Ki Nassauer. Ki is short for KiAnn
Born and raised:
Minnesota. South of the Twin Cities. The picture is of our house and my brothers and sisters. I was on the gray horse. I lived just off a county road where I rode horses in my backyard, built forts in the pasture and mucked stalls with my sis every morning before we ate breakfast. Usually in our pajamas.
Place you now call home:
Los Angeles. Made the move 6 years ago when I realized my two grown kids were in California to stay (Tyson, pictured with Jenny, his wife, and Taylor, pictured with husband Ben and baby Nola). It was a scary move but has proved to be one of the best decisions of my life!
Founder, Owner, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer (Ki is known for rolling up her sleeves and tackling whatever needs to be done, whether it is taping the press room curtain — pictured! — or vacuuming carpet upstairs at Canterbury Park. She picks up a lot of litter, too!)
Job you do when you’re not working on Bonanza:
Bonanza has my full attention these days! Does playing Grandma Ki qualify as a job?
Been with the Bonanza since:
The beginning! I started JunkMarket in 1999, a vintage occasional sale business that eventually gave birth to Junk Bonanza in 2006. Exhibitor Manager Jane Hall, pictured above, helped me get started; she’s been with me since the beginning! (I still own those overalls!)
Favorite Bonanza memory:
A longtime vendor hugged me with tears in her eyes and told me how grateful she was to be included in our show as it provided the extra income she needed to pay the mortgage on her lake cabin.
You knew you loved junk when…
…every time I vacuumed the turquoise paint chips from the floor by the shabby dresser in my foyer and felt my heart go pitter pat. I loved that piece!! My husband was convinced that I dug it up from the bottom of the lake.
Favorite leisure activity:
Horseback riding. I try to ride at least 2 times a week. It is truly the only couple of hours that I don’t think about anything else but what I am doing exactly at that moment.
Favorite food or meal:
Chardonnay. Oh, I guess that isn’t a meal. Fresh snappy green beans, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and Chap’s
bacon-wrapped and glazed bison meatloaf. Yum!
Ice cream. Every night! Cones, shakes, or just a few scoops right out of the container. Fave flavor alternates between strawberry and chocolate.
What book is on your bedside table:
“The Weekenders” by my dear friend Mary Kay Andrews
No one would ever guess that you…
…have overcome massive stage fright. I finally realized folks just don’t care that much if I screw up on camera. And I screw up a lot!
On your junking bucket list:
To junk in obscure places such as this one, above, with Tom Howland in New Boston, IL! I want to travel the USA in a motorhome, stopping at all the obscure and off-the-beaten-path junk troves along the way. Bonus would be to have a truck follow behind with strong bodies to load all of the heavy stuff.
What other “hats” have you worn?
Before shifting to a career in junk, I owned and operated clothing stores and freelanced in product design for several national retailers. I am the former executive editor of Flea Market Style magazine — I really loved sharing the amazing world of vintage and all the people who do this for a living with readers!
Anything else you want to add?!
I feel blessed to live an amazing life surrounded and supported by family, friends, and folks in this crazy great business of junk. If I had a magic wand and all the money in the world, I wouldn’t chose any other life. Okay, just maybe a few more pair of sneakers.
You can read more about Ki and the Bonanza team, here
They look forward to seeing you at the next three JB shows! Minneapolis SEPT 22-24, Portland OCT 14-15 and early next year in San Diego, FEB 17-18!