Junket’s Gap Year, or, what happens when you opt for Plan B (and that doesn’t work out, either).

In the years ahead, there will be stories to tell about how Junket weathered 2018 and 2019, but for now, we’re going to call this a time of climate transition: a process I’ve allowed myself – and Junket – to weather in service to gleaning useful bits that can be shared as others in our community begin to make the leap to a post-carbon economy.

It’s funny: I’ve always found myself about two years ahead of the trend curve.

I’m not the one concepting self-repairing equipment for farming on Mars or developing futuristic alternative currency programs – I’m just the one who wanted intense magenta walls when Home Depot had nothing brighter than pepto-bismol pink — the one feeling conspiratorial as I whispered – and later, taught classes – about how Russian oil profits, bad actors, and a compromised/enabled president tied directly to our nation’s continuing climate inaction. The one whose decision to stop flying in 2017 led me to presume #flyingless would become a more public conversation in 2019…

I could also see – early on, though not as early as some – that there would come a time when we’d *actually* treat the environmental messes created by our consumption (climate, waste, resource depletion) as the obvious problems they are for *all* of us, and figured I’d build a model that could support a future where science would be applied and environmental constraints would no longer be treated as externalities. I hadn’t known exactly how far out that would be – I just knew I wanted to be ready to make a difference when people were more ready than they appeared to be around the start of this decade.

Some call this sort of prescience vision. I call it a useful manifestation of ADD (a diagnosis I formally picked up as part of my own, personal ‘prepare for the work ahead’ climate transition). Those of us with ADD (and also those with the ‘H’) lack, to varying degrees, the ability to filter out the stimuli that surround us: all of the inputs we encounter make their way into our brains in a way that can make it hard to stay focused on the task at hand. In trade for that missing filter, we have an uncanny capacity to hyperfocus, where our brains help us synthesize all of those inputs in ways that may or may not be useful to society. Some associate this hyperfocus with the concept of ‘flow,’ and I’ve found this to be my experience.

I consider myself lucky as ADD goes: the climate/carbon/innovation/connections data set that has gathered in this neuro-atypical brain of mine will be useful as our collective climate transition kicks into high gear. And, with this added bit of self-awareness (I had long known, but a diagnosis has made it easier to embrace the sorts of support I will need to scale these efforts as life and work move forward in lockstep), it’s exciting to be bringing capabilities and context together for this next stage of the adventure that is Junket.

Last November, people – in real life and on social networks and in the media – finally started talking openly about the Climate Crisis.

Last Monday, the Minneapolis City Council declared a climate emergency (admittedly the first time I’ve been in tears in chambers…) and Governor Walz announced the establishment of two subcommittees focused on climate.

It’s time to move this thing forward.

It didn’t feel good to lose the shop. Change–especially the kind where one doesn’t know the path ahead–is far from pleasant, and this particular change was of the excruciating, bullied-out and lied-about sort. It took a while and some therapy to come to grips with the abuse that I’d experienced — and a second, rapid-fire experience with similar abuse to lead me to temporarily pull the ‘stop’ lever on all I had been trying to do with this brand and its mission while I took a break from the social exposure that had become part of running Junket.

But perhaps this all needed to happen- because I was so committed to solving the problems that capture my hyperfocus that I wouldn’t have left on my own, and if we’re honest, I desperately needed some Me Time to catch up on nearly a decade of deferred focus on all things personal (see also: doctor visits/diagnoses, paperwork, time at home with my kiddo, and seeking/finding/building a loving relationship with another grown-ass adult) before relaunching something that would require no small amount of heart & investment of energy. I had decided that Junket’s next phase must fit – long term – into an already established life instead of vice versa.

And so, we moved Junket into ‘show up and just keep swimming’ mode (with gratitude to Marija and Larissa and an advisory board of cheerleaders and champions), stopped trying to explain what was coming next, and kept both eyes open for circumstances that could allow us to manifest a post-carbon, socially & economically progressive vision of community interdependence.

Meanwhile, I took deep breaths, established new rhythms, got back into shape (with serious props to The Fix Studio, another Longfellow neighborhood fixture), sold my car, and embraced the creative headspace that only comes with the rare fallow time and liminal space of allowing oneself to dwell in the unknown and consider possibility.

