Inspired Woman Magazine

Ann Andre, Junk Yard Chic Est. 2002

Was this business your vision/passion, or did you kind of ‘fall’ into it?
The universe directed me to follow my passion for “seeing the possibilities” in all things.
When I established the store I wanted to do something which would create an environment to challenge your creativity, find your sense of humor, and touch your heart.
All of these things are a huge part of my life and Junk Yard Chic is a special place where I can share all of that with you.

How did you finance your business?
Kirkwood Bank & Trust trusted my vision & passion and extended a line of credit.

How many employees do you have?

I have five Junk Yard angels that are amazing! We make a great team and I couldn’t do it without them. Everybody brings their own uniqueness to the table which makes it an even more exciting adventure.

What has been your biggest challenge?
Staying unique, fun, and original…to always create a shopping experience for our customers.
We are not just “walls & ceiling & inventory,” Junk Yard Chic has its own heart and soul. In today’s duplication of big box stores, the small, locally owned business gives more to its customers beyond service. At Junk Yard Chic, customers are like friends/family.

When did you realize you had finally ‘made it’?
Every day is a gift and we are grateful for that. It is reassuring to watch how customers react to the store and enjoy their purchases when they have found that perfect item. Many have said a visit to Junk Yard Chic is like therapy…a place where they can “exhale”.

What is your vision for the future of your business?

I just hope we can keep fulfilling the needs of our customers and make an impact on our community. It is our goal to stay fresh, fun and keep our customers’ curiosity level high. We often hear people remark every time they stop in, they see something different.

What makes your business different/unique selling proposition?
We work hard on trying to offer to our customers things that they won’t see anywhere else, offering many one-of-a-kind treasures. We have all price points. There is always that “little thing” and that “big thing” you need. Every purchase is handled as a gift and is put into our signature bags with tissue to go home with you in Junk Yard Chic style…something our customers look forward to.

What business idea do you wish you had thought of?
Microsoft! I’d love Bill Gates to be my partner!

What is the most fun you have at work? What do you most enjoy….
I really enjoy spending time in my workshop creating. Beyond the one-of-a-kind furniture, mirrors & décor pieces, I am especially proud of the “Cross of Clarity” necklace. I was inspired to create something to ground us and give us hope and it’s proven to do just that. It has been so heartwarming to see the response from our customers and hear how it has touched their lives.
I also love totally revamping the store from time to time which creates a whole new experience for our customers when they return.

What do you wish you had known before you opened the doors?
I wish I had known how much fun it was going to be, I would have taken the leap sooner!
The concept of Junk Yard Chic all started because of an “idea.” If you believe in it, you can achieve it. The key is to stay focused on the positive and not let the obstacles along the way be discouraging. Sometimes Plan B is better than Plan A.

What is your proudest moment as a business owner?

Being recognized by The Bismarck-Mandan Chamber as the “2006 New Entrepreneur of the Year” award winner. It reaffirmed what I am doing is making a difference in our community. It was nice to be recognized for thinking outside the box.

What advice can you give to someone who wants to start a business?
Follow your passion, follow your dreams!
Don’t be afraid to put in the work to achieve success.
If you do what you love, it’s never a “job”. It’s kind of just that thing you do every day because it makes your heart and soul sing.

Junk Yard Chic is located at 201 West Main Avenue, Bismarck
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