Never Thought I'd Call Myself An American Picker

This is my first blog which explains what I do and what you learn about.

Hi my name is Jen Wyckoff and I created this blog to explain my daily experiences as an Interior Decorator and picker in Summit, N.J. and the lovely Jersey Shore. In this blog you are going to learn how to find and pick items from various different Flea Markets, Auctions, Antique Shops, Second Hand Stores, Estate and Garage Sales and then use these items to create high end decors at discount prices. Everyday in this blog is going to be a new experience of my daily activities; I never know what I'm gonna find, who I'm going to meet, or how I'm going to get my find home! That's what's going to make this job and blog so interesting!

Let me start by telling you a little bit about myself. I started my own business about two months ago called Decorate On A Dime.  What I do is find things that I think are unique or different that can be used for interior or exterior decoration. Whether it's an old map, piece of art work, or a stand out piece of furniture I fix it up or create something totally different from it. Truely it's all about the find and what you can create from the find. I have been collecting finds for the past two months and boy do I have stories to tell. I'll start with this past weekend.

I had been away for a dear friends 50th Birthday Celebration in Avalon, N.J. for a crazy, fun girls weekend. I was exhausted and hungover to say the least from all the fun but I couldn't pass up going to the Flea Market! I'm obsessed! So I was up at the crack of dawn, grabbed some much needed coffee, and arrived at the Flea Market right when it opened.  I usually hide behind a baseball cap and try to go unnoticed so people don't think I know what I'm doing.  You don't want them to think you have money or knowledge.I made my two laps around the Flea Market and knew exactly what I wanted. I had found "The Find Of All Finds."  It was time to start bargaining. I will talk about the art of bargaining at a Flea Markets in later blogs.

I ended up buying a huge old map of Wall Township that was so cool and probably over 75 years old and an extremely large antique milk jug. I'll tell in the next couple of blogs how I'm going to restore these finds but truly the real story here is about the guy I bought it from.  He was areally nice old man, an amputee of both his arms. After we chatted for a long time and I payed for my finds; he said to me, "Honey, I'm a gentlemen and I'm going to put your stuff into your car for you." I was speechless and that doesn't happen to me very often! The only thing I was able to say was "OK."  I'm sure he noticed my mouth drop wide open! All I could think about was how he was going to get these pieces into my car? It was amazing! In a matter of a minute he had everything in my car. It was like he had both arms and it didn't even phase him. He left such an impression on me for the rest of the day. I guess I can't complain about the small stuff after seeing that! Life is all good.

Stay tuned. My weekends are filled with fun finds and surprises.

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Jennifer Wyckoff May 06, 2011 at 08:17 PM
It was amazing. He used his nubs like they were hands. He must do this all the time!!!
lisa becker May 07, 2011 at 01:32 AM
Jen!! Please save all your finds for my houses!! I have lots to fill. So, so proud of you!!!
John DeSocio May 11, 2011 at 02:18 AM
Jen: I was an American Picker. For many years I went to all the garage sales and flea markets in the area. It got so bad I felt I was a poster boy for "Hoarding, Buried Alive." I had a few yard sales, giving some good stuff away for a song. Recently I packed a lot of stuff into boxes and gave it to Sage. I had some new beds which nobody wanted the mattresses. To the dump they went. The headboards a rocking chair, and some other furniture went to the Salvation Army. I was amazed that it was so hard to give good stuff away! New rule: nothing comes into the house unless it is something we need, it serves a purpose, and it has a place to be situated. Not in the garage or the basement. Good luck on your endeavor. I can see that you have a good eye.
Jennifer Wyckoff May 11, 2011 at 03:09 AM
Wow you must have went too all the wrong sales!!! I'm having a great time being an American Picker!!!! It is so much fun to create a find into something fabulous that people may treasure forever!!! You should look at the glass half full rather then half empty!!! Somebody's garbage may be somebodys treasure and it may be worth a bundle someday. You don't know what your missing out on. I'll be having a sale in a couple of weeks with all my great finds, please come and see what you missed out on......You don't have to pick any more I'll take over your picking!!!!
John DeSocio May 11, 2011 at 02:48 PM
Actually, I went to a lot of good sales, but my house became too crowded with all the stuff I collected. New rule: if it is in the box for ten years, out it goes. I still have stuff in my attic that I moved in with over thirty years ago. I will go over my stuff and donate anything you want to your collection. Actually, we are having a yard sale this weekend at 17 Stiles Road, off Glenside.


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