Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Sweet Welcome

Sweet Salvage would like to extend a warm welcome to the following new members of the Sweet Gang.

Joe Willi
 I've been creating art and functional objects for over 40 years, primarily with repurposed materials.
My journey into the world of art, antiques, collectibles and repurposing began with my mother on regular trips to thrift stores in Milwaukee. I refinished my first antique table when I was 12 years old. 
My art has incorporated found materials from the beginning of my career in 1967. 

In the search for materials to create with I would constantly find other objects, machine parts, furniture, ceramics, art and wonderful books. Over the years those findings accumulated into a very large collection. I made the decision to sell several years ago. I started by doing an annual yard sale which was highly successful and that led to the opening of my first retail space in 2008. In addition to selling I also host repurposing workshops. Recently a large portion of my collection was shown by Scottsdale Public Art, a 3 month exhibit titled, "The Art and Collections of Joe Willie Smith, Cultural Savant". The exhibit was visited by over 18,000 people through the duration of the show.

Mary Rita 
 Raised on Mississippi barn auctions and Memphis, TN flea markets, Mary Rita Horn has decorated in flea market style since she enjoyed her first home, a 100 plus year old Dutch Colonial in midtown Memphis. She joined the Phoenix-area vintage event circuit in 2010 offering unique finds and handmade items, developing a penchant for architectural salvage, industrial treasures, a wide variety of unusual lighting options and wine barrel ring creations. Mary Rita is grateful to her husband and sons for all the assistance they provide in making this dream business a reality and is beyond thrilled to offer her assemblage of vintage and repurposed goodness in the Warehouse at Sweet Salvage

 There is amazing potential in the discarded… great junk is everywhere! Uncovering style potential and repurposing is a hell of a good time… and not too bad for the planet either. Salvage with a green edge. Finding unique pieces, whether industrial, rustic, vintage… and seeing connection and coherence in the eclectic. I am a native Phoenician and bought my first junk, a vintage advertising clock, at a thrift shop when I was six years old. I haven’t stopped since!
"Be the change you want to see".

After a long career in luxury retail, I decided to combine my experience as a retailer with my love of antiques, history and design.  The best thing about junking isn't just finding really cool stuff, it's finding the potential in things other people gave up on and turning them into something people want again. It's always about the mix, the juxtaposition of rustic and primitive with the modern and refined. I never know how it's all going to work, until I see it all together and start pulling things that tell a story with each other.

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