We love our Junk Bonanza vendors! They are talented, kind, creative, resourceful and fun! Far from applying these attributes only to their work and craft, they use them to great effect elsewhere.

Here’s Exhibit A! This story involves Lisa Souers of Lisa Souers Designs in Yakima, WA, our Minneapolis Exhibitor Manager Jane Hall in Carver, MN, and a taxidermied varmint whom Jane loves dearly.

The Ratty — Squirrel  is an affectionate yet colloquially off-color  reference to his furry hind end. In  deference to delicate ears, we’ll describe that feature as “A”. Ratty A squirrel was a fixture in Jane’s space at Shop 501 & Company, a business collective she and others operate, and where she houses her business, Mustard Moon.

One day about a year ago, much consternation arose when Jane discovered Ratty A was missing!

The hand-wringing! The torment! Throughout the year Jane would regularly lament, loudly, to anyone who would listen: “Who would steal a squirrel from me?!!”


Apparently, Lisa Souers! (Pictured here with Mr. Souers, one of her partners in crime.)


Unbeknownst to Jane, Lisa smuggled out Ratty A  inside a paper bag (there he is, along with co-conspirator Sara Smith!) while visiting 501 after the Fall 2015 Junk Bonanza.


“I decided to keep him a full year to travel with me and document his travels,” Lisa said. “I met Sara [JB vendor Salvaged and Rescued Art] at 501 and saw him there on a dusty shelf and once I knew it was Jane’s prized squirrel, I couldn’t resist!”

Her intent? To make him the squirrel equivalent of Where’s Waldo?!!


Sara aided in the escape and received weekly updates!

Travel he did! He visited the Dakotas, Montana, Idaho and Las Vegas, several times!


He traveled in California with Junk Girls Jenny and Melissa!


 He attended Farm Chicks, and Hannah Souers‘ graduation from Gonzaga! He was in Seattle! In the snow! In Ikea! He held a flag for the Fourth of July!


Lisa documented Ratty A’s travels in a beautiful, cut-and-paste journal.

“For my 50th birthday in Spokane, Ratty A stayed at The Davenport with me,” Lisa said.


“He rode a plane to Vegas. The search of my carry on was, well, interesting!


Page after page was filled with Ratty A’s exploits! (That’s Bonanza founder Ki; her expression was perfect!)


Many JB additional vendors were in on the gag, including Cammie at 106 Vintage Co., Dustin and Chris at Uber Chic Home Beth at Beth Quinn Designs, Don at West End Salvage! Ratty A visited a lot of vendors at the show and elsewhere!


Safety first..


…he wore his seatbelt!


“Pretty much all of the JB staff knew about it  and at JB in September this year,” Lisa said, “and they all came to my booth to look at the book before Jane got it!”


Jane was all smiles at JB when Lisa presented her with a vintage traveling case containing…Ratty A! She almost didn’t recognize him at first, as he now wears a rhinestone choker — definitely not part of his abduction ensemble!


Each journal page was crammed full of photos and keepsakes from Ratty A’s travels!


There was even a shot with Jane and Lisa that also contained Ratty A,”and she didn’t even know,” Lisa said. (That’s Lisa pointing to her stowaway-holding-purse)!


Time stood still (and the JB staff stood watching) while Jane read and reveled in Lisa’s wonderful project!

ratty31-2 ratty32

The last two pages! Jane was gobsmacked and virtually speechless. Lisa was exceedingly pleased!


(Two other squirrels from Jane’s booth, where Ratty A resided upon his return, wearing an NSF tag around his neck! She really DOES love squirrels!)

We think this story sets the tone for 2017 — great junking and a lot of fun!

Come feel the junk love (and fall in love with our amazing vintage!)  this year  in San Diego FEB 17-18, Minneapolis APRIL 20-22 and SEPT 21-23 and Portland, TBA!


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