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updated: 1/15/2014 6:18 PM

Arlington Hts. couple make others' junk their business

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  • Janet McCarthy is owner of Lucky Junk, a store specializing in vintage items that is opening at 405 S. Arlington Heights Road in Arlington Heights.

       Janet McCarthy is owner of Lucky Junk, a store specializing in vintage items that is opening at 405 S. Arlington Heights Road in Arlington Heights.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • At Lucky Junk, you never know what you'll stumble across.

       At Lucky Junk, you never know what you'll stumble across.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 
 

Three years ago Janet and Bill McCarthy set up a yard sale at their Arlington Heights home to try and make enough extra money to go on a vacation.

The two had been going to vintage shops and estate sales for years collecting the most interesting items they could find.

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That one yard sale was so successful they earned fans from around the suburbs who kept coming back for their vintage sales.

"All of a sudden we were these vintage superstars here in town," Janet said. "We had no idea it would take off like that."

Now the couple is moving from their front yard to a store front, with The Lucky Junk, 405 S. Arlington Heights Road, opening on Thursday.

The store will be an occasional market shop, open only the second and fourth weekends of each month, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday so the McCarthy's can spend the rest of their time looking for new and unique merchandise to sell.

The store will sell vintage household goods, clothing, artisan goods, art, furniture and more.

"We are like 'American Pickers,'" McCarthy said. "My husband loves it too. We go out to old barns and farms and hunt and pick for things."

The couple travels to estate sales, soon to be demolished barns and even some of the oldest homes in Arlington Heights looking for unique items.

McCarthy said she is excited to be opening a business in Arlington Heights, a town where four generations of her family grew up.

"I was raised this way, everyone in my family loved repurposing old things and making them new. It's a great way to get creative," she said.

Her favorite item in the shop right now is a former postal service cubby that she's repurposed into a wine rack. But, Janet warned that since everything in the shop is one of a kind, a popular piece could disappear fast.

During this weekend's grand opening shoppers can look for a 1955 pickup truck parked in front of the store as well as giveaways, discounts and even a jazz singer performing inside.

McCarthy said she hopes to hold classes at the shop as well, to teach decorating, repurposing and painting.

Both Janet and Bill are Irish, and the name "Lucky Junk" just sounded right, she said.

"We were lucky to have basically fallen into this," she said. "We can't wait to open."

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