Standing in front of a great big aquarium at the pet store, a strange analogy popped into my head.
Auction-goers are a lot like fish in an aquarium.
Let me explain.
Aquariums usually have 3 types of fish in them, and auctions usually have 3 types of bidders.
There are the top feeding fish. Top feeding fish in an aquarium get first dibs on food coming in the tank. Their food floats at the top, easy to snatch up.
The top “feeders” at auctions are the people who come looking for pristine and really unique pieces, and they are willing to pay top dollar. It’s almost impossible to outbid them. They are often antique dealers looking for top-quality and specialty merchandise, or they are people who want to take an item straight fro the auction floor to their living room, without any work or effort. They don’t have much competition, because most people attending auctions can’t afford their level of bidding.
…….I’m not a top feeder.
Then there are the mid level feeders in an aquarium.
This is the active part of the aquarium, where you often see schooling fish like tetras. They get the food that makes it past the top feeders.
At an auction, the mid level feeders are the majority of auction goers. They are looking for things in nice condition that are fairly common. They want nice items at prices lower than they’d find in an antique store.
…….I’m not a mid level feeder either.
Then there are the bottom feeders in the tank.
Bottom feeding fish are the clean-up crew in the tank. They eat what sinks to the bottom, and are a bit like scavengers eating up what’s left behind by the rest of the fish. There’s less competition at the bottom of the tank, so if they’re patient, they’ll get their fill too.
Bottom feeders at an auction are looking for what no one else is looking for or bidding on. They’ll often be the person who buys toilets an sinks to put in apartment rentals, or the guy that buys a non-working upright freezer for a buck, so he can sell the metal to a recycling center.
…….I’m a bottom feeder.
I’m not looking for old toilets, sinks, or non-working upright freezers though.
What I am looking for is a diamond in the rough.
And I mean really rough.
I’m the person bidding on a broken dresser, because it’s made of quality wood that I can repurpose.
I’m the person bidding on a super rusty toolbox filled with dirt and grime, because I’m willing to clean it up and turn it into a flower box.
I’m the person who gets excited when I see things like bird poop and dirt on a pair of broken old chairs, …
because under that bird poop and filth is some amazing detail.
THIS is why I’m so happy to be a bottom feeder!
It’s been over a year since I brought home that pair of broken, bird poop and filth covered chairs. I fixed up one of them and turned it into a beautiful grain sack style chair. Even I was shocked at how pretty it looked once it got cleaned up and loved on.
But the other chair?
It’s been sitting in my workshop ever since. One of the spindles on the chair back was detached, because a little chip of wood was missing to hold it in place.
I thought eventually I’d repair it, and give it a similar treatment as the first chair, but I finally realized that was never likely to happen, so I came up with a new idea.
My husband cut the chair back away from the chair frame and cut off the remaining two spindles, then I painted it white. I decided against doing any distressing, because I think the details didn’t need any accenting from me – they are gorgeous as-is.
I painted a piece of 1/4″ paneling wood with chalkboard paint, cut to fit inside the opening in the chair back and screwed it onto the frame.
And easy as that, I have a repurposed chair back chalkboard!
Life is good at the bottom of the tank!