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We are very excited to introduce our latest vendors in our spotlight series. Long time shoppers at Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days and also veteran vendors, this couple always bring a large variety of amazing "junk" to pick from. Take it from me, I bought 2 tables from them last year! Meet Cheryl and Woody of Junk Devotion.

Tell us a little bit about Junk Devotion.
It’s funny, sometimes we don’t even remember when this adventure started! It just sort of evolved over the past 12 plus years. Over the years we have inherited and appreciated various pieces of furniture, photos, dishware, etc. from family members. We then started seeing trash to treasure segments on TV and in magazines and suddenly we were hooked. We started picking up miscellaneous pieces that had been discarded by others and suddenly we had a garage full of goodness waiting for transformation. We love to take formerly loved (or trash to some) pieces and transform them to treasures that can be used in the home and garden. We’re particularly drawn to galvanized and industrial pieces once used on farms, since we both have farming in our backgrounds.


You are a husband and wife team correct? Do you have similar style and taste? Tell us a little bit about that dynamic. 
We are a husband and wife team, Cheryl and Woody Woodward, from Pine Island, MN. There aren’t many teams like us in the junking world, so we feel fortunate to share our love and hobby of junking. Our tastes are similar, but not always the same. We both appreciate a beautiful piece of wood and great metal pieces. Usually Cheryl can be found painting furniture behind the garage; while Woody can be found in front of the garage building rustic pieces of furniture. Occasionally we collaborate to discuss details and color combinations. Sometimes we agree to disagree on how a piece is put
together!


When you are picking how do you decide what to keep and what to sell?
After all this time we get as much joy out of selling a great piece to someone who really appreciates it as we do in keeping it for ourselves. We’ve realized we can’t keep everything, so sometimes we use a piece in our home for a while, then pass it on. That’s the joy in junking, there are always more great pieces out there!


Where do you get your creative inspiration from?
Our inspiration comes from television, magazines, social media and other junkers. The crazy thing with junking is that we can see someone else’s idea and put our own twist on it because many pieces are one of a kind. Sometimes two pieces just magically fit together and we surprise ourselves!


It looks like you've been to a few markets already this season, what seems to be hot right now? What are the trends?
The trends are still the farmhouse look with painted furniture, metals and beautiful woods. Many shoppers are also looking for raw junk to accessorize their decorating.

How many years have you been setting up in Oronoco? What keeps you coming back year after year?
This will be our eighth year at DOGR. We were shoppers there for 20+ years and it’s fun to be on the selling side of it now. The conversations we have with shoppers are priceless! Sometimes we teach people the origin of a piece of junk and other times we learn from the shoppers. Every year we renew old friendships and create new ones. It’s all about the connections and it’s a whole other family for us.


Do you have any favorite food vendors that you look forward to visiting at DOGR each year?
We usually bring our own food so we don’t spend all our profits, but we do treat ourselves to the homemade ice cream sandwiches every day!

What can we look forward to seeing in your booth at Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days this year? 
We will have a huge load of farm galvanized junk to decorate the home and garden. We’ll also have plenty of “raw” junk for anyone who wants to do some creating of their own.


We are so excited to have you back in August. Until then, where can we find you and your work?
We have the Rescued Relics Pop-Up Sale scheduled for July 27 at the LTS Brewing Company in Rochester. We’ll join forces with two other vendors for this one day sale, complete with beer tasting and food trucks.

Make sure to stop by and say "HI" to Cheryl and Woody during Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days August 16-18! In the meantime, learn more about them and their work by visiting their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Junk-Devotion-115984551792958/?ref=br_rs

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We love Gold Rush
We love Gold Rush

Each year in August, the tiny little town of Oronoco, Minnesota is flooded with thousands of shoppers searching for that special something at Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days. Throughout the next few months, we will be interviewing shoppers and sharing it with you here! Our first shopper is a great friend and someone who I enjoy running into at DOGR. We share a love of the event and always stop to visit and discuss what the hot items are that year. Meet Maria.

How long have you been shopping at DOGR and how did you hear about it?
I have been shopping at Gold Rush for about 7 years.  I was really into following some shabby chic bloggers and they always talked about flea market style.  When I found out Gold Rush was so close to Rochester, my friend and I decided to check it out.  We had a blast and I've been every year since! When we decided to move to Oronoco, I have to admit, being so close to Gold Rush was definitely a perk!

Do you go to DOGR ready with a list or do you wing it?
I usually have a few things in mind.  However, I like to think that Gold Rush tells me what I'm looking for most of the time!

Once you get to DOGR, tell me a little bit about your shopping strategy.
I like to do a quick walk through first.  I know where my favorite vendors are and I always make sure to visit them first, before I run out of money! After I've made my first sweep, I will go back through and take my time.  I also always go on Friday.  We start mid-morning, have lunch and usually end the day hot and tired with a beer in the Fire Station beer garden!

Do you shop alone or with friends? Why?
I have done both, but I much prefer going with the group of friends that have been coming with me for years! I have friends from the Twin Cities and Wisconsin that come stay with me for the weekend.  We shop all day and we are all looking for different things.  We help each other see the potential in an item and talk each other into our treasures if need be.  I'm probably the most experienced at talking with the vendors and knowing when it's appropriate to negotiate on price.

