Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Saturdays in January

Beginning January 3rd, JB Knacker will be open on 5 consecutive Saturdays 10am-3pm. We won't be open during the week at all. Just on Saturdays: Jan. 3rd, Jan. 10th, Jan. 17th, Jan. 24th and finally January 31st. We are excited for this change of pace at the shop! January tends to be a bit of a slower month, and with that in mind, we wanted to mix it up a tad, create a little excitement, get the town gossiping and really make the old place SHINE each and every Saturday!! Now, we will return to regular programming in February with the debut of JB Knacker's February Faves and the launch of our wine glass give away through Valentine's day. Stay tuned if you're curious...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas & thank you...

Julie & I wish all of you a blessed Christmas. You have helped to make this season a most successful one. In fact, it has been our best holiday season ever! We feel so fortunate to have our passion as our business and doubly so to have such kind, creative and adoring customers! OK...adoring may be a bit strong, but we feel your love and are ever so grateful to you!
We want to remind you all about our after Christmas sale going on from 12/26 through 12/30 during our regular business hours. So that means our doors will be open Friday (12/26) 1-6pm, Saturday (12/27) 10-3pm and Tuesday (12/30) 1-6pm. All Christmas will be 50% off ~ something we have never done before but are very excited to see how it goes...and we hope it all GOES! And to sweeten the deal, we are adding 20% off all of JB Knacker inventory (we sound like a real live commercial now). So come on out to the shop, stomp the snow off your boots, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and load up on your favorite vintage and vintage inspired goodies.
And remember, we are open only on Saturdays in January ~ 5 Saturdays to be exact! We are really pumped about whooshing the shop into something fun and a little different each Saturday. It's all about creating excitement w/ a new look and new stuff each time. You won't want to miss even one Saturday!
Julie & Brenda

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Told You So!

That's what I should have said to husband...but you know me, wouldn't want to rub anything in. We had a heck of a Friday and Saturday at the shop after Thanksgiving. The old galvanized bucket was stuffed w/ names for our $50 gift certificate giveaway... and the WINNER is ~ Dawn Graber!! Custom orders for window sash letters and soldered charms are written all over my hand and up my arm as the calls and emails have been coming at a quick pace. The shop will get whirled around again before this Saturday as it is Gilbert's Christmas Festival (yes, I said Christmas...who around here celebrates winter anyway...just a little dig at the flier that went out about this little shindig). The tour of homes and Santa Claus are the big draws on this day and of course, cookies and cider and such. I am thinking Friday night might be a late one as we give the place a fresh look w/ our new finds and creations. Would love to have you by the old place on Saturday w/ extended hours from 9am - 6pm. Thanks for your continued support!

Friday, November 21, 2008

giving Thanks

What would make customers swarm to a small rural town on the biggest retail shopping day of the year? To shop JB Knacker, of course! My husband, the disbeliever, thinks we ought not be open on Black Friday (he likes to give me a hard time but secretly he is my biggest fan). I believe we have a duty to be open on this day. Where would all the people who hate to shop the big box stores go? Where would they find their JB shred? Who would welcome them and ask how the kids are or let them know their new haircut is not too shabby? Where else could they make a snowman or throw a snowball and sip hot cocoa & coffee after coming in from the bitter cold? OK...JB Knacker, again. Yes, we will be open and proudly so! We will have extended hours from 10am - 6pm on the day after Thanksgiving. Our vintage goodies and unique gifts will be well-stocked and the shop will smell of hand-cut soap and french vanilla coffee. We will wrap your new found treasures in white butcher paper and tuck them into our ephemera tagged craft paper sacks. If you came all the way from DesMoines or Mason City or some other far away place, we'll make sure you have a bottle of water for the road or a cup of coffee to keep you alert. We are proud of our small town heritage and thankful for our loyal creative customers...thank you from the bottom of our hearts and see you on Friday!
There will be a drawing for a $50.00 JB Knacker gift certificate on Saturday, Nov. 29th at 3:00pm as we close up shop and wrap up a wonderful November at JB Knacker. All you have to do is visit us in Gilbert on Friday (10-6pm) or Saturday(10-3pm) and throw your name in the old galvanized bucket. Also if you see something on the blog that you Have to have just contact me and we'll work out the details...this will also get your name in the drawing for $50!

