When Jen and Vicki Kerr founded Blue Moon Vintage Market in Three Oaks, Michigan, they came armed with an eye for picks and an ear for history. There’s an inherit storytelling that comes with picking, as items from history become relevant again. From salvaged windmills to produce tables, the pieces at Blue Moon Vintage Market arrive with a story.
Jen and Vicki Kerr with one of Danielle Colby's picks; these are film reels from a drive-in theater!
These picks come from the Kerrs, and from vendors across the Midwest. These vendors trust their prized picks to be staged and sold by Jen and Vicki. Blue Moon Vintage Market offers a chance for someone else to take that story home...including the stories of the pickers themselves.
Back in April, Jen and Vicki's Three Oaks establishment was discovered by Danielle Colby’s assistant. As one of the stars of “American Pickers”, the mother/daughter duo knew Danielle’s potential association with their market was huge. Quietly, they kept the wheels turning through the summer.
Finally, it was time for them to meet Danielle.
The trusty Blue Moon Vintage Market van treks across the farms and foothills of the Midwest, with space for two to sit. It was a necessity on their trip to meet Danielle Colby, and Roger (this is “dad” from our previous article) had to come. Three adults meant that Vicki got to ride in the middle on a lawn chair, careening side to side as they navigated downtown Chicago for a viewing of Danielle’s collection. Maybe surprisingly, they made it to her brownstone apartment, and were invited in to get to know her, her picks, and move their market to a whole new level.
They found more amazing things than could fit in the van. There were “smalls” and “bigs”, overflowing with unique history. The Kerrs packed their van and headed north, overwhelmed with the opportunity of showcasing Danielle’s pieces. The van was filled again when they visited Danielle’s sister in Iowa, bringing more vintage back to Three Oaks. Blue Moon Vintage Market will offer these items for sale for the first time October 21st through October 23rd- then it’s time to pack the van again!
Picks aren’t just transported by van, though.
Vicki Kerr of Blue Moon Vintage Market holds tin letters from the Ozarks
A few times per year, a box truck from the Ozarks rolls up, and Billy jumps out. He brings with him double-sided glass paintings from a set of sisters, one-of-a-kind items from his wife (who will only work in her studio there), and tin letters he crafts himself. Vicki holds the letters, regaling us with stories about Billy’s sale of the same letters to Zac Brown for his restaurant. Not knowing who he was, Billy questioned the check Zac wrote…but ultimately made the sale, and the next trek up to Three Oaks brought the story and the letters.
From Michigan City, there’s a steel worker who uses foundry scrap to create very unique light fixtures, with a side of authentic steampunk. I met Tim when we visited the market; Jen and Vicki were excited “Santa” was there to unload his goodies for the month. Tim towered over me, with a soft spoken nature. He showed us the lights he makes out of discarded pieces; they are amazing reincarnations of the factories that holding the industry of suburban Chicago. There’s nods to the origins, with stamped letters and numbers still visible. Beyond his steel work, Tim also resurrects wooden furniture, and plays with old ladders to create shelves. He showed me a barn door from Goshen, Indiana, and said he was grateful to Jen and Vicki for providing a place for his work to not only be sold, but for his work to be appreciated.
Owners Jen and Vicki Kerr with Tim
Appreciation is a huge piece of the pick. The items arriving in Blue Moon Vintage Market are arriving with history and a story, and the craft of resurrecting and sharing them takes a special artistry. It’s eyes like Jen and Vicki’s that can transform the pick into a treasure; and once per month, you can see it for yourself!
Interested in learning more about the foundations of Blue Moon Vintage Market? Three Oaks Pickers: The Story of Blue Moon Vintage Market is on our blog!