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Doctors are in, for Finders Keepers sale

Wendy Beville and Janet Newman show off a piece that comes with a chalk board strip. Wendy Beville and Janet Newman show off a piece that comes with a chalk board strip.

The Doctors of Junkology are at it again.


Crafty in their scavenging and creative in their recycling, repurposing and reimagining, Janet Newman and Wendy Beville have in recent weeks been sanding, painting and finishing, "staging" the shop floor and keeping the door bolted. Shoppers may want a sneak peek or an early shot but they don't get in till opening day.
The irregular sale of Finders Keepers is not quite like anything else, and if you don't think a combination thrift shop, antique store and funky sign shop can arouse the crowd, well, you just don't get a certain culture that appreciates the value of castoffs made new. Plus, this year, a sip of wine.
For the fall sale Finders Keepers has added a sampling of wines from the new Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards on opening day, Wednesday, Sept. 19.
"What we've done this time more than ever is we've focused on helping our business neighbors," said Newman, who this year is putting on the sale with Beville.
Shoppers never know what they're going to discover at Finders Keepers, which is at 636 Greenville Highway (just south of Walgreen's), yet that doesn't stop them from turning out for the semiannual sale. In fact, it seems to encourage them.
"We have a bidding war going on on one of our dining room tables," Newman said. Whatever big bills they wave, shoppers must wait along with everyone else to acquire the three-leaf French provincial.
"Our word is our word," Newman said. "Everybody gets a fair chance at it when we open the doors."
The shop has added vendors from as far away as Lynchburg, Va., (pillows and embroidery) and Charlotte (upholstered furniture) to their unusual collection of reimagined crafts.
"We don't charge them rent. We do it for a percentage," Newman said. "It's to help them also have a place to showcase their talent."
The women have launched a kind of sisterhood of retail, sending out rays of retail headlines that shoppers can't resist.
"We'll be promoting them on our website, our blogspot and our Facebook page and they'll be doing the same," Beville said.
The appeal, though, remains the work of Newman and Beville, who don smocks as junk docs to make who knows what of who knows what.
They used a twin-bed headboard to make the back of a bench. Kitchen cabinet doors become the canvas for their irreverent signs ("The Queen is not taking appointments today"). They see drawers from large old-fashioned dressers and think, dog bed
The appeal is that all this stuff is unusual and fun and not what you see at Target. And it's not always there, 24 hours a day seven days a week.
"You have four days to get it," Newman says.