Brenda & Julie

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Best Day Ever!!

JB Knacker Handmade Journals...$16 each
JB Knacker soaps~they make shop smell heavenly...Goose-sold
bed-sold...baby doll-sold...pillow-sold
galvanized sled-sold..."J" "O" "Y"-sold...2 of 3 concrete planters-sold...1 of 2 windows-sold

And I mean the best...well at least in a shop owner's terms. The crowd was steady for the Christmas Bash and the weather perfect...cold and just soft flurries of snow. We were as ready as we were going to be w/ fresh evergreen strewn about and a harvest table of homemade goodies w/ piping hot apple cider and coffee. Customers shopped and mingled and laughed and kids w/ rosy cheeks and winter sweaters were here and there. All things "organic" flew out the door...wire clam baskets, old hockey skates, sleds, letter window sashes, flour bins, statuary, painted firewood boxes and so much more. Indeed, it did seem that anything needed to make a statement in Christmas decorating was sold! It was great to see customers that we only get to see once or twice a year and always great to have our true, blue steadies come through the door. Thank you for a wonderful day!
Julie & Brenda

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Christmas Bash ~ Saturday, Nov. 8th 10 am - 5 pm

Can't wait for you to see the fun JB Knacker has planned for Saturday, November 8th! Our Christmas Bash is a nostalgic look back at the fun that Christmas was as a kid...only in a very grown-up sort of way...you'll just have to show up to figure that out! We're extending our hours a bit on the 8th(10am 'til 5pm), to allow everyone a chance to make it over to JB. Festive bites and beverages will be served and if snow is present, there WILL be a snowball fight in the side yard!

I know, I know...I said I would get pictures up of our gifty items at the shop, but w/ our Christmas bash a mere 10 days from now, I feel the need to keep some things surprises. You loved surprises as a kid! You remember how disappointing it was when you peeked at your presents in mom & dad's closet and then the magic was over and the guilt began(i felt guilty anyway...don't think little brother Matt did). Just know that Julie & I have been running around crazy-like finding just the right vintage goodies to add to our Christmas Bash theme. And just like Santa, we have been stocking up on all of our great vintage inspired gifts so we don't run out. I have yet to put on all black and slink around my mom & dad's yard for the best nature finds(i have to be sneaky as my dad thinks I'm killing all the trees by cutting branches & such...i am almost certain Martha said it's a good time to prune). The food will be yummy and the beverages toasty, and as day turns to evening, the wine will flow. Bring family and friends to rekindle (i love that word) that warm feeling of Christmas as a kid!

Can Hardly Wait,

PS ~We have openings for our next 2 workshops, Jolly Junk Workshop(making JB Knacker-style snowmen & women...see pictures on our News section of website) on Tuesday, Nov. 11th from 6-8pm and Charm Workshop(making soldered picture charms for a unique necklace charm...also see website for pics) on Tuesday, Nov. 18th from 6-8pm. Call the shop at 515 233-2600, stop by the shop or check-out our website for registration info.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Life is Good

