Thursday, December 17, 2009

As Christmas is less than a week away, I thought I'd let you know our hours of operation. Next week we will be open Tuesday 1pm - 6pm as usual and drum roll please...we will open 7am on Wednesday morning (Dec. 23rd) serving a hot breakfast (free), offering free creative gift wrap services and ALL CHRISTMAS IS 50% OFF!!

Sometimes I think I'm crazy to do this to myself a couple of days before Christmas, but then I remember how I love a crowd and the excitement of friends popping into the shop to say "Merry Christmas" and the wonderful smells of Christmas and the music and...well, I hope this day becomes an annual tradition of sorts. We hope to help those who haven't even started shopping yet (please pass this on to all of the men you know) as well as those of you that need to just add a few more finishing touches. And just so you know, there will be new Christmas out on this day (even though it will be getting marked down) and new items added. We will be acting as personal shoppers for some who just have no idea where to start and putting fun little "gift baskets" together only as JB Knacker can.

If you work, you'll want to stop in right at 7am, get a bite to eat, shop and get anything wrapped that is being given as a gift. You are welcome to come back after work to pick up your already wrapped gifts if time is an issue. We will stay open through 6pm so really anytime throughout the day is a great time to visit. This will be a fun & festive day!!

JB Knacker will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to be w/ family and celebrate the Lord Jesus.

The old shop doors will be open Saturday, December 26th from 10am - 3pm as usual w/ 50% off Christmas items and many other specials throughout the shop ~ a good day to be at JB Knacker, I promise!!

The following week, we will be open regular hours Tuesday, Wednesday and on Thursday (New Year's Eve), we will close a little early at 4pm. Christmas items will continue to be 50-75% off. We will be closed on Friday, New Year's Day.

January ~ JB Knacker will be open on Saturdays only 10am - 5pm. So the first Saturday is January 2nd...then January 9th, the 16th, the 23rd and finally, the 30th. This allows us to freshen up the walls and floors w/ new paint and polish and spit-shine anything that is a little drab. There will be fresh looks for the new year...softer, prettier and flouncier, and each Saturday will have a special theme and fun surprises!

We will resume regular hours in February.

Hope this helps you plan your visits to the old shop and as always thank you for reading this blog and supporting JB Knacker ~ Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas is Coming, the Goose is Getting Fat...

Well, it's the second week of December and the snow is flying outside and the wind is whipping it into blizzard conditions. I hope everyone is cozy at home in these parts and able to just stay put. The shop will be closed today (Wednesday the 9th). If I lived within walking distance of the shop, I would love to putter around and create new vignettes and finish projects. But instead, the lights and decorations will go up on our tree at home and the kids will sled down hills (or dive into snow drifts) and hot chocolate will be sipped and gingerbread baked in the oven. It will be a good snow day.

Guess what I forgot to announce? The winner of our Black Friday drawing. Lynn have a big fat $50.00 gift certificate waiting for you at the shop!! Congratulations and thanks for all of you that came out and shopped JB Knacker on that day ~ it was a good one!

We rolled into the first week of December and watched a lot of tarnished silver fly out the door in the form of big old ornate platters and fancy schmancy candy dishes and perfume trays. Did I mention the monster metal urn in the front window has been gone for a little while now...on its way to Cedar Falls, but it has been replaced w/ a smaller version (but still a nice size) black metal urn that rests on our 7 foot harvest table.

We hauled in one of 2 very large oak cupboards from an old school in Davenport, Iowa after the pretty buffet sold.

Lots of old wire and metal grace our shop in the form of old garden gates, tool boxes, wire "memo boards" and old advertising signs. Beautiful glass domes and cut glass dessert dishes, depression glass sugar & creamers and etched glass goblets rest on our old storefront shelves.

Costume jewelry chains, brooches and earrings mix well w/ our vintage inspired soldered & typewriter charms and a new line of chunky organic earrings have been selling fast.

Many who have never ventured into JB Knacker may have preconceived notions that we are just antiques lined up against the walls or consignment or heaven knows what, and certainly not a shop that would be worthy of buying gifts for those on their list. They are so wrong! Just pulling up to the front of our shop and stepping in to the smell of our wonderful hand poured soaps and french vanilla coffee brewing should do the trick. The gifts that grace our shelves are one-of-a-kind because they are carefully selected vintage pieces (by me!) or designed uniquely for our shop by a creative local artist. Grain sack number pillows, window sash letters, jewelry (from earrings to charmed necklaces), chunky hand poured soaps, funny & endearing cards, beautiful old books and ornate frames are just a smidgen of what we have to offer.

