“We believe in big dreams, big hair and big tires,” Amie Sikes, one-half of HGTV’s hit show Junk Gypsies, declares with a smile that can be heard through the phone.
Sitting in a parking lot outside of a convention in Austin, Texas, Amie and her sister/co-star Jolie Sikes take a few minutes to chat about their new book, Junk Gypsy: Designing a Life at the Crossroads of Wonder & Wander.
It’s a perfect setting for the conversation, because Texas is home to both ladies, and it has played a huge role in their success this far.
“We’re very proud Texans and proud Southerners. Texas has a spirit, energy and a soul all about it that we really embrace. It has a lot of individuality,” Jolie says.
The book has been a long time in the making, an idea the Sikes sisters are excited has finally come to fruition but never thought they would had time to complete.
“It’s probably a good thing we didn’t realize how long it was going to take us, or we might not have taken the time. We just kind of sequestered ourselves and hunkered down for about eights months and did nothing but work on the book. It kind of consumed us, like… like all of our projects seem to do!” Amie laughs. “We need to learn how to delegate better, but that doesn’t seem to be our forte.”
What does seem to be the ladies’ forte is connecting with a fan base that admires the duo for their down-home approach and warm demeanor, particularly with the stories they share. The only problem was, these Southern storytellers had too much to say, which proved to be a challenge almost greater than overcoming writer’s block.
“The cutting and editing process was very painful,” Amie says. “We were throwing away things that felt like in a way, something that feels like it’s your baby. We could have basically wrote a book that was five times the length of the book we actually came up with.”
All of that hard work has clearly paid off. Since its release last month, Junk Gypsy: Designing a Life at the Crossroads of Wonder & Wander has found its way on the New York Times Bestseller list.
“We’re shocked, but that’s the way Jolie and I are. We never quit being shocked about everything that’s happened in this business. We’re thankful and shocked and humbled and very excited,” Amie says graciously.
Amie and Jolie have done some pretty big things over the years, from Billie Joe Armstrong’s anniversary present Airstream from his wife (Amie gushes, “They are really amazing people. We are very excited that they came into our world.”) all the way to one of their favorite projects, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton’s wedding reception.
“We did the reception, and the pictures never did it justice. It was real sentimental for us, because we know both of them. We’re very rarely proud of what we do, because we always feel like we could have done better. We’re never satisfied. But we were really happy with the way that came out.” She pauses, then laughs. “I mean- the reception, not the wedding.”
“Not the results,” Jolie chimes in, laughing.
Over the weekend, they even got the chance to discover what a big fan Mike Wolfe of American Pickers is, and they describe the experience as “surreal.”
“He made us start crying!” Amie says. “He told us, while we were sitting in his office, ‘There’s people that have been doing this business for many, many years, of course, but y’all are the first people that ever made it a true lifestyle and brought it to the forefront.’ He was absolutely the most gracious and the nicest person ever.”
To anyone that’s looking to follow in the footsteps of the Sikes sisters, Amie says, “Jolie and I always say the same thing, honestly. We always say, really, the most important thing is having passion for whatever it is that you want to do. And don’t be afraid to work your booty off. It’s worth it in the long run, but it is hard to get there sometimes, to do what you really want to do. Get out there and give it a try!”