As you may know, there are several million people in America who love to go to Flea Markets. Since I married a woman who owns a couple, it has been my good fortune to learn a good deal about them over the past few years. One of the reasons people come, even flock to them, is because they contain so many items that touch our roots of an earlier era when life was much simpler. In a good Flea Market you can find most anything you need -- and a lot of stuff that you don’t need -- usually at a greatly reduced price.
Several weeks ago we had a couple by the name of Jeff and Carla Hillian lease one of our Flea Markets, and it now contains some of the most beautiful and unusual items that I have ever seen. Jeff does most of the keeping shop, while Carla babysits. For many years Jeff had his own big truck rig and hired out to deliver a number of different things across the country. As he grew older he began to tire of this life -- big trucks will beat you to death. He and Carla had already been going to Flea Market shows, and they wanted to have their own place.
The reason I share this with you is because Jeff is a craftsman and has literally created a “Bird’s Nest on the Ground” here at Pickles Gap Village. When I looked up the definition it simply said, “A bird’s nest on the ground describes some thing or some situation that is rewarding to the owner in a very big way.” What I am saying is very true, beginning with their very unique name, “Rustic Revival Vintage Market.” Being a little slow, it took me a while to figure out what the name actually meant, and it is a take-off on the first two words.
Who among us does not like things that are “Rustic” or old, starting with old barn wood that can be transformed into beautiful furniture? And the word “Revival” means a new birth or new beginning. Here is how it plays out for Jeff and Carla. Jeff goes around to estate sales or places where they have old used furniture, chests, headboards, dressers and the like, and buys them for a song. He then takes these pieces that look like they need to be in the city dump and literally transforms them into a beautiful piece of furniture. He truly revives them.
The other day when I stopped by his place he had an old wooden door outside on his saw horses and was cutting it into two parts. When I went inside there was a large wooden chest with the top half open and 3 or 4 drawers at the bottom. Jeff said he was going to take the top of the door and fill in the top part and mount it using a set of hinges and a clasp to close it and keep it secure. When I went back in a few days, there sat a beautiful piece of furniture, painted and ready for sale. The next day he put it on Facebook, and the following day someone drove over 50 miles to pick it up. The price was right, I think he said around $175, and I am sure it fit nicely in the new owner’s home.
Now, let me get back to the purpose of my column today and something that may apply to you and your situation at this time in your life. The reason Jeff Hillian now has a “Bird’s Nest on the Ground” is because he created it. He took his talents as a woodworker, his love for serving and his creativity to develop a good situation that can provide a good income and also a sense of personal satisfaction. When he has customers in his place, he takes care of them, but when things are slow, he is working on one or more masterpieces that people will drive many miles to purchase. In most cases, all we need to do is use the talents God gave us. Great ideas are priceless.