Having just baptized our new baby and having our oldest son back from up north on a quick break from his sophomore year at UMD, yesterday was a day filled w/ the stuff of life. Kids running and crunching in the leaves and grown-ups talking and laughing about everyday things. It was a good day.
Ahh...the best time of the year is upon us. As shop owners, we find this time to be refreshing as it is so easy to decorate and whoosh the shop into something fun and sometimes even a little unexpected! There is so much nature to decorate w/...mums, pumpkins, hay bales, hydrangea, bittersweet, grapevine and branches. The way our vintage and antique pieces look this time of the year - stunning: old gold and wood decorative frames leaning against a wall, harvest tables w/ mismatched wood chairs pulled around, ironstone platters and old glass cake stands, bowls of chippy croquet balls and 100 yr old ledger books.
Our shop smells fantastic w/ our new soaps just in...oatmeal, twigs & berries and lemon verbena - pure glycerin, rough cut and handmade right here in Iowa. Mix those smells w/ our "signature" coffee ( OK...it's really french vanilla Folgers), and it's like a warm blanket wrapped around 'ya as you walk through the front door. Another new gift item just in is our apple jackets and coffee sleeves done up in the coziest of colors and fibers. Never heard of an apple jacket - they are too darned cute w/ their antique button or rhinestone closures, they will keep your apples from bruising as you brown bag it and well...they are just too darned cute! Great as gifts for teachers and bus drivers and sisters and moms and working women and Sunday school teachers and babysitters and teenagers who do cold lunch...or just gathered in a wooden bowl on the table! I promise pictures to come of all of our gift items in the shop (and hopefully, they won't be blurry pictures like above...I am trying?!).
The new shop hours (Tues thru Fr 1-6pm and Sat 10-3pm) seem to be catching on w/ our seasoned customers as well as new souls that have come through our old doors. We will be making final decisions on our upcoming seasonal celebration tomorrow, and then we will post all the details as well as send out emails and update the website. Just so you know, it has always been hard for Julie and I to bring out Christmas decorations before December...just the way we were brought up to savor each holiday as it comes. But as shop owners, we understand the urgency to begin a little early. So to make up for this, we strive to do Christmas very JB Knacker-like. You will love our themes, colors, vignettes and wonderful gift ideas! Stay tuned for the dates and times of the event and in the meantime, come visit us and checkout all the goodies!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

JB Knacker thoughts, travels & such

What a great charm workshop we had a few Tuesdays ago (Sept.23rd). A big thanks to the 9 participants: Marie, Melanie, Kay, Erin, Mary, Deb, Shari, Lori and Ms. Tomlinsin (forgive me as I can't remember your first name, but I can see your face and remember your last name - that's called raging post-partum hormones). Our wonderful Penny did a great job leading the troops in the education of "all that solders" and also Tracy was a great assistant and helper for the night! Thanks also to Deb who quickly shot a few pictures as Julie & I can't seem to remember to bring a camera w/ us anywhere! I hate that we forgot this again because you need Need to see what these creative gals made. The charms were beautiful and then as an added bonus they all got to create a typewriter charm to embellish their finished necklace. Next charm workshop will be in early December...great time for gift-giving. The next workshop in our series is next Tuesday, October 14th 6-8pm - Journal making is on the agenda and we have a bunch of gals from the MODA club at ISU joining us, but still have room for more, so call the shop ASAP and pre-register (www.jbknacker.com for more info. on workshop series).
The husband, baby Cecilia and I all hit the road last Thursday to get an early jump at the What Cheer Flea. The ability to avoid the crowds and drive the vehicle right into the fairgrounds is a plus about Thursday. Now, you do miss some vendors who haven't arrived yet or those that just mysteriously leave their space for hours on end, but the pluses w/ a new baby in tow much outweighed the negatives. I like What Cheer for their ephemera and wire...two of my all-time favorite things. But you gotta dig and get down and dirty to find the good stuff...and that, I have no trouble doing ever except when you need to stay somewhat clean and sanitary so as to nurse a baby every few hours. The husband and I are no amateurs at junking nor having a baby with, so we did the best we could and discovered a few goodies along the way. Very favorite discovery: 3 massive ledger books w/ awesome calligraphy writing...you know like the one in the Mickey Mouse Scrooge story where the ledger is way bigger than Mickey w/ his little feet dangling as he writes in it on Christmas Eve...you know the one. I have big plans for the monstrous ledgers. I don't have pictures of the ledgers...just a few of the $1 tables at What Cheer as well as some shots of fun things I dug out of a shed on the way to What Cheer. Don't worry, there was a sale happening at the shed at the time.