It was fun to listen to a couple of new customers in the shop last Saturday..."Look what I found! I've been looking all over for one of these and they have like four of them and they are only eight dollars each!! Oh my gosh, did you see have got to get one for mom, she will love it!" That kind of stuff makes my day!

Have a wonderful week and hope to see you at the shop!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Crazy Busy

Is that how time flies? You just get crazy busy and "whoosh" it's Thanksgiving! Crazy busy can be a good thing...a very good thing in the retail world. A Vintage Christmas last weekend was wonderful! OK... the 70 degree weather was a little weird for the first weekend in November in Iowa. But on the inside... the mix of hot cider, french vanilla coffee, almond & Christmas sugar soap and homemade goodies was enticing. Christmas and vintage was being brought out all weekend during the festivities. As quickly as one item sold another was there to replace it. And this is only the beginning of what JB Knacker will be offering in vintage and vintage inspired goodness for the season. Our next big event is the day after Thanksgiving. We will be open with extended hours from 10 am - 5pm that day and our door busters will be something to behold. In this creative world of JB Knacker, where new old stuff is brought in daily and fun "marriages of old pieces & parts happens spontaneously, hard to know exactly what those door busters might be...maybe doors - that's kind of funny. We will also have a $50.00 drawing for a JB Knacker gift certificate!

You won't find this stuff at any mall or big discount really won't find much of it anywhere but right here at the shop. I encourage every one of you to look at decorating for Christmas w/ a different "eye." Use old sleds, metal & wire fence gates, chippy old chunks of fence, mesh wire wreaths, wood crates & painted trunks, mossy statuary and bird baths ~ all very organic and reusable choices as well as unique. JB Knacker will even lend a helping hand to fill those organic vessels ~ pine cones, twigs, branches, evergreen boughs and assorted nature will be in abundance in our shop and side yard.

Our gift line is all locally hand made ~ fingerless knit mittens, apple jackets, coffee sleeves and mug huggers have all had a bit of kitschy bling added to them. Sarcastically charming soldered charms, junk embellishment charms and typewriter key charms ready for one of our new or vintage chains or add them to your own existing chain or bracelet or key chain or use as a gift topper or ornament or sun catcher or bookmark... How about a very yummy chunk of hand-cut soap in the scents of Christmas Sugar, Almond, Twigs & Berries, Lemon Verbena, Georgia Peach or Cotton Breeze. Pair our soap w/ one of our chunky ironstone dishes or a delicate floral cottage dish (free w/ purchase of soap) and you have a really great gift for just $5! A grain sack numbered pillow or window sash letter are really fun gifts that you can personalize to your recipient w/ their favorite letter or number (as long as it is 2, 3 , 22, 23 or 33)!

And you have to check out our growing paper and trinket room: ledger pages, old music pages, old postcards and Christmas cards, vintage and antique photos, maps, flashcards of #'s, words and letters, BINGO cards, buttons, lace, old seam binding and ribbon and our very newest item...silver German glass glitter!

Suffice it to say, you need to check us out! Can't wait to see you at the shop!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Vintage Christmas at JB Knacker

Rekindle the excitement and anticipation that was Christmas as a kid: Santa & sleds, snowmen & skates, music & midnight service and food & family! Join us at JB Knacker on Saturday, Nov. 7th from 9am - 6pm and again on Sunday, Nov. 8th from 12pm - 4pm. Twinkly lights and fresh evergreen will be plentiful and festive bites and beverages will be served.

Now, if you remember last year's ad, you may be thinking, "isn't this the same ad?" "Is Brenda really that strapped for time and imagination?" Yes, it is a really similar ad and uses the same picture of me and my siblings circa 1968. And yes, I am always strapped for time which can sometimes lower my creativity or at least what gets accomplished (but the old gears never stop turning). Truth be told, I love this picture and the feeling it gives me. So what's wrong w/ using something more than once...absolutely nothing and that is so what we are all about at JB Knacker! Go back and try to recall your favorite memory from your childhood Christmas...mine is all 6 of us kids piling into my big sister Mary's bed to await the visit from Santa. Anticipation, excitement and fun as well as cozy and inviting...that's what I strive for in my own home at this time of the year as well as at the shop. And this is the feeling I want each and every one of you to leave with from A Vintage Christmas at JB Knacker!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oh, What a Night...

