Storage Wars Texas

In the midst of being so busy these days, I’ve somehow managed to develop yet a new reality TV show obsession… Storage Wars Texas!  It’s a regional spin off show from the famous series Storage Wars.  The show features auctioneer Walt Cade, as well as auction hunters Ricky and Bubba Smith, Morris “Moe” Prigoff, and Victor Rjesnjansky.  The newest additions to the show are Dallas’ own Jenny Grumbles and Mary Padian who go from auction to auction in search for that fab find for their stores.  I just adore these two girls, as well as their amazing shops!  They always manage to crack me up on the show whether it’s Jenny finding and getting appraised a “too real for words” baby doll or Mary (and her partner Moe) experimenting with new “bidding calls”. You just have to watch to see what I mean!

I was so thrilled that they could sit down with us and give us the low down on Storage Wars, their fab lives as store owners and all things furniture!

Hope you enjoy getting to know more about Mary and Jenny as I did and also getting a peek into their amazing Dallas stores!

Storage Wars Texas Cast

The cast of Storage Wars Texas

uptown country

Jenny’s Store, Uptown Country-

3419 Milton Avenue, Dallas

Jenny

Jenny Grumbles

How did you end up on Storage Wars and how has your life changed since being on it?

My friend Adam went to an auction and bought a locker full of antique furniture.  He sold the entire unit to me.  After fixing it all up, I sold it at my shop and made a huge profit. The producers got word of it and showed up at Uptown Country Home one day.

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What types of pieces do you typically search for in the storage units to go in your shop and who is your typical shop clientele?

My clientele is typically 3-fold; 20-something girls fixing up their apartments, young couples in their first homes, and Dallas moms who like our style.  I am always looking for vintage furniture and accessories that have character, yet need a little pick-me-up.  The key is finding these pieces for a great price so I can sell them for a great price too.  Uptown Country Home is the fun and affordable home decor shop, and I don’t ever want that to change.  I always want to keep our prices as low as possible so customers can buy, buy, buy and be able to fill their homes with pieces they love without spending a fortune.

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Do you ever keep any of the things you “find” for your own home?

Literally half of the furniture in my house is from storage lockers: an amazing tufted french provincial chair (I reupholstered), a mid-century metal etagere I painted gold, a vintage bed I redid with crazy fabric and nailhead trim, a campaign chest, a greek key coffee table, a lucite vanity stool…so I guess the answer is YES,  i keep a lot of the things I find.

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What would be the one thing you are dying to one day find in a storage locker?

Diamonds.  Big, expensive, profitable diamonds.  Then I could buy a truck and more lockers!  Bubba found diamonds and now he drives this amazing truck.  At an auction the other day, his truck literally emailed him and said it needed air in one of the tires.

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Do you typically refinish the pieces yourself and what has been your favorite furniture makeover?

I re-do all of the pieces myself with help from my mom, Fran.  She is the main shop-girl at Uptown Country Home when I can’t be there.  She taught me how to do everything. My favorite furniture makeovers on the show were the kids kitchen and the chevron bed.

Kid's Play Kitchens Before and After!

A pair of old night stands transformed into Children’s play kitchens!

Headboard Before and After

It’s amazing how you can turn something broken into a beautiful chic piece of furniture!

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What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you while you’ve been on the ‘hunt’ for great pieces for your shop?

Something crazy happens to me every day. I get injured every other day re-furbing and moving furniture.  But the craziest thing is that people notice me and know who I am and want my autograph. I’m like seriously? Me? You want meeee to sign that?  Are you sure because I was just diving in someone’s dumpster!

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What’s the most rewarding thing about owning your own shop?

Being my own boss and seeing treasures go to people’s homes to make them happy.  Being able to feed my addiction of junking for a living.

How would you describe your decorating style?

My style is a mix.  There are so many styles I love so I use them all mixed together.  I can’t just pick one.  You are supposed to surround yourself with what you love, right?  I like chippy, shabby, tattered white and I like glossy, modern, colorful, clean.  I like Hollywood Regency and then I like beach cottage.  I like preppy monograms and then I like re-purposed junk-chic.  The trick is making it all work.  And it is very tricky. I need to find those diamonds so I can have 8 houses and decorate one in each style.

Moe, Ricky and Bubba are quite the characters! They seem like they are also great mentors since they’ve been in the business for a while. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten from Ricky or Bubba while on the show?

The best advice I have ever gotten from Ricky (where I was certain he wasn’t pulling my chain) was bring enough money. Be prepared for the diamonds.  I was at an auction and the unit was full to the ceiling of antique sports memorabilia.  My husband is a sports collector so I knew there was serious money to be made.  The unit was going to go to whoever brought the most cash that day.  It wasn’t me and I have regretted it ever since.

