Junkstock is known for being one of the best vintage festivals in the country, but most people don’t know that it started as a small idea of a local dreamer and small business owner. No big corporation or out of town franchise here- just a love story from a gal who adores her community and wanted to make Omaha more fun and funky. She was the first in the country with the idea of mixing live music, food, and junk and she did it on an abandoned and overgrown farm in the heart of Omaha.
Sara Alexander, the Founder and Mother of Junkstock, is very humble about her success and all of the blood, sweat, and tears she has poured into the event over the last six years. She never toots her own horn, so we at Team Junkstock have decided to toot her horn for her and share the Mother of Junkstock’s story.
When Sara first got into the junking business she was a stay at home mother, of two young boys, who had a passion for junking. She was remodeling a house and looking for thrifty ways to repurpose cool vintage pieces for her new home. Her passion quickly turned into a brand new adventure.
Sara started to notice the junking community around the Midwest growing but saw a lack of local events that brought junk vendors and artists together in Omaha. So in 2011 she started some small junk sales in a rented chicken coop at an old dairy farm in Western Omaha. That was so successful that in 2012 she opened a small store in downtown Papillion called The Junque Factory where she sold her unique repurposed items.
In the spring of 2012, Junkstock was hatched up and it was born later that June. Junkstock started with 29 vendors and quickly turned into a pilgrimage for junk, vintage and handmade lovers from across the country. Junkstock remains a locally owned small business, but now features over 200 vintage, antique, and junk vendors that are joined by makers for the magical festival three times a year.
Junkstock is a true labor of love for Sara and her family who now live in the 116 year old farmhouse at Junkstock’s new forever home Sycamore Farms, a 135 acre century-old horse farm. While Sara isn’t a fan of the spotlight, she loves to hear the stories of what Junkstock means to people. Junkstock has been a catalyst, supporting other small businesses and vendors who started at our event with their daydream and were able to quit their day-job and now run successful full-time businesses.
It’s also humbling to hear about people traveling from all over the country to come to Junkstock. We’ve heard a story of one couple who planned their out-of-town wedding specifically on a weekend so that they could come to Junkstock for their honeymoon. We’ve also heard of one Junkstock fan who came to a June show pregnant and a Junkstock vendor jokingly told her if she named the baby after him that she would get free honey for life. She came back that October with her baby, named Farrin, to collect her free honey from Mr. Farrin himself.
The sense of community and family runs deep at Junkstock. Each event is like a big ol' family reunion. That is why we love Junkstock so much. For the friendships it has formed and memories it creates. And Junkstock plans on creating a lot more memories as it sticks to it’s roots of peace, love, and junk.
Have a favorite Junkstock memory or story? Share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured on our blog.