items! At that point we realized we had a passion for old junk and giving it a new life. The two of us along with another classmate decided to start our own business re-purposing and handcrafting home décor, furniture and jewelry. We were joking around about how much we love junk and Allison said, “You can just call us a bunch of junkies”, and we stuck with it! Eventually our third partner decided to go in a different direction so we decided to move on with just the two of us! Our very first show was Whimsical Women and we received such amazing feedback and it gave us the motivation and confidence to say, “Hey, we’ve got something really special here, we should really try to turn this into a legit business.” After several more shows and flea markets we officially opened the shop on March 20th, 2015. We chose Rural Hall as our location because we really believed that this area was in need of a boutique like ours, it’s such a great town and we want to try to make it even better by offering a unique place to shop.
What do you enjoy most about having your own business?
V: I really enjoy being able to work for myself! I would much rather work 10 times harder for myself than someone else! Owning our own business lets us have the ability to make our own choices and to have creative freedom. We have to work 24/7 because we take care of every single aspect of the business but that’s the most rewarding part. We get to do something that we are passionate about and get to put our name on it at the end of the day.
A: I totally agree with Veronica about working for yourself, it’s definitely much more work, but I would much rather work harder and more hours for myself than someone else. It is so rewarding when you can really see all your hard work paying off. It’s also nice to know we won’t have management coming in to tell us they know how to do our job better and implement some awful policies that only make our job harder. (The biggest management problems we have are loading the van, A.K.A Big Sexy…and we’ve come to the agreement that Veronica is totally in charge of that…she’s like a human Tetris game when it comes to packing! I just hand her stuff and stay out of the way!)
What is the hardest part about having your own business? Do you have a good support system?
V: The hardest part about having your own business is the sacrifices you have to make. This is a time consuming career and it can be extremely hard to balance between family, friends, being a student and having another job, but, it is the most gratifying experience I have ever had. I am so fortunate to have Allison as a business partner! We feed off of each other and she inspires me every day to be the most creative person I can be! Our families are very supportive and help us out a lot so we are not alone in this. We are very lucky to have a huge support group of family and friends.
A: Everything is hard about having your own business, but it is also so much more rewarding when you see what you can accomplish. When people come into the shop or booth and are blown away by our items, it makes all the hard work so gratifying.
Time management is probably the biggest issue when owning your own business, especially a creative one. As creative people it’s so difficult to work on something if you’re not “feeling it”, it’s hard to turn your creativity on and off- you really have to learn how to balance multiple projects at once. Veronica and I work really well together and are great at motivating each other. We both have a lot going on outside of the shop so having each other to pick up the slack for when one of us can’t be around helps with the stress level tremendously! There’s no way I could do this on my own and nor would I want to…Junkies is a product of both of us and wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t have each others backs!
We’ve learned not to take our support system for granted and are grateful every day for our family and friends because they give us the ability to do what we love!
Do you have any advice for other side hustlers out there trying to balance Full Time jobs or School and their passion project?
A & V: There will never be enough hours in the day or days in a week to get to every single project done- you can never get to all the ideas you have in your head, you have to prioritize! The biggest thing that we have learned is how to say no. You have to be true to your brand and what truly inspires you! You can’t just do projects or events because they’re there, you have to stay true to yourself and who you are as a designer or business owner. <—-well said, ladies!
So obviously you girls keep moving forward with ideas for the business! Where do you see Junkies going in the future?
A & V: We really see Junkies heading more into the interior design business, along with styling and staging for clients, photographers, businesses, etc. We love doing more editorial type photo shoots and would enjoy working with more photographers, styling and staging shoots. Our true passion is interior design and we love creating inviting, functional, and imaginative spaces. We would describe our design style as Prince meets Joanna Gains with a dash of Stevie Nicks- Vintage Bohemian with a touch of rustic-chic and a splash of drama!!! We love the unexpected and love using an eclectic mix of items when creating a space. We don’t believe in boring spaces and feel that every space should have a curated look, which creates a more individualized design. Having the shop as our showcase allows all of our endeavors to come full circle and gives people a chance to see what we can create.
I hope you enjoyed getting to know the ladies behind Junkies as much as I did and seeing some of the amazing shop! (You could seriously spend hours in there trying to see all of the crazy cool merchandise they have in every corner!) There is something so inspiring about these two women doing what they love and being their own bosses while simultaneously rocking at being friends. It could be the Spice Girl obsession of my youth, but the word #girlpower just comes to mind. I know there are going to be amazing things ahead for Allison & Veronica and can’t wait to see where the future takes them!