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Flea Market Flip: Lahaska shop owner, assistant compete on TV show

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Lori’s Funky Junk Décor owner Lori Mason and her assistant Lisa Lucas are eagerly awaiting the airing of their episode of “Flea Market Flip” on the Great American Country network.

They recently took a break from painting inside the Lahaska shop where they transform pieces of furniture and accessories, giving them new life, to talk about their experience filming the show.

The show pits two teams of two against one another in a competition to see who can make the most money by buying, repurposing and selling three items from a flea market. The winning team gets a $5,000 cash prize.

Mason and Lucas were matched with a husband and wife from Brooklyn, N.Y., who rent out their house for photo shoots. “We saw (photographs of) their place, and we were very nervous,” Lucas said.

Lara Spencer hosts the show that films in three days, a flea market shopping day at Brimfield flea market in Massachusetts, a work day at a workshop in Connecticut and a selling day at the Grand Bazaar NYC.

“I thought it would be really good for me to be on the show because of my business,” said Mason.

Her two-and-a-half-year-old store near the intersection of routes 202 and 263 features old, new, vintage and repurposed items, most of which Mason finds at second-hand stores, and she and Lucas transform and update them.

“My whole thing is one-of-a-kind handmade, that’s what we do,” Mason said.

“We’re recycling, definitely, and saving things from being thrown away,” Lucas said. “We can see the potential. We can see what it could be.”

Mason applied for “Flea Market Flip” in July 2017 and didn’t hear back until last January, when show staff reached out to her, saying they really liked her work.

Since the show looks for people who are outgoing and gregarious, Lucas suggested they dress in Eagles gear for a subsequent interview via Skype, scheduled for shortly before the Philadelphia Eagles appearance in Super Bowl LII.

“She really liked us,” Lucas said of the interviewer, who initially appeared puzzled by the clothing choice.

Filming began on flea market day, when each team received a “flip list” of three items and $500 in cash. The list for Mason and Lucas’ competition said each team needed to turn one of their purchases into “modern Moroccan,” a second into “iconic style” and the third into “clean and simple lines.”

“The goal is to spend low and sell high,” Mason said. “Which we did,” added Lucas, without spilling the beans on who won, something they are not permitted to divulge.

Flea market day in May was stressful, Mason and Lucas said, adding they were allotted a couple of short windows of time to look for items they might want to purchase and subsequent brief time periods to go back and buy them – if they were still available.

Spencer walked around the flea market with them while they bought the pieces, which were then kept by the show until the work day – in July.

“It’s not staged,” Mason said. “We had to go find those pieces on our own.”

For the work day, during which both teams share the large workshop, some decorating items were supplied; however each team was given $100 for embellishments, such as additional paint, decorative hardware, fabrics and stencils.

Each team also was given tools and two helpers to work on carpentry, welding and any other jobs a team might need.

“We did most of the work,” Mason said. “They did the major cutting, but it’s all our designs.”

Mason said she and Lucas went back and forth about what to create. She said they had seen people on the show turn items into something really different.

Mason wanted them to keep in mind what sells in her store – items that provide storage and are functional. “I thought we had to do something crazy,” Lucas said.

In the end, they went with what they thought would sell.

Selling day took place a week after the work day. “They brought all our stuff, and they put it under the big tent,” Mason said. “We had to stage it.” She and Lucas brought rugs and decorative items, such as candlesticks, books and picture frames for staging.

“It was all on us to sell them,” Mason said.

“Overall, it was a lot of fun,” she added. “I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was awesome.”

Lucas wasn’t so sure. “I don’t know if I would,” she said. “I’m very nervous to see myself on TV.” But then, after a pause, she reconsidered. “I’d do it again,” she said.


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