Country Sampler's Prairie Style - - Pioneers -

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!”

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