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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Flea

In January of 2017, I set out on a road trip with two girlfriends. We were headed for the Nashville Flea Market to escape the gray skies of Chicago in winter and the bleakness of our fate as a nation after a contentious election season. Nothing like a little retail therapy, or, thrift therapy, in my case, to lift the spirits. At the time, I had a lifestyle blog ( in which I explored turning 50 and living with a sense of purpose and passion. I was dabbling in DIY home projects at that point and was exploring the idea of building my hobby into a business.

My DIY projects consisted of home accents with a modern twist on farmhouse, shabby chic and rustic industrial design styles. Essentially, each piece incorporated something old and rusty with something new and shiny. I used reclaimed wood and vintage hardware and all sorts of thingamajigs that can only be found in abandoned factories and farms, or cast off on the side of a country road, or...At a flea market! And so began the kernel of an idea for Alter Ego Salvage Decor. After re-purposing some of my flea market finds from my road trip into photo frames, candle holders, inspiration signs, wall sconces, key hangers, and the like, my friend, who owned a boutique that specialized in vintage-inspired home decor, agreed to sell a few of my creations in her store. To my amazement, they sold.

It's been over three years since the trip to "The Flea;" but the journey to this blog post seems merely like a blip in time. The old adage rings true in my case: Time flies when you're doing something you love. But also, it has taken a broad stretch of time to align my creative goals with what works within this very specific marketplace of vintage and handcrafted goods, and to learn the minutiae of running a small business for the first time.

This is where the new chapter of my story and this new blog begin...Check this space for DIY tutorials, decorating tips for the rustic industrial home, how to spot a bargain at a vintage market, and more.

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