Don’t you just love a family roadtrip? It is our favourite type of holiday and what could be better than a weekend away where you also get to explore some vintage stores! A while back we had the absolute pleasure of visiting the most beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula, and the magical shop, 21 Junk Street, owned by TJ and Peter Marks, in the pretty little town of Yankalilla. If you have never been to this part of the world, you really must. My son James described the drive as you round the coast headed to the Peninsula, with rolling hills and the coast on the other side, as Lord of The Rings country – a perfect description. Today I am revisiting this tour because it is inspirational and I know you will love it.
On the backdrop of this glory of nature that is the Fleurieu Peninsula, you step into an Aladdin’s Cave of vintage and repurposed homewares and furniture that is 21 Junk Street. If you are of a certain age, you will remember the original television show, 21 Jump Street, which lead to the movie in 2012. I can not say I remember it with fond memories, but clearly it has a special place in TJ and Peter’s heart! They certainly have a lot in common with all of us Recyclers! They not only sell vintage, upcycled and retro wares, but have used a range of materials in their shop fit out, including reclaimed timber, old furniture, retro patterns, chalk and homemade milk paint.
Peter and TJ are a husband and wife team with a love for anything vintage, retro and repurposed. They love breathing new life into old furniture and turing unused items into a funky decor piece. They have two children, Jack and Mexie 7, and live in Carrickalinga, which is a wonderful community. They love to support as much local business as possible and recently opened a 21 Junk Street Coffee house .
How did you start the business and how did you find the shop location?
The shop location was word of mouth, and we started the business because it has always been a dream. We have worked in the Gas Pipeline Business for the past 20 years and want that to slow down and have more family time, this was the perfect opportunity to make our dream happen.
What made you fall in love with it?
We love anything original and one off. We have seen the market change into commercial produced vintage looking furniture, and thought we needed to make some kind of small change. The look on our customers faces when we have bought an old piece back to life is very for filling!
Can you tell us something you like about your local area or region?
We love our community and the support we have received from our locals. We also love meeting all of the holidayers and visitors and hearing their stories.
What are your thoughts on sustainability and how is this part of your business and own home?
We think things used to be made so much better than what they are now, and people are just starting to realise that. Being able to change something to suit an interior instead of buying a new cheaper knockoff version is what we aim to show people. It is far less costly in the long run because they are not having to replace it. We also love the bartering. We often do sell pieces in return for trades work, or fresh produce. I think its a great way to be sustainable.
What is your decorating style?
We have so many! Eclectic is really what we are about. I don’t believe anyone has to be locked into a category of one style. We like funky, retro, vinatge, shabby chic, antique, rusty, industrial.
Do you have any tips for other people wanting to create a sustainable home?
Look around and see what you can change up without buying new
Some of your favourite things you sell?
Meatsafe cupboards, table and chairs, industrial work benches.
Biggest Challenge in setting up and running your business?
Having enough time to complete everything!
What do people say when they come to visit you?
‘Wow! My nanna had that!’ And that they love the originality of our pieces.
Do you recommend any particular materials, processes or ideas for people wanting to create a more sustainable and mindful home?
Pallet timber is great for so many projects and seeing what you can do for someone else in return for something you may want or need.
What do you do to relax and unwind at home?
We love taking our family and our 3 golden retrievers to the beach and having beers and bbqs with our friends.
Would you like to share a favourite upcycle?
We have so many, but one of our favorites are these original old coke crates from America. We turned them into bedside tables. They look fab!
So wow! Are you overloaded from that visual feast?! You can find lots of funky pieces from 21 Junk Street on their facebook page or instagram @21junkstreetau and I am sure they have a whole lot more since I visited! Their cafe is also now open for business.