On this week’s Dealer Spotlight we are catching up with San Luis Obispo County locals, Jani Kasfeldt and Julie Kuhnle, owners of Bitterwater Road Antiques and Collectibles! These two sisters share how their grandmother inspired their passion for antiques and what they love most about being in the antiques business. Purchase your tickets now at ThreeSpeckledHens.com so you don’t miss your opportunity to meet Jani and Julie in person at our Three Speckled Hens Antiques and Old Stuff Show, October 1-2, or head to our Facebook page now for your chance to win tickets and other fabulous Hen prizes leading up to the show!
We hear your grandmother may have played a role in your love of antiques. Tell us more.
Jani: As little girls, we were always captivated by our grandmother’s china cupboards. We would spend hours just admiring her ceramic collectibles!
Julie: She had little animal bud vases, planters, a vast assortment of salt and pepper shakers – all of the vintage collectibles that she and my grandfather would find along their travels were in that cupboard. Our love of vintage ceramics definitely started inside that china cupboard.
Jani: Years later, those collectibles were passed down to us. Inheriting those pieces inspired us to open Bitterwater Road Antiques and Collectibles.
Julie: We wanted to pay homage to our grandmother for the passion she instilled in us so we named our business after the road she lived on and where we grew up. We would not be where we are today if it wasn’t for our grandmother passing down her passion for antiques to us.
Tell us a little bit about your style and the types of items shoppers can find at Bitterwater Road Antiques and Collectibles.
Julie: We offer custom handmade items crafted from vintage and repurposed materials. Our items range from things you would find in grandma's basement to the toys you played with as kids.
Jani: We love to make things out of weathered wood. When we started our business, our first project was to tear down our mom’s old playhouse. The roof had failed and it was falling apart, but the wood on the outside was amazing. We still use that wood on projects. If you see peeling white paint on an item, it’s probably from that playhouse. Stop by our booth at the show to see Jani’s birdhouses – they are adorable!
What is one of your best memories from growing your business over the last few years together?
Julie: One of our best memories was preparing for our debut at our very first show, the Three Speckled Hens, in October 2012. This was certainly a new adventure for us so to make sure we had enough merchandise we headed out to Tennessee to attend the 127 Corridor Sales, also known as the World’s Longest Yard Sale.
Jani: It ended up just being a great excuse for a road trip with my sister. We had a blast picking our way through Tennessee and Kentucky and came back with some amazing items! If you ever have a chance to go, we recommend it. Just bring a big vehicle!
Can you share one of your favorite things about being in the antiques business?
Jani: There are so many things we love about the world of antiques! One of my favorite things is definitely the recycling aspect of this business. There is this amazing feeling you get when you give new purpose and life to that odd vintage item you have been saving for years. Many of the items we feature are recycled treasures crafted from old wood and metal.
Julie: I can confidently speak for the both of us when I say that the people are definitely one of the greatest parts of this business! You meet so many interesting people, dealers and customers alike. It’s fun to see the array of items dealers bring to shows. It is also fun to learn what a customer plans to do with that obscure-looking object in their basket. We always feel inspired after a Three Speckled Hens show. All that creativity in one space, you can’t help but absorb some of it!
So what’s next for Bitterwater Road Antiques and Collectibles?
Jani: Down the road we would love to open up a storefront to showcase and sell our fantastic finds and handmade items, but for now you can find our merchandise at local antiques and collectible shows like the Three Speckled Hens and at our online store at squareup.com/store/bitterwater-road.
Be sure to stop by the Bitterwater Road Antiques and Collectibles booth at our fall show, October 1-2. Get a sneak peek at some of their collectibles now by visiting their Facebook page or head over to squareup.com/store/bitterwater-road to order from a selection of their handmade items or place a custom order!