With all of the creative elements, really interesting customers, cool old stuff and learning opportunities, the "funky junk" business is Agent 99’s passionate “pursuit of WOW!”
In 1996, Agent 99, aka Teresa Mitchell, left a real job and became a professional recycler and repurposer of all things old -- traditional antiques mostly (1900-1940s), and, just for good measure, a smattering of authentic industrial, primitive, retro and vintage elements.
Agent 99 sets about every day with a singular goal -- to learn something new and pass it on. The depth and breadth of the antique business supports this goal swimmingly – there's always something new to learn, test, research, discover and share! Six years of higher education, three degrees and Fairhaven College made a life long learner out of 99.
With her husband Mike, her rescue dogs -- Edward R. Beagle and Robert Redford -- and her horse Socks Mitchell and a miniature molly mule named Rosie Mitchell, Agent 99 lives in a small house that sits on a knoll that overlooks the fruits of the Yakima Valley -- a place with no cable, where your neighbors know your name and bake you a “welcome to the neighborhood cake” when you move in. Corporate headquarters is the garage and board meetings take place around the dining room table.
Agent 99 Trivia
Personal style: Minimalism meets Ranch Romance.
Favorite sales venue: Every antique mall space, antique show and vintage market poses a unique opportunity to meet real people who love antiques and to learn a little something from each one (customers and vendors).
Favorite stars: Fred Astaire, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Glen Miller and my dad.
Favorite “antique” story: While on a visit to Arizona to spend time with my folks, my dad and I stopped at this little outdoor swap meet in Apache Junction. I found two wonderful pottery flamingos. Thereafter, every Sunday morning my dad would call and ask, “Have you sold those pelicans yet?”
Favorite authors: John McPhee, Barry Lopez, Wendell Berry, Max DePree, Robert H. Keller, and Tom Peters.
Favorite saying: You get your inspiration from wherever you can!
Favorite antique stores: The ones I am in of course . . . Roxy Theatre Antiques in Historic Downtown Kennewick, Thorp Antiques on I-90 -- just west of Ellensburg, Precision Antiques on I-82 -- just west of Yakima and Bottorff's Ruffles and Rust in Historic Downtown Snohomish.