I loved entrepreneur night! All 19 participants shopped, painted, ate and mingled w/ one another. Tips and ideas from regional business owners were soaked up on this blustery rainy night as the hot coffee was flowing. The former owner of a gift shop & tea room, the owner of 2 floral & home design shops, the husband & wife team of a popular occasional sale & Etsy store and the owner of a barn sale on her property were all in top form and eager to share how they got started, the best things about what they do, some of the pitfalls of being your own boss and plans for the future. Questions and comments from participants helped the evening to flow right along and go past our ending time of 8pm. I think this night was just the tip of the "iceberg" w/ this topic. We are looking forward to the next installment of Entreprenuer Night! A big thank you to our talented panel and wonderful participants!!

And now some pictures of the shop...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Entrepreneur Night

There is a fun event happening at JB Knacker in just under 2 weeks. On Thursday evening, October 22nd from 5-8pm, JB Knacker in conjunction w/ our neighbor Jo at Left Bank Studio will be hosting an "Entrepreneur Night." It is a first time for this event and we are really excited! Because this is a special event, JB Knacker will close its doors at the regular time on Wednesday evening (6pm) not to open again until 5pm on Thursday evening. This will give just enough time to twirl the shop into a new look, haul in new old pieces just for this event and maybe even start some rumors!

So what is Entrepreneur Night? It is shopping, eating and a time to reflect on your dreams. Shopping begins promptly at 5pm at JB Knacker. This night is by invitation only as a thank you to our customers (your friends and family are also welcome ~ whoever would help to make this night special) and therefore, you receive a 10% discount on everything at the shop on this night! Dinner is served at 6pm next door at the Write Brain Cafe/Left Bank Studio w/ a creative exercise in exploring your dreams intertwined w/ the meal. Our entrepreneur panel will begin at 7pm w/ desserts and beverages served. We will be hosting a diverse group of business owners. The one comment that both Jo and I hear over and over is "I would love to own my own shop, cafe, coffee house ~ you fill in the blank. What better way to explore this comment than to allow talented entrepreneurs to tell their story and YOU to ask them questions ~ lots of questions. After the night is over, you also go home w/ a sweet little stash of goodies compliments of JB Knacker and the Left Bank Studio.

The cost of the evening is $25.00 and early registration is encouraged as there are space limitations because of the meal and entrepreneur panel. You can register by either calling the shop (233-2600) or just stopping by. And feel free to email me w/ any questions.

Thank you for continued support of JB Knacker and stay tuned for details on JB Knacker's Christmas Bash on Saturday, November 7th ~ Brenda

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I Can Breathe Again!

And I mean that literally. I got a bit run-down after the Junk Bonanza in Minnesota. I am just feeling better as I type this. Wow, 2 weeks is a long time to feel yucky. I actually feel quite blessed as (#1) I am returning to a healthy status and (#2) only 3 of the 6 kiddos came down w/ something as well (update: 2 more down for the count as of 10/5 am ~ ask me in a few days if I still feel blessed!).

OK, enough about sickness! The Junk Bonanza was a really good time!! I know I am the last to post about this great event, but you know the old saying...

As I mentioned in my last post (yes, over 3 weeks ago!), we pulled out of Gilbert at about 1:30pm on Wednesday and had to get to Shakopee and be set up by 7:00pm ~ totally flying by the seat of our pants. Well, we did it (thank you to the kind young security man who let us stay until 8:20pm as we feverishly tried to put a booth together).

The booths were to die for and the junk was plentiful and affordable! Ki and her crew put on a top-notch show that was run smoothly and professionally. I so recommend The Bonanza not only from a shoppers perspective, but also from a vendors stand-point.

