There’s nothing I love more than a good garage sale, but the whole driving-all-over-town thing can be a bit of a drag, especially at the crack of dawn on a weekend morning. Next weekend offers a respite: Plow your gas money back into the $5 admission to the Junior League of Little Rock’s annual Bargain Barn sale and dispense with the want-ads entirely.
This year’s sale is at the State Fairgrounds’ Hall of Industry building from 7 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 30. Camping out the night before — organizer Camille Dante assured me it’s happened — won’t be allowed this year, but the fairground gates will open at 3:30 a.m. Too bad Shipley’s doesn’t open until 4.
Camille invited me to stop by the Junior League’s warehouse a couple of weeks ago to take a look at some of the stuff they’d amassed since last year’s sale. And I do mean amassed: mountains and mountains of furniture, exercise equipment, lawn mowers, toys and children’s clothes, linens, appliances, books, home decor stuff — and while I didn’t see the proverbial kitchen sink anywhere, I did spy one toilet, and Camille said there was another buried somewhere.
“It’s a used Wally World, what we have,” she said.
It’s all priced to move, too. A peek at the price sheet revealed exercise equipment (treadmills and such, not hand weights) tops out at $30, fridges and stoves are $40 or less. There are even a few wedding dresses this year, priced between $30 and $100.
If used stuff isn’t your thing, no problem — there will be some new merchandise donated by area businesses, too. Proceeds from Bargain Barn go to support the Junior League’s community service projects.
Other assorted tidbits for your shopping enjoyment:
• Cantrell Road commuters have probably noticed the sign beside Barbara/Jean for Kenneth Edwards Fine Jewelry, “coming soon.” Well, they’re here — the store opened this week. Owner Ken Shelton spent 20 years with Stifft’s and Bailey Banks & Biddle before deciding to strike out on his own, and his wife, Steffany, is a 25-year veteran of the retail fashion world. Jon and Tiffany Adams are partners in the store as well.
“Jewelry in the last few years has become incredibly exciting and fun,” Shelton told me last week. “We intend to open with an entire store full of that.” Some lines you’ll recognize, but Shelton said others, like Michael Jiang, are new to the area. The address is 7811 Cantrell Road, and the hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
• Much as I love a room that smells like cookies, I’m coming to terms with the fact that it’s time to change out my candles for something a little less snuggle-by-the-fire, a little more margaritas-on-the-patio. I found just the thing at Open House: Archipelago’s Key West line of candles and home spray. Key West’s fresh grapefruity smell is THE scent of the season, according to owner Eric Milner — and some of the Key West products come in really cute green and pink leather cases. The candles are soy, the prices are reasonable, and Milner’s fun to talk with. Open House hides in plain sight at the corner of Markham and Chenal — turn in by Firestone or Luby’s and you’ll see it.
• Haus Werk, the we-have-everything-and-it’s-all-cute boutique in Hillcrest, has been sold. But no worries: The new owner is longtime customer Celia Baker, who said she’s not planning any major changes. Now-former-owner Rebecca Engstrom will stick around part-time during the transition, but said she’s ready to retire. The two headed off to market in Dallas together right after they inked the deal (on April Fool’s Day), so look for all kinds of new summer clothing and home fashions to arrive in the next few weeks.
• Scarlet, the funky women’s clothing boutique across the parking lot from Wild Oats Market (sure, that shopping center has a name, but if I don’t know it, you may not either), has added some new denim lines — Chip & Pepper, Jetlag, 575, Tag, and People for Peace. All but Chip & Pepper are new to Little Rock, they tell me. And check a future column for details on a “HUGE” fashion show they’re planning.
Any news I can use?
Donald Trump Friday night signed an executive order directing government to scale back Obamacare to the extent possible. Though the signing was mostly symbolic, it likely has implications for Arkansas.
They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.