Can you describe a couple of your favorite DOGR purchases over the years?
There are so many! My all time best find is an authentic church pew that sits in my foyer.  My first big purchase was a pair of beautiful wood locker room benches - I spray painted the metal legs gold and they are gorgeous.  Another favorite is a huge metal and wood arch that sits on my mantel.  My brother in law and I had been shopping all day and I had been looking for a statement piece for over the mantel.  We had given up and were walking back to the car when he spotted it behind a bunch of yard decor! It was such a thrill to take it home - it was perfect.

There are some delicious food vendors every year at DOGR. What are your must haves?
The food is so much fun!  I always have to have the cheese curds and a homemade ice cream sandwich!

Do you have any tips for first time DOGR shoppers?
It can be a little overwhelming at first! I would definitely suggest having a couple things to 'hunt' for, to give you some direction at first.  Check out Pinterest for ideas.  Also, bring lots of denominations of cash.  Some vendors take cc or checks but cash is always the easiest route!

What is on your list for 2019 DOGR?
Hmmmm...I would LOVE to find some mid century modern bedside tables or a dresser.  I keep a list going on my phone and as I think of stuff, I add to it.  I also have a dedicated Pinterest board for Gold Rush.

A big thank you to Maria for taking the time to answer our questions! We look forward to catching up with her at Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days in August to find out if she tracks down those Mid Century Modern pieces!

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Each year in August, Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days is home to hundreds of vendors from all over the country selling their goods. Throughout the next few months, we will be interviewing some of these vendors and featuring them here on our blog. Jennika and Matt were new to Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days last year and come to us from Duluth, MN. We are excited to have them and their beautiful work back in August! Meet the Pink Hammer Shop.

First question I have to ask... why the name Pink Hammer?
When I was looking into starting our handmade business, I thought about a name for a long time. Nothing seemed right until I saw the pink hammer I had in my toolbox and thought, hey - that's it!

Jennika & Matt

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your art. I'm Jennika, co-owner of The Pink Hammer Shop. I've been making things for as long as I can remember. I always had a craft table in my bedroom with many in-progress projects while I was growing up. I have always liked to work with my hands. Art class was my favorite in high school and I continued art classes throughout college. I knew that I never wanted to stop creating. To me, it was fulfilling and so much fun. I started The Pink Hammer Shop in 2015, when I was on spring break from my elementary school job. It started out as taking a few local orders for painted signs and selling a few things on Etsy. My other half, Matt, joined me in 2016 and took over the wood-working portion of our work while I began to focus more on the painting and design work. We began adding mixed media elements into our work, such as vintage book spines and old maps. We like the thought of up-cycling and giving new life to old books and maps that have been sitting around for years!

You were a first time vendor last year at DOGR. What made you decide to try out our show?
We heard about Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days from antique vendor friends of ours. We thought we’d give it a try and we’re sure glad we did!

There are some great food vendors at DOGR. Did you have any favorites?
My favorite food booth at DOGR was the fish and chips one – SO GOOD! I’ll be heading back there this year, for sure. Also, don’t forget to grab a delicious homemade ice cream sandwich (or 2 or 3) while you’re at Gold Rush – I think they’re famous for them!

Did you get a chance to do any shopping last year at Gold Rush? If so, did you have a favorite purchase? Last year at Gold Rush, my favorite purchase was a vintage globe to add to my growing collection!

What advice would you give a first time vendor at DOGR?
To a vendor that is thinking about trying out Gold Rush Days, I would say – yes, absolutely do it! The shoppers are wonderful, as well as the other vendors. The show is well-organized and benefits the community of Oronoco.

We are so excited to have you back at our show this year. What will shoppers find at your booth in August? Have you been working on anything new?
This year at Gold Rush, we plan to bring loads of our book and map signs in all sizes. We love to make themed book signs such as: Adventure/Travel, Outdoors, Art/Craft, History, Gardening, Cooking, Nature, Medical/Nursing, Poetry, English, Math, Science, etc., with coordinating quotes. These make the coolest gifts! We will also have rainbow colored book signs and framed vintage maps from all over the world (some dating back to the 1800’s!). Come visit our booth at DOGR this year, we promise our work is something you’ve never seen before! In the meantime, you can follow us on Facebook or Instagram @thepinkhammershop – and shop our website www.thepinkhammershop.com.

A big thank you to Jennika for answering our questions! We look forward to seeing you and your work at Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days - and we agree with you - the ice cream sandwiches are a definite must have during our show!


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The Farmhouse style is IN and not going anywhere. This is largely thanks to hot celebrity designers like Joanna and Chip Gaines. Sure, you could run to your local Target and check out their merchandise - and you should because it is awesome - but you can also make the look your own by shopping for unique pieces at a flea market such as our beloved Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days.

So, exactly what should you be looking for in Farmhouse decor at a flea market? Here are the items that make our list and are in abundance at Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days.

  • Chippy furniture
  • Hand-scraped wooden tool boxes or bowls
  • Ironstone crocks
  • Enameled bowls
  • Egg baskets
  • Milk glass
  • Reclaimed barn wood
  • Ladders

Join us the 3rd weekend in August as the tiny river town of Oronoco happily overflows with vendors and shoppers during one of the most anticipated antique and flea market events of the year. You are sure to leave Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days with fabulous pieces that express your personal farmhouse style.

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