Honestly, I didn't get many pictures except on the last day of the show (what a poor excuse for a blogger I am). Julie & I kept at a quick clip w/ sales and yapping w/ customers and vendors alike as well as attending blog parties (where I won a bag full of the Farm Chicks goodies and mingled with blog superstars). Dan of Boone's Junk Refunkery (aka Dori's husband) was very sweet to let me sit by him as at first I felt a bit like I was back in high school and attending a party where I didn't know anybody. But once introductions were made, it was a wonderful time for my first blog party! Did get a picture of our neighbors, Three Shabby Chicks from Kansas City. They had a beautifully displayed booth w/ such an ethereal feel to it ~ great displays! And a picture of our booth neighbor Dawn from Blue Earth, MN. Small world in that her backyard is right next to my aunt Polly & uncle Harold's backyard. Wonderful stuff at great prices in her booth...why didn't I grab that wicker porch swing when I had the chance?! The Iowa Junk Gypsies (Anita & Judy) were fun to meet and visit w/...sadly, I don't have a picture of their booth...great unusual finds like old statuary and rolls of vintage wallpaper to name just two. I really enjoyed visiting w/ Linda of Restyled Home and contributor to the new Fleamarket style magazine coming out next spring (w/ Ki, Matthew & Jenny Mead and Heather Bullard on board as well). Gretchen of Mimi Toria's Designs also stopped by our booth for a visit ~ talented jewelry designer! And then a bit of our booth on the last day of the show. We met wonderful vendors and customers alike and had a great time!

Back to Gilbert, Iowa... and the old shop is full, full, full! I have been shopping during my was the only thing that made me feel better. Well, that and Vicks. I even got to visit Barb at Simply Iowa in Fairfax this past Friday. What a sweet ephemeral experience. The ambiance in her shop is something to behold. And who do I run into there, but Sarah from Old Town Antiques in Duluth, Minnesota. When we travel north, I love to stop at this antique haven and Sarah's booth is the first one I head to! Can you believe Sarah and I were both after the same old little metal file drawers and rusty scalloped feeders (luckily there were several of each).

And back to Gilbert, Iowa once again and the shop...some of my favorites at the shop right now, well...all the different styles of dress forms, 3 sweet buffets, all the little white pumpkins, galvanized & metal buckets & drawers, chippy pair of painted chairs and funky embellishment charms for our new & vintage chain to name a few things. Stop by the old place to see the loot. We'll have a hot pot of coffee waiting for you.

Save the Date: Thursday, October 22nd ~ evening'ish...I will let you know in a day or so ~ a fun special event happening at JB Knacker for all of you with the entrepeneurial (spell check says that is correct?) spirit!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sweet, sweet unrest...

This is the motto I'm living by these days! Why not, life is too short not to pile too many things on your plate and run with all of them!

Junk Bonanza...we pull the truck out early Wednesday afternoon. Now, I'm hoping we can whoosh the shop into something fun & well, really just presentable after we pluck some yummy vintage goods off the floor to take up north. Hubby promised to lug in the 2 big wonderful cabinets that have been languishing in the shed until room was made at the shop. And as we're packing up the truck, I promise not to take all of the new old goods found in the past few days. If you can't make it to Shakopee to shop this great show, then you can hit JB Knacker and shop at a nice 20% discount this Friday & Saturday. It is a bit of a "guilt sale" as I know the shop will not be in top form (always the marketing guru) and I want to reward those faithful customers who venture our way and any new ones who see our ad in the Goods section of the DesMoines Register.

The next soldered charm workshop will be Wednesday, September 30th from 6-8pm at the shop. Call and reserve your space (233-2600) ASAP.

Brewing up a fun day at the shop in about a month. Will give more details on that when we return from the Junk Bonanza.

Wish us wonderful luck! For those of you who are venturing to The Bonanza, look for us in the tent on one of the ends. We have a great "creative studio artist thing" happening in our booth w/ lots of fun pieces to create your unique artistic haven.

Here's to a great week ~ Brenda

Monday, August 31, 2009

JB Knacker ended August on a great note! Thanks to all of you who made it to the shop on such a fine looking day. Believe it or not, it was our best day ever! I'm still shocked by that, but never have I had a day where I couldn't get away from the cash register all day, not even to pee! And I will gladly hold it for that reason!! Enough with the bathroom talk...really just wanted to say thanks and give you a quick tour of pockets & corners of the shop.

A lot of fun stuff still left and more being put out daily. No time to rest as JUNK Bonanza is just around the corner ~ September 17th, 18th & 19th! The booth display is coming's gonna be GREAT! And don't forget to sign up for our latest workshops on September 23rd (soldered charm wrkshp) and the 30th (inspiration board wrkshp). Both workshops are on Wednesday evenings from 6-8pm at the shop ~ give us a call at (515) 233-2600 to register or email us at Brenda