Gretchen Schaumann of Mimi-Toria’s Jewelry Designs creates vintage redesigned one-of-a-kind jewelry using antique and unusual found elements. More about her and the work she does in her Champlin, Minn., studio:

Vintage elements: Compasses, watch fobs, bus tokens, hardware, keys, glass beads and jewelry, brass tags, tiny porcelain dolls, pocket watch parts and silverware, among others.

Got her start: With vintage found elements from childhood. “These pieces were family items found in our attic as a kid, and were from my Grandmother’s stashes.” Started 17 years ago and established it as a business in 1995 “and I’ve never looked back.”

Best junking find: “A large stash of awesome hardware elements with wonderful patina at a fabulous price. That is a rare occurrence.”

Grateful for: A few fabulous pickers.

Vendor for: 3 years.

Best Bonanza memory: Picking one doesn’t work! Too many to pick, “but the awesome customers, shoppers and vendors are always wrapped into the incredible memories I treasure each and every year.”

No one would guess: I used to hide behind my parents out of shyness.

Indispensible tool: Round nose plier. A jewelry designer’s details would look quite shabby and shoddy without this tool.

The only shabby you’ll find at the Junk Bonanza is the chic and the desirable! Have you made your travel plans yet?! See you there!


3 Responses

  1. So looking forward to seeing my customers at JB and meeting all the new people that choose to come through my space. A wild and exciting 3 days for sure.
    Glad to hear you’re still wearing and enjoying the jewelry you bought from me. 🙂 Hope to see you again this year at JB.
    Thanks Kim for your blog work and efforts with hi-liting the vendors.

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