A vision in her mind for years, owner Kristen Grandi said, 2016 is proving that dreams and reality do combine and produce an event unlike any other in the area. In April, the El Reno two-day festival catapulted Junk Hippy to another level.
“It was my wildest experience and what I've wanted Junk Hippy to be as far as shows thus far, and it finally happened,” Grandi said. “It was months of planning, and years of dreaming.”
A festival full of diversity, Junk Hippy El Reno produced close to 250 vendors for consumers to peruse aisles of uncommon creations and rare finds. The array of novelties cannot be pigeonholed when one describes a Junk Hippy show.
The styles range from architectural, industrial salvage, to rusty, junky farm styles. In between one will find up cycled, repurposed selections to shabby chic, eclectic bohemian decor. Nothing is ever the same, yet the atmosphere promotes a unity of individuality.
“I encourage diversity, and creative power when it comes to the vendors,” Grandi said. “I want them to construct their booth to cater to their own sense of style. I encourage being unique.”
Although vendors have the freedom to make their area their own, Grandi said she only has one main rule she is adamant the vendors adhere to
Be kind or leave.
“This is such a fun experience, and yes, it can have its share of unexpected events as far as things not going to plan, but we will roll with anything unexpected that happens throughout the event.” Grandi said. “And, with that I expect vendors to be pleasant to each other and to their customers. If you can’t be kind, then Junk Hippy isn’t where you belong.”
That is what adds to the dynamic of Junk Hippy. An upbeat atmosphere where all are welcome and accepted.
From hippies to cowboys, everyone is able to find an item that meets their personality.
With food trucks lining the exterior of the event’s grounds, Junk Hippy El Reno brought a myriad of tastes. Classic menu items were available, as well as, food with a flair. Watermelon pie, fried tacos, grilled burgers and lemonade from Mason jars, the food element contributed to the festival feel.
After shopping and eating, the crowd was able to listen to the sounds of an Oklahoma artist.
“Live music is essential to the atmosphere I wanted to promote,” Grandi said. “We hit it out of the park with the addition of Stoney LaRue in concert.”
When the sun set for the evening on the first day of the festival, LaRue took the stage into the night.
Grandi said a Friday night concert will, from now on, be a staple at the El Reno show.
So, what is Junk Hippy? An antique, vintage, craft show? In a sense, it’s a combination of everything. It’s laughter, friends, music, backed by a shopping experience one will not be able to find at any retail store.
“It’s everything you love in one place,” Grandi said.
Junk Hippy is an experience.
It’s a getaway from the norm. And, that is Grandi’s goal.
“If I ever feel our show style is being copied, I’m going to kick it up a notch. I am one who can’t stand to be the same as anyone else, that goes for my show too. When we started doing this, it was to do something new and unique in our area. I love what we do and won't let a little imitation stop me.”
Her show that she worked countless hours to construct. A show that introduced her to a vast amount of people with different backgrounds and ideas. Junk Hippy brought together the people and their individuality in one place to share with all.
An Oklahoma original, four years later, Junk Hippy continues breaking the barriers for vendor-type events.
By Bridget Mason