Junkaholics bring repurposed items to Rodeo Zone

Maria Borkowski, Freelance Contributor

Saturday, Jan. 27, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 

Sunday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 

Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Rodeo Zone Trade Show (Ice Arena) 

$5 admission at the door  


“Shabby-chic,” “retro,” “vintage,” are buzzwords that have taken over the home decorating world in recent years. The process of taking old things–things that were previously destined for the dump– and giving them new life is big business for some creative people. Recycling things like antique furniture, farm equipment parts and the detritus that accumulates in the barn loft has become a trend.  

This year, the Rodeo Zone at the Black Hills Stock Show will play host to a “junk show” during the first weekend. “We first saw their show at the rodeo in Minot,” said Kim Sutton, who coordinates the Rodeo Zone trade show. “It was very cool! They had everything from an old screen door to chicken coop nesting boxes, clear up to completely refurbished furniture.” 

“It started as a confession, we sat down and decided we had too much stuff, and our requirement was at least one horse trailer load of stuff was to be brought to town,” said the three women behind Granville Junkaholics–Wanda Bachmeier, Kolette Kramer and Melissa Kramer– on a conference call. “It turned into more like three loads each. It was the birth of our spring sale.” 

The purge/sale soon morphed into a spring and a fall sale, held in two rural North Dakota towns, but they quickly outgrew that, so their show moved to the Badlands Circuit finals in Minot, and they are now moving into new territories with the BHSS. The show has been dubbed the Dakota Junk Market. “We decided to call it the Dakota market, because that was the name of the territory before it was divided into states, and it seemed to fit as we are breathing new life into pieces from that era,” they said.  

Thet hree women have shopped together for decades, they have hoarded, and purged, scavenged, laughed, cried, and eaten copious amounts of chocolate on their adventures together in their big red van.   

“We shop rummage sales, auctions, flea markets–people even call us when they are planning on getting rid of what most people deem as junk. And actually, if we had a request, it would be to ask, please call us before you throw things away. Quite often we find just as much in the dump pile as we do in the things people saved for us.”  

Some people see old things, past their prime, as junk ready to be tossed. And some can look at those odds and ends and reimagine them into must-have pieces for someone who might not have even known they needed it until they saw it. The ability to see the possibilities is a gift, or a curse, depending on who you talk to in a family of the “junker.” Pretty soon you start hearing the words “hoarder,” and “trash,” yet they persevere and create some stunning pieces from things most wouldn’t take a second look at as they tossed it into the trash. 

“It is a joy to  breathe new life into pieces, and keep them out of the dump for another twenty years or more. It is our therapy. The hope is, that some of the pieces we flip, or completely overhaul, will be around for another hundred years,” says Melissa. Her two cohorts agree. 

The beauty of the genre of “junk” is you never know what you are going to see. Or who will fall in love with it.  

So this year the BHSS will have a lot of the old favorites on the docket and there will also be the junk market to draw people’s attention. “We hope that BHSS is something that becomes an annual thing, that it just keeps getting better. But this is our first show outside of our home range. So we are just going to do what we can to have an amazing show and see where it goes from there!”   

What do the ladies want those who are planning to come to the BHSS Junk market to know? “Bring a tape measure,” says Wanda while the other two chuckle in the background. “Know how much space you have to work with, so then when you fall in love with something, you know if you can make it work or not.”  

“Plan to spend the day, that way you can walk through different directions and see everything at different angles. We really do try to have something for everyone,” adds Kollette.   

“It will be worth the trip,” says Melissa. “Everything we do together is an adventure, come join us on our adventure in Rapid City, and have some fun with us!   

“We are bringing two 27-foot trucks, as well as what will fit in our personal vehicles, down to the show, we always try to really have something for everyone, for every taste and every budget.”