COLFAX — Finding an item that truly speaks to them is the goal of every antique shopper.
From the endless journey jumping from store to store to the countless hours browsing every shelf, most vintage hunters will attest there is no better satisfaction than finding an item that fits perfectly in their home.
From Friday to Sunday, hundreds of people will journey through Baxter, Newton and Colfax on a quest to find this perfect item for the inaugural Fall 2017 Back Roads Junk-It Trail.
“One time we went to (a store) outside of Ames, and I found a needle point of a deer. I have a wall in my house that is all Iowa, from old Iowa license plates to old Iowa cross stitch things. This doesn’t say Iowa, but it made the wall because it was this little deer in a barn, or a horse stable. I loved it,” Lindsay Bethards, owner of participating shop Bushel and a Peck said. “When I found it, I’m like it is mine. My husband is like, ‘Really?’ If there is something that speaks to me, I am getting it.”
With 28 shops participating in this event, the three-day sale will offer participants a chance to check out a variety of antique, vintage, rustic, primitive, retro, rusty and farm fresh items.
The trail circles around 14 central Iowa towns, allowing patrons to start and stop wherever they would like. According to organizers, with food options available and each stop no more than 41 minutes away from each other, the bi-annual event will allow shoppers to travel the back roads of towns, explore new places and most importantly, maximize their opportunity to find hidden treasures.
“They get really excited with the hunt, going to all these places that they don’t know exist or are just confused when they are opened,” Spring City Vintage store owner, Julia Kern said.
In its second year in participating in the event and third time overall, the Colfax shop hopes the trail will attract hundreds to the town of more than 2,000 people.
“It is nice to see people in our communities. A lot of these stores are in the downtown district. It is nice to see other stores get traffic. The restaurants get traffic. It is nice to see our little towns come to life,” Kern said. “I think last year, I had multiple people from a variety of different states in the store. Some were from North Carolina, Wisconsin and Illinois ... I would have to say I would have 1,000 people come through my store.”
As the event will coincide with the business fall festival, Fall 4 Colfax, the business owner said trail participants stopping in town are guaranteed to have a fun time.
“They will have so much to do in this select weekend,” she said. “There is going to be pumpkin carving, a variety activities at the fall festival. You see success. It is just nice to see these people want to come to our small town.”
Baxter will be represented on the trail by two shops, returning vendor, Jonnie’s Red Barn and newcomer Bushel and a Peck, who held its grand opening last Saturday.
“I have done this one, and they are fun,” Bethards said. “It is really fun to find the same funky little thing that you like. It’s like you found your soul sister. It’s like, ‘I love that lamp’ and someone else says it because everyone else in the store said that lamp is ugly.”
The store owner said several of these types of businesses have limited store operating hours. Through this event, shoppers will be given the rare opportunity to dive into each store, visit multiple shops and find the perfect item they are seeking.
“Every shop is different. We are all connected in some way, but each shop has its own feel,” Bethards said. “It is so genius to put us all together on that line, and push people on that trail so they can see that there are other things out there other than big store shopping ... There is always that store that connects with you and has that feel for you.”
Newton shops, Fine Things Reclaimed, The Farmer’s Wife and Relics will join the trail route again this year.
Other towns participating in the weekend shopping spree include Marshalltown, Haverhill, Laurel, Melbourne, State Center, Nevada, Zearing, Eldora, Steamboat Rock, Gladbrook and Garwin.
Contact Anthony Victor Reyes at email@example.com