Junkman’s Daughter’s Brother has opened up shop for the fourth time at its new permanent location: inside of Cillie’s Clothing.
“There wasn’t really any reason not to give it a shot,” owner Mark Gavron said.
The novelty shop, which began as a sister store to Junkman’s Daughter in Atlanta, has had nearly 9 lives. Opening in 1986, Gavron first closed the shop in 2014 because it became “a lot to deal with,” but soon resurrected the space the following year. Gavron then permanently closed three years later due to an increase in rent, but revived the brand for a pop-up store at the former Chick Music space in late 2018.
Gavron fell in love with the idea of opening pop-up shops for the holiday seasons because he loved working at the store before Christmas. Cat Bobon, owner of Cillie’s, invited Junkman’s into her store after she found out Gavron planned to close Junkman’s after his holiday pop-up in 2018. Bobon was excited about the collaboration because it would bring more variety to her consignment store.
After moving Junkman’s into Cillie’s Clothing during February 2019, his merchandise, which include a random assortment of profane socks, novelty lunchboxes and slogan-blazoned mugs, took up no more than the front left corner of the store, Gavron said. Gavron expanded the Junkman’s brand to a little over half of the space in November for the holiday season. Bobon’s consignment booths, containing products from sellers such as Widespread Panic and Cindy Wilson of the B-52s, occupy the rest.
Although the space is much smaller than his previous Broad Street and Clayton Street locations, Gavron didn’t mind working in a smaller space, especially if Bobon was there to run the store.
“A huge benefit for me is I don’t have to be here all day,” said Gavron. “At this point I don’t really want to. I’m not doing it to earn a living, I’m doing it because I enjoy it.”
Gavron began the store after losing his job out west when oil prices crashed in the fall of 1985 and “everybody quit drilling for oil in the Rockies.” When he flew back to Atlanta he noticed his sister’s store — the Atlanta-based Junkman’s Daughter — was doing well in its Little Five Points location. Gavron drove to Athens to see if there was a similar store catering to a college crowd.
There wasn’t. Gavron soon had a niche market all to himself.
Since its original opening, the Junkman’s brand has garnered a following in the community. Gavron said he still sees customers that have been shopping with him since the beginning. The store means a lot to the people of the town, Gavron said.
The clientele of Cillie’s has changed since Gavron moved in, Bobon said, because customers are now attracted by the Junkman’s brand. Bobon said she wouldn’t change a thing about the arrangement, however, and wants him to expand more.
“It’s pretty wonderful,” Gavron said. “I almost get teary sometimes.”