Friday, September 19, 2008

New Hours at JB Knacker

This is a big deal for Julie & I...we are changing our shop hours! After 3 years of the same hours, it's time for new ones due to our changing lives and schedules. After lots and lots of planning sessions and different scenarios thrown about, we came up w/ these hours: Tuesday through Friday 1:00pm - 6:00pm and Saturday 10:00am - 3:00pm. We pray that this works for the majority of our current customers and new customers find these hours a good fit, too! These new hours begin on Tuesday, September 30th...until then, the old hours are in effect (Tues. 10am-6pm, Wed. through Sat. 10am-3pm).
We can't wait for the Breakfast Club this coming Saturday from 8-10am! It's such a warm, inviting and relaxed atmosphere at these events. Our customers have a great time mingling w/ old and new friends as do we!! The above picture is the set-up of our little brick hearth in the shop at the last Breakfast Club. A change is in order for this coming Saturday...Hmmm...do we go w/ a full-out harvesty vignette or maybe a creepy "dark" Halloween-type set-up or maybe...Until then, Brenda

Monday, June 16, 2008

The JB Knacker Breakfast Club

OK... we think this is gonna be fun! Saturday, June 28th from 8:00am 'til 10:00am, we will be hosting our monthly breakfast club at the shop. This is by invitation only (those on our email and those that check out our website), so don't miss out. We will be throwing open the doors at 8:00am sharp and serving breakfast (muffins, juice, coffee and fruit) as you, our wonderful customer, will be foraging throughout the shop and sideyard for funky finds and quirky designs. Not only will you be the first to see much of the "new" old findings, but you get a whopping 20% off whatever you decide to buy from 8-10am. We will then send you on your way w/ a map of more cool places to check out (occasional sales, shops and whatever else is happening in the area). All we need you to do is let us know if you can make it (email us at mkbrendas@aol.com or sumthyme@aol.com or call us at 233-2600). For further information, you can always go to our website at www.jbknacker.com. Your friends are welcome and will make the day so much more fun. We look forward to turning the shop upside down and inside out w/ our great finds in the next week...see you bright and early!!

Julie & Brenda

Monday, June 9, 2008

Did I really do this right?


I pushed a few buttons and "poof" I have a blog! I've been ringing my hands over getting this done...begging our wonderful employee's fiance, Rob, to find that little extra time in his schedule to make this blog a reality...and what do ya know, I did it myself. Life is good if it's really this simple?!

This is JB Knacker's first blog post and I will be doing most of the posting as I promised Julie I would. As a lot of you already know, JB Knacker consists of two women (Julie & Brenda - me) who had that desire...you know the one to be creative and make money while still juggling wifely duties and child-rearing. Julie & I opened our shop in August of 2001 and never looked back. Our humble beginnings under the cottonwood trees in Julie's front yard have led us to our current site in a 130 yr old Main Street building in Gilbert, Iowa. You know, Ames, Iowa home of the Iowa State Cyclones...yeah, just 4 miles north of Ames or 50ish miles north of Des Moines or roughly 2 1/2 hours straight south of the Twin Cities - you pick. We're pretty centralized and quite proud of our Midwestern sensibilities. Please check out our website at http://www.jbknacker.com/ and you'll get a little more on our background.

Our shop is full of all sorts of curiousities and wonderful vintage pieces. We pride ourselves on selling all vintage and antiquities w/ the mere exception of those items we create from vintage or have a few dedicated troopers create for us. JB Knacker is not your typical antique store. Maybe you've all heard this saying a million times, but we strive everyday to make this statement a reality! Just peer in the front windows and smell the peonies and french vanilla coffee as you wander in the front doors. You may hear vintage Neil Diamond or Harry Belafonte or maybe Frank Sinatra on the old reel to reel player. Vignettes are quirky & fun and the prices allow the shopper to buy the whole caboodle or just a few funky pieces to add to or start a collection.

I have so much to say, but don't want to overwhelm in this first post especially since I'm not sure my limited technical capabilities allow me to actually post pics w/ this dialogue. We are excited to introduce JB Knacker style to the blog world and really hope this is a great way to keep communication open w/ our present customers and gain bunches of new fans to the site and the shop. Thank you for visiting!! Brenda