Big Brain 2012 Finalist: Sweet Salvage

You submitted nominations for awards given to the Valley's emerging creatives and the results are in. Introducing our Big Brain 2012 Finalists.

Leading up to the Big Brain Award awards announcement and celebration on April 7Chow Bella and Jackalope Ranch will introduce the finalists.

Up today: Sweet Salvage

Photos by Jamie Peachey
In Phoenix, people are always talking about building community and how impossible it is to bring folks together, but Kim Rawlins and Katie Hibbs have the secret.


Not just any junk -- we're not talking about your average yard sale or even your favorite thrift store on a really good day. High quality junk: industrial metal racks, globes, cloches and cake plates and card catalogs. The stuff you drool over on Pinterest, the stuff Pottery Barn knocks off. The really good junk.

Sweet Salvage_MG_6777.jpg
Photo by Jamie Peachey

Fill a warehouse on 7th Avenue with it. Put out the word on Facebook. And even on one of the hottest days of the year, even without air conditioning, they will come. In droves.

Rawlins and Hibbs were no novices when it came to junk. They'd met years ago in neighboring booths at an antiques mall in Chandler, and before that, Rawlins threw "kick ass" garage sales in Minnesota, while Hibbs honed her skills on eBay. But they'd never attempted the holy grail -- the monthly flash store. After running a successful vintage shop on Cave Creek Road (Not Too Shabby) for years, the two took the next step -- renting a spot on 7th Avenue (prime junking territory), hand-picking dealers and inventory, and choosing a theme.

"Midsummer Night's Dream" premiered August 18, 2011, and given the temperature that day -- 118 degrees -- it could have been a nightmare. But it wasn't. There was a line out the door before the shop opened, and it's been the same every month since. Even bigger. One of the most gratifying parts of this whole process for  Rawlins and Hibbs has been watching a community form before their eyes -- people meet in (the really long) line to make purchases and recognize one another the following month. Treasures are discovered; friendships are made. And yeah, sure, there's a little squabbling from time to time over a particularly wonderful armoir.

Location Info


Sweet Salvage

4648 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

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