Jolie Sikes knows a thing or two about repurposing. As one half of the "Junk Gypsies" duo — she stars with her sister Amie on the country-chic design show co-produced by mom.me parent company Whalerock Industries — Jolie has renovated everything from treehouses to Airstream trailers. And everything is a family affair. In addition to her sister, parents Janie and Philip, 9-year-old son Cash Baker and Amie's 6-year-old daughter Indie are all part of the Junk Gypsy empire, which launched in 1998.
As the family kicks off the show's third season on the Great American Country network on Friday, May 15, at 10/9c, Jolie chatted with mom.me over email about transforming Airstream trailers for special guests Miranda Lambert and Billie Joe Armstrong, what item of her son's she would never throw away, and what she would love to find at a flea market or garage sale.
What was it like working with famous musicians Miranda Lambert (pictured above, middle) and Billie Joe Armstrong this season? Did you and Amie (above left) have jam sessions with them?
Working with Miranda was pretty much like working with another sister. Her sewing skills pretty much match mine (we don't have any), but Miranda and I are hell on wheels with a glue gun!! No jam session with Billie Joe, but we definitely had an imaginary jam session on our own. I do a mean Billie Joe impression.
The "Junk Gypsies" are all about fun makeovers, particularly for Airstreams. What are the key ingredients for getting a small-space makeover just right?
When it comes to decorating small spaces, we really focus on thinking outside the box and maximizing every nook and cranny of the space. It's epically important to incorporate function into style.
In one of this season's episodes, you go fishing with your dad and son. What other family traditions do you make a point of keeping?
Hands down, the thing we love the most about "Junk Gypsy" is getting to be with our family every day. And whether it's frog catching, fishing or making dad's biscuits, we always put family first.
What item of your son's will you never toss as "junk"?
Cash Baker (pictured right) is an avid collector and never wants to throw anything away. (I have no idea where he gets that trait.) He has a whole collection of bones and fossils that he has found on our land — everything from deer skulls to hogs to snakes. It's pretty cool and totally "boy."
Were there any surprises during this season's filming?
We hosted a charity garage sale to benefit the local schools, and we were absolutely blown away at the response. Who knew you could make that much money (more than $20,000) in just a few hours … at a GARAGE SALE!
Treehouses are kid-friendly favorites. What should parents know first about them before they take the building plunge?
There is nothing more iconic to childhood than a treehouse, but there are so many safety issues to consider before you commit. How many kids do you want to be able to fit in the treehouse safely? How high up are you planning on building? if it's too big of a project, you might want to consult a professional to make sure the treehouse is sturdy and completely safe.
What has been your most unforgettable project so far?
Bev Lambert's response to her Airstream makeover was pretty epic. It took an act of Congress to keep the entire project a secret from her, but somehow we pulled it off.
What did you andyour family do for Mother's Day? Do you have something special planned for Father's Day?
It was a perfect day on our little mini-farm, but my favorite part was sitting in the swing and eating peach cobbler.
What's your family secret to staying so close-knit?
When you work with your family every day, you learn to really go with the flow, to respect each other immensely, and to respect each other's opinions. Being self-employed teaches you that not everything happens on a perfect schedule — and that's OK.
Is there an item out there that you've been dying to find at a flea market that you just haven't found yet? Basically, what's your dream "junk" find?
We're still holding out for a long-lost Elvis cowboy Cadillac hidden in a dusty old barn for the sweet price of $500.