Almost 20 years ago, Amie and Jolie Sikes set off on a road trip in an old pickup truck. The sisters had ditched their corporate jobs and were in search of a new business venture.
“There is something inspiring and liberating about hitting the road,” Jolie says. With no definite plans, and knowing they could stop wherever they wanted, the sisters found themselves visiting roadside junk heaps everywhere they traveled.
When they found an item that seemed to have potential for reuse, they tossed it in the back of their truck. At home, they used sandpaper, paint and imagination to “improve” their rescued items. With a truckload of spiffed-up items, they began selling their unusual furniture and decorative goods at flea markets. A business was born.
“We were Junk Gypsies and our creations sold like crazy,” Jolie explains. “Next thing you know, we had our own design show on the HGTV and GAC [Great American Country] networks.” Eventually, Amie and Jolie created an online shop. In 2013, they built a store in Round Top, Texas, which stocks their iconic one-of- a-kind makeovers, plus Junk Gypsy–brand bedding, bags and boots.
When two buildings on the land adjacent to the store went up for sale, the sisters, their parents, their husbands and children restyled the structures into the Wander Inn and opened it for visitors and weary travelers.
“We carved out eight suites and decorated them with rustic furniture, our own bed linens, and roadside relics,” Amie says. “We also feature items that are for sale in our shop. And, there’s a copy of our book in every room!”