If your heart skips a beat when you pass a garage sale and you prefer the local flea market to the mall, there’s a good chance you understand what the Junk Gypsy Company is all about. It could be said that the Junk Gypsies turn trash into treasure, but in Junk Gypsyville, junk is never trash – it’s potential.
Amie Sikes, who co-owns Junk Gypsy with her sister Jolie, says she and her sister were born into the world of junk. Growing up, they watched their enterprising parents fill the restaurant they owned with second hand items, from the ovens to the decor.
“Everything they got was at an auction or it was old (or) it was from a restaurant that was closing down,” Sikes says. “They never bought anything new.”
Sikes said she and her sister originally got into the junk business as a means to an end while they focused on their post-college career paths. But they quickly realized their true calling.
“If you get into the flea market world it’s slightly addictive,” Sikes says. “We really fell so in love with the lifestyle and the people, the road, the junk — all of it. Now it’s a bona fide addiction that has become our livelihood.”
In 1998, the Sikes sisters, along with their mother Janie, set out in an old pickup truck to scour the country’s backroads for rural relics. The family went on to build a central Texas junk empire. Setting up shop in the tiny town of Round Top, Texas, the Junk Gypsies built a flagship store where they sell refurbished furniture, jewelry, road trip gear and clothing that celebrates the spirit of wanderlust Junk Gypsy was founded on.
“We knew we had to do a really big, over-the-top store because if you’re going to come out here, it’s a destination,” Sikes says. “We really want people to walk in and feel something they don’t feel at a regular store. It’s something you don’t get at the mall.”
Driving down the picturesque highway toward Round Top (population 90), it’s impossible to miss the Junk Gypsy World Headquarters. The official mascot “Large Marge,” a pink suburban lovingly adorned with bumper stickers that tell stories of her well-traveled life, is parked outside. Inside, a bohemian-outlaw-country cowgirl paradise awaits.
Necklaces, rings and trinkets celebrating western fashion, country music and adventure abound inside the store. Celebrate The Hag with some “Mama Tried” jewelry, or pick up “Thelma and Louise” necklaces for you and your favorite partner in crime.
Earlier this year, the Gypsies launched their own boot line in collaboration with Lane Boots. Prices for the boots, which feature southwest-inspired embellishments and a healthy dose of fringe, range from $200 to $350 a pair.
The Junk Gypsy apparel line, a perfect mix of spunky southern-rock and country inspired shirts, skirts and hats, is best paired with your favorite turquoise necklace and boots.
Much of the company’s merchandise is geared toward those who enjoy exploring the great outdoors. Go camping, or as the Gypsies say, “glamping,” in style with these adorable home-on-the-range pillows.
Rustic glam decor, like this skull adorned with seashells is a staple for the Gypsies and their many fans.
Fittingly, one of Junk Gypsy’s most vocal supporters is Miranda Lambert. The company’s DIY-style and fearless originality is the perfect match for the East Texas spitfire singer’s personality. In 2005, Lambert took notice of the business and wore a Junk Gypsy-designed “Mama Tried” t-shirt in her “Kerosene” music video. Two years later, the gypsies revamped Lambert’s tour bus into a caravan fit for her rebellious rambler lifestyle.
But it isn’t just the cowgirls getting on board the Gypsy train. In 2012, Dierks Bentley recruited the Gypsies to design a countryfied airstream for him.
Since opening the Junk Gypsy World Headquarters, the Sikes have went from junker-extraordinaires to reality TV stars. Junk Gypsies premiered on HGTV in 2012 and later aired on Great American Country.
Last year, the sisters launched their own home decor line for Pottery Barn Teen. In the video below, the women show how to glam up an ordinary lampshade.
Amie and Jolie Sikes’ new book, Junk Gypsy: Designing a Life at the Crossroads of Wonder and Wander, comes out Oct. 4.
Sikes says although DIY projects are included throughout, the majority of the book focuses on life on the flea market circuit and how the sisters built a business out of their passion
“It’s about all of these things that have created Junk Gypsy: the road, the wanderlust, going on road trips, not using your GPS and looking at a real map, getting lost, listening to the waitress at the diner,” Sikes says. “And then the junk world — the flea market being the most magical, exciting place on the face of the earth.”
Junk Gypsy is a significant part of the immensely popular Texas Antiques Week. During the event, junkers and antique enthusiasts descend upon Round Top and surrounding towns to shop and celebrate at Junk Gypsy’s Junk-O-Rama Prom. Prom attendees where their finest up-cycled or “junkified” dresses and dance the night away. You can see the gypsies in their element during the next Texas Antiques Week, which starts Sept. 23 and lasts through Oct. 1.
The Junk Gypsy World Headquarters is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.