I was Born into the World of Antiques and Collectables

I was born into a rich history of recycling and preserving used items. My grandmother and grandfather were the original re-purposers. Growing up in the depression taught them to fix, restore and repair rather then go buy more. My grandfather could fix cars, TV’s, radios and he even built an enclosed patio on his home in Monterey Park, CA.  My grandmother was a master sewer and re-purposer. She worked in the old garment district in Los Angeles and would bring home odd buttons and fabric and turn them into cool craft projects and gifts for us grandkids. She would take old ties and make rugs, green plastic strawberry baskets and make christmas ornaments, old nylons became doll bodies, scarp fabric became purses, pot holders and christmas ornaments!

This life led to my mother getting into the business of selling antiques and, starting at a very early age, she would take me with her to garage sales and flea markets searching for treasures to sell in her store. I caught “picker fever” at that early age and I couldn’t wait until I could go picking each weekend with my mom for more treasures. My mom outfitted most items in our home from thrift shops,  partially because of lack of funds, but also because it was how she was raised.

about-leanne-baby
about-leanne-smith-callout-01
about-leanne-red-truck

Around 15 years old I attended weekly auctions with my mom. Since I was there all the time, the owners eventually offered me a job — but for me it was never like work.  I enjoyed this experience so much that 20 years later I became an auctioneer and opened my own auction house.

When I was 18, I bought my first pick-up truck! I was now a true “American Picker” and each week I spent Saturdays looking for anything I thought I could sell.  From quality clothing and houseware items to antiques – you name it. If I could buy it cheap and make a profit, it was in the back of my red pick-up. On Sundays I brought my goodies to the local college flea market and sold them. This was a real fun time and ended up being a great little business for me.

At 21, I opened my first retail store. I have had over a dozen retail stores including: thrift shops, antiques stores, consignment stores, gift shops, antique co-ops. I guess you can say I have a very strong sales and retail background. And to think it all started with my mom taking me along with her to look for treasures.

Several years later I received my California Real Estate License added real estate to my menu of services. Since then I’ve become a top producing Real estate agent.

Move several more years down the road and remembering my great time working at the auction house, I became an auctioneer and opened my own auction house.

about-leanne-lifes-work

Growing up in this life has contributed to my mastery of knowing values, which is the utmost importance for giving you a successful estate sale! Due to my extensive knowledge, I was chosen to work with California State Administrators to liquidate estates they were in charge of. It was during this time with the state administrator that I was first exposed to a hoarding home.

In a small way, my love of antiques and collectables helped me somewhat relate to the attachment feelings these fragile personalities harbored. I was able to compassionately deal with these delicate situations and have become well skilled in these stressful events.

about-leanne-smith-flea-market
about-leanne-smith-picking

I continue to do what I love everyday!

Leanne’s Estate Sales has grown into a full service Estate Sale and Real Estate business serving the northern California area, but I do travel to other states when requested to handle sales. These are fun and, to me, like a mini working vacation! We still price every single item for every sale – the difference now is we have customized software – so instead of just handing you receipt books, we hand you a printout at the end of the sale letting you know what each item was originally priced for and what it ultimately sold for.

When you come to one of my estate sales you can often find my whole family helping with the sale. My three daughters are the next generation growing up in the business and sometimes you can still spot my mom helping out – though now just behind one of the checkout tables. I love sharing my love of treasure hunting with everyone. We work hard making sure everything is perfect for your sale, but we make sure we all have fun too!

I have been truly blessed to be able to make a living doing something I love while allowing me to help others. I have met some of the most amazing and wonderful people along my journey and I hope I get to meet you too!

Contact me and let’s discuss your estate sale or real estate needs.

Cheers,

LEANNE