Tell Ki Nassauer that her career is in the dumpster and she’ll deliver heartfelt "thank you" and an engaging smile.
As the original "junk lady," Ki has been dubbed the "Martha Stewart of vintage" and "America's most famous junker" in extensive media coverage from sources as varied as the The Wall Street Journal, HGTV and the Today Show to America Now News, which featured her work in a series of online videos. She has crafted a career from junk since 1999, scouring flea markets, salvage yards and the occasional street-side pile of castoffs for materials to create tastefully inventive furniture and beautiful decorative accessories. Her creativity has earned her a devoted national entourage with nearly 216,000 followers of the Ki Nassauer Style Facebook page.
Ki was one of the first to realize the potential revenue in converting junk into cool stuff. After her "test" garage sale grossed $11,000, she founded JunkMarket, operating monthly sales that have morphed into the Junk Bonanza, three-day shopping extravaganzas twice yearly in Minneapolis. Each Bonanza showcases wares from hand-picked dealers nationwide who deliver best-of shopping experiences for lovers of antiques, vintage, architectural salvage and one-of-a-kind and artisan-repurposed treasures. The three-day events also include special appearances, workshops and giveaways to create a happy haven for vintage junkies.
One of Ki’s hallmarks is her joy of connecting those who compose her deep national network of vintage dealers, artisans and junk aficionados. She is able to realize that goal in her role as editor-in-chief for Flea Market Style and Flea Market Style Gardens magazines, which chronicle the beauty and utility of the vintage-inspired life.
The co-author of "Decorating JunkMarket Style" and "Junk Beautiful, Room by Room Makeovers,” Ki also produced a regular column in Country Home magazine and has made hundreds of public appearances nationwide. Before shifting to a career in junk, she owned and operated successful clothing stores, and freelanced in product design for several national retailers.
Born and raised in Minnesota, now living in Los Angeles, Ki is a proud mother and friend to her two grown children, with whom she enjoys touring neighboring vineyards and chowing down at local restaurants. The sound she loves to hear? “Kiki” -- the title her first granddaughter has bestowed.
Ki has savored every step along the hike to the top of the junk pile and she preaches the gospel of junk through consulting, public appearances, interviews and magazine signings. She is happily committed to ensuring that repurposing remains sustainable, functional -- and always fun!