Treasure at the Garage Sale Trail

September 13, 2016

Our birdcage find!
Our bird cage find!

My very first bike came from a garage sale and I whizzed around on it for years. We repainted it red and doing it up with my father and grandfather was a treasured experience. It gave me instant independence and taught me that one man’s trash can be someone else’s treasure.

My family’s favourite pastime is still hunting out bargains at local garage sales. Recent treasures include a beautiful bird cage (pictured left) which now contains two cooing lovebirds, designer handbags and a brand new quilt and sheet set perfect for my sister’s bedroom.

So imagine my delight when I discovered that Saturday 22 October is the annual Garage Sale Trail … yes! You can join in … just register your garage sale event and become part of the trail.

JEANBAG founder, KT Doyle
JEANBAG founder, KT Doyle

I decided to get the lowdown and I spoke to Garage Sale Trail ambassador and JEANBAG founder KT Doyle  (pictured left) to find out about this fun and fabulous community event, and also about her unique business venture. (When I first saw KT’s JEANBAGS I wished they had been around when I was decorating my son’s rooms. They are cool!)

The light bulb moment

KT says she first had her light bulb moment when she was designing wallpaper and textile samples.

“It hit me like a tonne of bricks. The choices I make about materials and manufacturing processes will leave a footprint on the planet,” she says.

So KT entered a local recycling competition which asked participants to, “bring awareness of recycling by using a little creativity to change everyday items and divert tonnes of waste from landfill.”

The original JEANBAG
The original JEANBAG

KT says “I found a pile of old blue jeans and armed with my textile skills, came up with the idea for the JEANBAG – a beanbag made from recycled denim jeans.”

With creativity and a little KT Magic she now offers beanbags, cushions and bunting and will soon introduce a new lifestyle range.

“The sky is truly the limit,” she says. “Denim is such a well constructed, hard-wearing fabric.”

You don’t have to tell me, KT, I’ve never met a pair of blue jeans that I didn’t like.

KT‘s customers come from all walks of life but most are conscious of what they purchase and the types of businesses they support.

“They want their choices to have a positive impact on the environment they leave for their children, and they buy products that are made locally, ethically, sustainably and with longevity in mind,” she says.

That’s a good reason to hunt out a garage sale if ever there was one.

What KT Doyle discovered at garage sales!

KT's design of the JEANBAG minimalist cushion
KT’s design of the JEANBAG minimalist cushion

KT is a long-term garage sales fan and some of the hidden gems she has found include “a 1950s red anodised ice bucket, some beautiful china and gifts for friends and family.”

KT says the beauty of garage sales is “that you can find something unique, antique or rare.”

As sustainability is a way of life for KT, she has worked with the Garage Sale Trail team every year to promote the event.

“Given that the JEANBAG is all about reusing, recycling, up-cycling and diverting denim waste from landfill, our partnership is a perfect match.”

Why join the Garage Sale Trail?

Angus Stone on the Garage Sale Trail
Angus Stone on the Garage Sale Trail

Joining the Garage Sale Trail as a participant or a treasure hunter can be great fun.

“A lot of people go with friends and family and plan their treasure trail on either specific types of items or what’s on in their neighbourhoods. It’s a great way to meet your neighbours,” KT says.

“I’d like to see someone top the two Swedish girls who staged a Roller Disco last year.”


My mum agrees and says it’s like one big party with music, people mingling, sausage sizzles and mountains of treasure to sift through all in one day.

gst-logo-with-shadow-low-resRegister now

To register your garage sale for the Garage Sale Trail, click – here. You will need to register by Sunday 25 September.

Or if you are just intending to shop, The Garage Sale Trail will be held nationally on 22 October. I wonder what valuable and rare treasures you will find?

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