An ad for Cool Junk, neighborhood resident Vivian Powell’s store in Deep Ellum, says: “Men from Mars ate my brain and made me open this cool store.”
Although her brain seems intact, Powell does have a cool store. In fact, the Dallas Observer named Cool Junk “Best Junk 1996.” Cool Junk offers browsers a blast from the past, with most items dating from the ’40s to the ’60s. Longing for a ’50s chrome dinette, a set of Melmac dishes, a funky lamp or some polyester duds? Cool Junk is the place for you. Powell also stocks up on accessories such as school memorabilia, books and records, old phones and space art. Before opening Cool Junk in 1995, Powell worked as a registered nurse for 12 years and later partnered with her former husband in their own advertising design business.
“Glyn Powell inspired me to seek work that would be an expression of myself,” she says, “and he ensured a receptive response by designing the Cool Junk name and logo.”
Powell hunts garage and estate sales for “ordinary, common items no longer manufactured. I try to have a wide variety of interesting historical items, so that I will have what each person needs.”
“It is really neat when a particular item that has not sold for a long time is finally matched up with a person who finds it very special.”
“I call it junk, but people who respect the common, ordinary things from the past know the items are cool.”
Q: Someday, I’m determined to:
A: End my battle with paperwork. If necessary, I may burn it.
Q: My favorite quote is:
A: “Oh well.” My son, Drew, learned it at elementary school.
Q: My greatest asset is:
A: My age and curly hair.
Q: I’ve never understood why everyone was so crazy about:
A: Beanie Babies.
Q: Most people don’t know I:
A: Work all night, often.
Q: My definition of “success” is:
A: “You can’t succeed if you don’t try” and “there is no failure in trying.”
Q: I never have enough time to:
A: Experience new kinds of play.
Q: My perfect day alone would include:
A: Sleeping, studying and eating at Deep Sushi.
Q: The hardest part of running a business is:
A: Sometimes choosing to put work before family and friends.
Q: If I won the lottery, I would:
A: Hire a clone of myself.
Q: The best advice I ever received was:
A: From the writings of Oswald Chambers about living with a congruent conscious and subconscious.
Q: Life is too short to:
A: Do the wrong work.
Q: My advice to anyone trying to start a business is:
A: To resolve unfinished business first.
Q: By the end of the year, I hope to:
A: Have my unfinished business resolved.
Q: I’m not afraid to:
A: Confront and learn.
Q: I always procrastinate about:
A: Things that require my brain to switch gears, such as doing financial paperwork. Switching gears wastes time and should be prevented by having someone else do these things.