2 Gals’ Junk turns history into treasure

Through the wood-framed doors of 2 Gals’ Junk Antiques and Collectables lies a treasure trove of items, from Civil War ration cups to doilies from the 1960s to jewelry and toys from every era. An old-fashioned shop on Main Street Siloam Springs, 2 Gals’ Junk provides community members with a place to pick up and relive pieces of history. The store, which has been in Siloam for 10 years, is currently owned by Shari Devor.

Originally, two ladies, one in her late 70s and one in her 40s, owned the antique store. Circumstances led the older woman, Devor’s aunt-in-law, to sell the store to Devor. “[2 Gals’ Junk] was a good name, so we just kept it,” Devor said.

Anna Gibson, a senior at John Brown University and Marketing Assistant at Main Street Siloam Springs, goes into 2 Gals’ Junk often. “I like getting scrabble letters there, and my mom has sold some of our old china there. I go there for Girls’ Night Out and any other downtown events,” Gibson said. The store “seems almost like a different shop every time I go in, and each time it’s a very personable small-town experience,” Gibson said.

Devor said the store sells a little bit of everything. “If it’s something Walmart doesn’t carry or that you can’t just go buy readily new, it’s something we seek out. Most of it I pick up at sales, either garage sales, estate sales or some private buys. When we first got started we would go in and bid your whole house if you were moving,” Devor said. “It’s a good way to get stuff cheap. They don’t want to move it, they don’t want to deal with it.”

“I’m a true junkie. Anywhere I go, I am on estatesales.net and on craigslist looking for sales. Typically, we go to Florida once a year. This year, whenever we went, because we go in January and February. . .we hit estate sales all the way down,” Devor said. “A lot of times, I count items and just shoot a value knowing that everything will bring at least this much and see what happens. Sometimes, I look up stuff online and try to get a value. If you come to me or if I am at your sale, I feel like whatever we agree on is good. If I private buy—like if you say ‘Hey, my Aunt has passed away’ and I know—I feel I have to pay you fair value. I don’t want to take advantage of anybody. . .I want you to be able to get the most out of it that you can.”

When finding items and bartering for prices, “I just shoot off the hip,” Devor said. “You don’t have time. You go and look and they have 200 items for sale and it’s all laid out on the table and you say ‘I’ll give you $500 for everything on the table.’”

Devor said that, in Siloam, there are a lot of families living in their grandparents’ houses. “It’s just a good old area, so finding good old stuff here is not too hard. Finding stuff is easy, finding good or interesting stuff is a little harder. But it’s still here.”

2 Gals’ Junk’s owner and her husband have been in retail since 1980. They owned a motorcycle dealership for 28 years, and in 2005 their property was bought by Don Soderquist and one other buyer. “The buying and selling we have been doing a long time. Negotiating a deal for a car, negotiating a deal for a motorcycle, it’s similar. In this business, you’ve got to know a little bit about everything, and I didn’t,” Devor said. “If it wasn’t for online, I would be in trouble. You can see something at a sale for $2 and pull it up online and it says it will sell for at least $50 and you decide to grab it.”

Finding estates and creating relationships with the owners is a specialty of Devor’s. Part of her business is making connections and finding places with hidden treasures inside. Sometimes she will be driving down the street to find a garage sale, meet up with a friend at someone’s house, strike up a conversation and find a garage full of antique and historical treasures. “I enjoy people. It’s very interesting to get to know people, where they are from, what they did with things,” Devor said. Often, Devor finds personal history that connects with the people she meets along the way. “It’s history. It’s just cool.”

2 Gals’ Junk is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. From Jan. to May 2 Gals’ is typically closed on Mondays. The store does a little online, but not very much, said Devor. “I want my customers at least to have the opportunity to see the things I find, even if they aren’t going to pay for them, because at least it will get them coming in.”

Usually, the store tries to help the community out in whatever way they can. “We have loaned out props to JBU for plays, so whatever way we can help you, we are happy to do anything we can. If you ever have anything to sell, or if you are looking for something,” 2 Gals’ Junk can help, Devor said.

From fabric to old books to dishes and more, 2 Gals’ Junk has a unique layout of old history lining its walls and floors. History connects each person, and objects like those 2 Gals’ Junk sells can bring people together. “It just goes to show, you never know what’s inside,” Devor said.