When Mark Harrington opened Junkluggers in Gainesville in Jan 2019, he also opened Remix Market, in Warrenton, to salvage, repurpose, and resell items. The idea was to upcycle personal items rather than bring them to a junkyard.
Remix Market takes items Junkluggers removes and turns them into something new-to-you and one-of-a-kind. Remix sells found furniture, art, collectibles, books and other special pieces. Some are gently-used while others have been transformed or repurposed.
“Remix was always part of the model. It was what intrigued me about Junkluggers at the beginning,” said Harrington. “It grew out of a need.”
People overwhelmingly prefer to donate rather than discard their items, said Harrington. However, donate centers such as the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity and Good Will typically reject anything with scratches, tears or dents, since they sell items “as is.”
But Harrington saw potential in well-loved items. They just needed a little TLC, that’s where Remix Market comes in. Remix sells these items out of its showroom in Warrenton, after making them more attractive through painting, sanding or refurbishing. And Remix donates a large portion of its profits to Mikey’s Way Foundation. The charitable foundation helps children cope with the isolation, boredom and fear associated with life-threatening illnesses.
It’s a win-win. Customers love Remix Market’s unique finds; Junkluggers clients love that their possessions receive a second life.
“They like the idea that it will ‘continue living,’” said Harrington. “People accumulate things over time, and just because they don’t have a need for it any longer, doesn’t mean it should go to a landfill.”
He could pay to bring items to a landfill like other junk haulers, but why would he? Despite the name, Harrington does not see people’s possessions as “junk.” He sees potential. Outdated items can be often be into something new and fresh. Upcycling is great for the environment and the economy and it is affordable for people to purchase.
And Remix Market only sells its creations but allows customers design and reimagine them as too!
“We paint a few pieces ourselves, but we don’t paint everything. A client can come in and choose their own colors,” said Harrington. Remix also holds workshops using Dixie Paints and hold painting and wood-staining workshops.”
The store does fantastic because people love shopping and finding unique items to decorate their homes. Customers take pride in owning and displaying one-of-a kind handmade items. Some people enjoy browsing and discovering new finds others come with a particular piece in mind, like a new dining table, desk or bedframe.
Additionally, Junkluggers is very flexible in the items it will remove. It does not discriminate. They do not have to have Remix potential. And Junkluggers will remove large items: a table or sofa, a room full of furniture or entire house full of furniture and other possessions. Junkluggers charges by volume.
By and large, working with Junkluggers makes people feel better about removing their items. They no longer agonize over whether to sell, donate or give away to a friend, and how to transport the items. They can trust Junkluggers and Remix Market to make what would otherwise become “trash” into “treasure.”