Meet the Vendor: Attic Journals
Who are you and what do you do?
Attic Journals is made up of the husband/wife team of Michelle Sanders and Miguel Salinas. Since 2004 we’ve grown Attic Journals into a burgeoning business that works hard to be as sustainable as possible from our home in Portland, Oregon. By working with schools and libraries around the country to harvest their discarded books and upcycle them, the benefit of Attic Journals is three-fold: funding community education, keeping significant tonnage out of landfills, and helping people around the world tell their story. Our work is an affordable unique gift, perfect for the hard to gift people in all of our lives.
What’s the latest thing you’ve been working on?
With a decade of experience in upcycling books, we’ve noticed a few trends… one being that typically books that are 10.5″ or bigger don’t hold the same appeal for journals as some of the smaller sized volumes do. But… there are thousands of big books being thrown out every day, so we are still inspired to figure out a way to reuse them! What we have in the works for them is pretty fantastic and hopefully we’ll be able to reveal them this next year!
What was your first memory of making something?
Michelle: My late Grandma Betty ate, slept, and breathed crafting. When I was young, I would sit on a bean bag in her sewing room reading books and helping her finish projects. That room was like magic… full of Zane Grey’s and every other cowboy western that she loved annnnd full of projects that she was always working on as well. Miguel: I grew up in a town in the foothills of southern Mexico that is equidistant from Ozxaca and Acapulco. The culture of our town is one of artisans and farmers, so working with my hands has been a way of life I’ve always known.
What do you love most about craft show vending?
That moment when someone walks up to our table and brightens because they’ve found “that” book that harkens back to “that” time, really means the world to us… a validation that the work we do is meaningful and adds a bit of good to people’s lives.
What do your customers love most about your product(s)?
People seem to really resonate with the nostalgia of our work and, of late, the fact that we’re using up the entire book… covers made into journals and earrings… spines made into necklaces and keychains… pages made into garlands and even the punches of the books made into firestarters… people seem inspired by our going the extra mile to offset book waste.