Since realizing that our run at 41st had effectively been ended for us, we’ve ruled out a series of options (including an effort to remain in place). Our priority has been to dwell in a space and community (found or built) where power is shared by design, data integrity and positive intent are foundational to all decision-making and problem-solving, and we all lean into challenge & change together (and have fun doing so!).

I’ve had to remind myself to be patient – and that the right opportunity will scream ‘how could we not?!’ instead of ‘how could I monetize this,’ ‘will we be able to drive enough traffic to this location,’ or ‘are we only excited about this because it’ll get us out of an environment that’s become unexpectedly toxic?’

That right opportunity presented itself late last month. It’s not in Longfellow (not in Minneapolis, even – gasp!), but with some due diligence under our belts and the move now complete, we’ve begun to imagine and take action toward all that we will be able to accomplish (without even needing a car!) in this new space. Early signs are positive (so positive, in fact, that it feels like a waking dream). Our first neighbors already embrace creativity, community, and in some cases, reuse. Dreams – and vision – are aligned for collaborative, resilient place-making and commerce, and together, we imagine an entire venue dedicated to helping create access to ethical materials, services, life-sustaining commerce and positive social change in ways that aren’t necessarily brick & mortar retail.

We don’t yet know *exactly* what it’ll look like yet (because that’s what happens when you begin with blank gallery walls and bring others’ dreams into the mix), but we already love spending time in this space, and we think you will, too.

Junket will not be a vintage shop in this next iteration, but so many of the elements you’ve grown to love about Junket (elements we tried desperately to cram into our old building and model as art classes, parties & events, reuse drives, print & production, sorting bees, mending sessions, and impromptu yoga all jostled for space among the retail displays) could manifest powerfully with distributed collaboration and a venue more appropriate for so many of these things. And, we’ve already got a pop-up in the works and our online venues chugging along efficiently in this new space.

Within this big-potential framework (and knowing that there will be great neighbors here, regardless!), we’re inviting folks interested/involved in collaborative studio space, indie/maker manufacturing, environmental advocacy, small business services (event planning? PR? Bookkeeping? Tech and/or product repair services? Web design? ) or even a small distillery? to express interest, share details and ask questions via this quick form. We’re working with the building owner to firm up some details, and we should be able to share more around the first of the year.

In the mean time, we are ALL SET UP to fulfill your holiday #secondhandfirst/ #betterthannew gift giving and making needs online, and in the spirit of enticing you to check out the hundreds upon hundreds of listings that we have methodically and rather quietly added to the site in the last year+ while we waited patiently for our next residence, we’ve got a sitewide sale going on now! Beginning today through Sunday, December 15, everything on shopjunket.com is on sale (up to 60% off)!  Follow us on Instagram — @shopjunket — or make us the first content you see on Facebook – to receive updates as they happen through the weekend.

Keep in mind that at Junket, our purpose is to offer ethically grounded, data-driven product & service options: slow (ground-only, low-carbon) shipping, reuse-only (zero waste, carbon-abating) products & packing materials, all based on the premise that helping to reduce environmental harm and having fun while changing our systems for the better are even more important than driving dollars (but until we’ve reformed capitalism, we still gotta make the dollars, too – please do spread the word that with this gap year now ended, we’re back to 100% hustle again). 😉

You can support the broader mission by replacing your new product purchases with existing product (ours, or those offered by others – it’s all good as long as we’re reducing demand for new manufacturing together!), by helping us spread the word about the sale (and hey, tell folks we’ve got some new digs and all that good stuff), and by getting familiar – again – with all that we have to offer!

Excited to be getting back in the swing of things in our new space, and looking forward to creating all sorts of goodness together in this next decade.

It’s good to be back, for reals this time.


Julie & the junket crew

OH – and a PS: Heads up! We’ll be announcing an impromptu, ‘when opportunity presents, you leap!’ event as soon as we have the most basic of staffing in place (wanna work a super sale in January?). It’s not often that you uncover a record collection so large that it requires three people (shout out to Craig from Acme Junk Company and Toni from Turquoise Vintage!), two trucks, and multiple days  to unearth a decades-old, mostly-categorized & alphabetized assortment of 33s, 45s, and 78s, so we’ll be co-hosting a sale at the new digs early in the new year. Here’s a sneak peek (and YES- the walls were that color even *before* we got there):
Room full of records

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