I’m Dan Scharch, aka Flipshark.
I don’t know why this took so long. They say do what you love, I just didn’t realize this was an option.
Most stories like this start with a healthy dose of confidence and nostalgia. A lot of “Ever since I could remember”. But to be honest, I’m not too sure how I found myself here. But I do have a few ideas of how the dots connect.
I can’t remember a time where I turned down wandering by the booths of the Meadowlands flea market, digging through stacks of used bookstores, or rubbernecking to sneak peeks at garage sales as I drove by. I’ve never been afraid of a little dust and I honestly get a kick out of organizing things, finding the order in the stuff. I could lose hours browsing aisles, picking up every piece to wonder about the life it had before landing there.
But really, if I’m being honest, a real switch was flipped when I found out I could get paid to do this. After moving back home with the parents and my college degree, I needed some money to get back on my feet. I started driving a truck for a junk removal company and everything changed. I made the most of it, bringing home goodies, saving them from the landfill, giving them new life at yard sales of my own. It was like alchemy.
When junk removal took a toll on my mind and my body, I took my interest across the US. I made my all-American road trip around junk. I learned about Earthships, off-the-grid sustainable homes out in the New Mexico desert, made using dirt-filled tires. I explored the Junk Cathedral in Austin, Texas - a backyard art project strung together by local finds.
Even after some time in the corporate world, I picked up junk removal again when I moved 3,000 miles away to try California life. Being in dirty basements and garages made sense to me, and I was good at it!
But here I am, back on the East Coast, setting sail on a new turn of the journey. I’m starting to document it here on my blog.
They say if you like what you do you’ll never work a day in your life. That’s the goal. Make this my life’s work.
Follow the journey on Instagram - @njflipshark