What is your favorite furniture piece of all time?

 Right now, I am obsessed with all of the chairs all over my house and all over the shop (and in my personal storage unit).  I collected 200 chairs (faux bamboo chippendale, windsor, bannister, parlor, etal) for my wedding.  Each guest had their own unique chair. I painted them all pink or white and covered them all with two different pink graphic patterns.  I am starting to sell them all but they are sentimental to me!

 

Mary's Finds

Mary’s store, Mary’s Finds

1616 Market Center Boulevard, Dallas

Mary

Mary Padian

How did you end up on Storage Wars and how has your life changed since being on it?

By chance! One of the producers just came into my store in the Design District, Mary’s Finds. She came in and said, “Do you fix all this stuff up yourself?” I was like, “Yeah.” She was on her break and came in to just shop, but thought they could come back another day and do a how-to with me on their website… And then the rest is history!  I ended up being in two of the last episodes second season, where Moe (down the street from me) brought me some junk from a locker, which I fixed up and then they asked me to be a regular for third season.  So, all of this has especially been so great because it has all happened so naturally —  I wasn’t looking to be on TV - they literally just stumbled upon me and I was at the right place at the right time.  My life hasn’t changed much– the only thing that has is the amount of emails and packages I receive that are sent to me from fans, especially men asking me out!!

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What types of pieces do you typically search for in the storage units to go in your shop and who is your typical shop clientele?

 I am the one on the show who looks for raw materials and stuff that most people would think is trash or wouldn’t look twice at in the storage units.  I refurb quite a number of pieces I find in these units that will be shown throughout the season which I sell in the shop, as well.  It is all based on my shop, what I do and how I can take ordinary things or “trash” and make them into the unexpected or leave things as they are — Great design is everywhere – you just have to have the patience to dig and ability to see possibility.  My typical shop clientele is all over the board. I carry eclectic cool finds and furniture pieces that are refurbished or untouched.  So interior decorators, artists, and middle-aged new home/apt dwellers.

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Do you ever keep any of the things you “find” for your own home?  We’d love to hear about them!

I am obsessed with old books and quirky vintage prints/art.  So, yeah, I’ve come across few books I just had to keep as well as some prints I know I’d regret not keeping later in life. :)

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What would be the one thing you are dying to one day find in a storage locker?

Diamonds, gold, cash…..anything that would make me a millionaire.

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Do you typically refinish the pieces yourself and what has been your favorite furniture makeover?

YES, I do everything myself which is why I am in the process now of hiring someone else to help me refinish pieces….here are some before and after’s:

Before & After- Old Chest of Drawers to Wine Rack!

An old chest of drawers transformed into a wine rack!

Before & After- Foot Board Turned into Table

An old foot board made into a beautiful contemporary table!

Table Design

Table design in progress!

Before & After- Nightstands

Campaign nightstands made changed to a totally modern and different style!

What’s the most rewarding thing about owning your own shop?

I am extremely proud of what I have accomplished.  I have a photojournalism degree and opened this business not knowing a thing about business; I figured I’d learn as I go, which I am finding is one of the best ways you can truly see your potential. Before opening, I had never refurbished anything nor did I know how to paint furniture “properly” I just knew I had a good eye (from Paige Rense, my boss at Arch Digest). It has been the most rewarding experience to me knowing that I can do anything I want to in life with hard work and common sense

How would you describe your decorating style?

It’s a mixing of things…. modern and contemporary things with beautiful old things. Clean, uncluttered spaces with a great mix of art and antiques.  I think the one thing I always try to achieve when decorating my own space is comfort.  I like spaces that are warm and inviting.  As far as style goes, I think modern things are really cool, but they don’t feel safe to come home to.  Period rooms give too much of a sense of living in the past.  So I think finding somewhere in the middle is the way to go.  I like mixing old with new things.  I have an eclectic taste yet I like it simple.

Moe, Ricky and Bubba are quite the characters! They seem like they are also great mentors since they’ve been in the business for a while.  Mary: what’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten from Moe?

When the storage locker opens always look for two things right away: Cobwebs and broken locks.  Cobwebs are a good sign that the lockers has been sitting there for a long while and hasn’t been touched. If there are broken locks around the entrance that is a bad sign – means it was tried in previous auction(s) and no one bought it.

What is your favorite furniture piece of all time?

Charles and Ray Eames chair and ottoman.

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1 Comments to 'Storage Wars!'

ben 06 Feb 13 at 11:55 am

watched just last night. And I’m pretty sure I saw Jenny at The Mecca the other day.

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