It was shortly after the birth of our fourth son, the last of three born 15 months apart. Our home at the time was an old schoolhouse built in the thirties, nestled in the foothills of Mt. Spokane. We were adjusting to life with a home full of young boys and struggling to make ends meet.
I’d recently begun making a modest amount of money selling yard sale finds on ebay and although it wasn’t anything to write home about, I enjoyed it immensely.
One afternoon, my friend Teri called to tell me she’d just been to an amazing yard sale in Deer Park, which was about a half an hour from my home. Dishes, fun vintage purses, neat old scarves and so on. I was so excited about her finds that I dropped my yard work, hopped in the car, and headed on over to her house to check it all out. When I arrived, I was surprised to see how much stuff that she, her sister, and two girls had scored. I asked if there was much left at the sale when they’d left. “Quite a bit!”, they replied.
And so we headed back to see what I could find.
We pulled up and all I could really see were several tables piled high with clothing. Not what I was hoping. But when I neared, I could see that the clothing was at leastall vintage and I was intrigued. Digging in, I came upon an interesting old Hawaiian shirt.
At some point leading up to that day I’d read an article in Country Living Magazine about vintage Hawaiian shirts and remembered learning that certain ones could actually be quite valuable.
I added the shirt to my pile and went to pay. “All clothes are .10 cents each”, the lady said with a smile. Well, I thought, I can’t go wrong.
Later that week, I listed my shirt on ebay and crossed my fingers that it’d be worth something. Maybe $50? And then something began to happen. The bids started coming in and the price began to rise. $50 – – – – – $85 – – – – $125… WHAT?!
I called Colin, heart pounding, “MY SHIRT IS AT $125!”Then I’d call Teri. MY SHIRT IS AT $125!!! No, Wait! It’s at $135!
And so it went for seven days. Eventually, Colin’s co-workers were watching the auction too. Who could believe this shirt was going this high?
When the final minutes on the auction ticked away, and we continued to click refresh! refresh! refresh! with the mouse, the price ticked on up to a final bid of $860!
Yep! That’s the shirt, and the $860 check.
But the fun didn’t stop there. Ebay loved the story so much that years later I shot a commercial for the company, re-telling my story. I don’t think the commercial ever aired, but it was a fun experience none the less.
Stay-at-home mom, Serena Thompson, dreamed of creating a fun and happy little event to sell her vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, she and some friends held the first event in her neighbor’s barn. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today the event fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces filled with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best vintage & handmade fair in the country. Serena describes it as the happiest on earth.