This actually all started with a bin full of wrenches, mismatched sockets and a few ratchets…
Jimmy’s Junk started as an idea in December of 2015. We already owned our first business, McGovern Financial & Professional Services, which we both worked at full time. With our fifth child on the way, my wife and I were forced to make some decisions about moving around the rooms in our house and I had a workshop in the basement that was full of tools. In the time I’ve been collecting tools, I somehow managed to buy 2 or 3 of different things. Sometimes I’d find a good package deal or sometimes I’d find a deal I couldn’t pass up. But, no matter how it happened, I had a room that was completely full of tools and no where to put them to stop them from getting ruined.
At this time, I happened to notice a small self-storage building that wasn’t too far from my house so I went in and met with them. I got a unit and hit it off with the owners right away. Not long after I moved my things in there, a friend of mine invited me to an auction. During the auction, I bid on a stack of 8 foot long tables with metal folding legs (60 total) and wouldn’t you know, I won them all for $5.00! Once we got everything home and in to storage, I had far too many for my own use so I listed them online and sold more than half of them, the very next day. It also happened that I had someone inquire about buying some of my tools at the storage building and I was able to put together a pretty good sale there as well, right around the same time.
With a couple of sales under my belt, of personal items (we still had no intention of starting a business), my wife made a joke that “everybody wanted Jimmy’s Junk”. We ran with it a bit and next thing you know, she had ordered me some business cards, with that slogan on them, as a sort of joke. It was almost Spring in 2016 at this point and I went to another auction. At this auction, I couldn’t help myself and I bought every cheap lot I could find whether it was broken or working. I didn’t have much of a game plan at that point but I figured we could find a little value in just about anything. With everything back at my house, which was a box truck load and my 15′ trailer bursting at the seams, I filled my driveway and went to work. I made a pile of broken chainsaws, weed wackers, blowers and lawn mowers then I made a separate pile of the good machines. By this time, my brother-in-law, who also happens to be one of my best friends, had started working with me. We went to work cleaning up the good machines and listing them for sale. We had hand tools, power tools, lawn mowers, chainsaws and a lot more. Shortly after we started selling the good items, I figured out that I could sell parts of the broken items on eBay so we also opened an eBay store and we’re happy to say we’ve seen much success there as well.
It was starting to turn in to a business so we started opening up the storage units on the weekends, putting up yard sale signs and letting people come in to look around. The owners of the storage facility were incredible to us. They gave us a lot of positive feedback, some items to sell and a lot of help along the way. They were more than amazing and we still keep a couple units there just for back up space, in a pinch. As the weeks went on, we met a lot of cool people, got some great resources on where to buy items and had a lot of fun. I’m pretty sure this is what I was meant to be doing.
One night, later in the summer of 2016, a friend of mine who worked at the local Shell station called to tell me that one of his regulars was moving in the morning. The guy had a couch and “possibly a few more items” that he wanted to know if we’d take to resell. We went to meet him and hit it off almost immediately. It turned out that he had been packing, selling and donating but he still had a house full of items and was moving 2000 miles with his family, the next day. We got along so well that he was comfortable with me and ended up giving us 4 completely full trailer loads of good items. Between this clean out, a few storage auctions that I went to (because I wanted to see what they were about) and some well timed Facebook finds, we were officially in business. We started growing our social media following and outlined the list of services we wanted to provide. Between my wife and my brother-in-law, Fluff, we were putting all of our free time in to seeing what this business had to offer. It was fun and it was exciting.
Fast forward about a year and another one of my best friends happened to be parting ways with his company and looking for a new endeavor. He signed on to help in Spring of 2017 and we continued to grow the business. When we got called for the biggest clean out that we had done to date, a 4,000 square foot house, the decision was made that we should look in to opening our own store. For all intents and purposes, I never intended on owning a store. I liked the side-job type aspect of what we were doing and it would mean having to separate myself from my family more plus really taking a risk. Once I weighed out all things in my head, I was talked in to making the decision to move forward so we started looking for locations. My wife, who is amazing at finding me exactly the right thing at exactly the right time, found a little shop in Bradford, on Craigslist. We took a ride over, checked it out and talked about it. At the time, we didn’t know if we wanted to spend the money but we thought about it. The truth is, opening a store meant this was a whole different monster that had to be able to support itself and us. We thought about it and considered the different aspects. I was very on the fence about it and as fate would have it, my decision was made for me. Almost the same week that I had to make a decision about the store, a customer called to request another full estate clean out. We went and quoted the job which we got, on the spot. That job was all of the money we needed to open the store and I took it as a sign that it was time to move forward. We did the clean out, took the risk and opened the store.
At the time of me writing this article, we’ve officially been open for 4 months. I can’t express how much of a good decision it was. We have amassed a huge local following as well as a great online presence and we only continue to grow. I can definitely say that I’m more than excited to see what the Spring of 2018 holds and we can’t thank our faithful followers enough for that! We have a few surprises in store for the upcoming year and we can’t wait to get them going.
All things being equal, it’s been an incredible ride and I know it’s only going to continue to get better. We now have the help of my amazing wife (Barbie), my brother-in-law (Fluff), one of my best friends (Kyle), my brother (Danny) and his best friend (Jay). You’re probably familiar with some or all of them but if you’re not, come down and meet them. They’re awesome and they’re on board for the long haul. Thank you for the continued patronage and support as we grow in to our role in the community. We look forward to seeing you all soon!