Meet the Team starring Joni Back-Bubenzer
October 16, 2012 | view archive
Chances are when you come visit us at Antique Helper the first person to greet you is the always cheerful Joni. Joni not only makes everyone smile, but is our voice behind all of our social media efforts. And I haven't even mentioned she plays a mean ukelele and takes the lead on all the cool and unique musical instruments that come through our door. Here is a little more on what makes Miss Joni tick...
Title: Writer, social networker; PR and Marketing spark plug.
At Antique Helper since: October, 2003…
Educational Background: Fine Art and Theater
Other experience that makes you perfect for your job: Before joining Dan Ripley’s team, I had opportunity to work at some great places, including The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Princeton University School of Architecture and NUVO Newsweekly. I got to meet some amazing and inspiring people and great mentors as I worked on hands-on art education, coordinated exhibits and lectures, worked with the community and had some freelance gigs doing what I love best: I wrote. A lot.
What do you love about your job?
I love the people I meet and the stories they bring. I love the stuff. And I love that Dan has given each of us the opportunity to do what we do best, and it all works together to make something wonderful here. We are a great team.
Tell us about your collections: I have had many collections over the years—from antique dolls to American Art Pottery and Russel Wright dinnerware to vintage photographs, 78 recordings and vintage sheet music.
My current passion is vintage instruments—particularly ukuleles. The problem I have even has a name. It’s called UAS (Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome). There is no treatment or cure at this time.
Favorite auction find: That would be the one that got away: A Kamaka Gold Label Hawaiian ukulele that we sold back in 2005. This was before I played, but I was already drawn to the instrument. I ended up tracking down one just like it a few years later, and it is my pride and joy. I do wish I’d purchased the one offered at Antique Helper all those years ago-it was a great price!
I make up for it by bidding on nearly every other ukulele that hits the auction block. Thanks to the increasing popularity of the instrument, on the rare occasion that we have one, the competition is increasing.
If you could own only one fabulous object, what would it be? A really great vintage instrument, like the 1920s Martin ukulele we sold back in 2006 (pictured left) or parlor guitar, or an early Kamaka or a Slingerland Maybelle banjo uke. Whatever the case, it could not be so precious that I could not play it. I believe that objects are meant to be used and enjoyed.
Below: Check out Miss Joni's pinboard featuring vintage instruments--mostly past Antique Helper Offerings.
What would you do if you weren’t working at Antique Helper? I would be living with my family and dogs in a rustic home (with plumbing) in the middle of nowhere, making beautiful things, cooking good food, writing short stories and playing plenty of good music.
When you’re not at Antique Helper, you’re most likely to be: Taking my puppy Maybelle on endless walks, rearranging the furniture and playing my ukulele.
The best advice you can give to a collector: The things that don’t seem to go together are often the very best together: Good design goes with everything; it’s okay to mix eras. Also, red is the very best neutral, but hot pink runs a close second.
Favorite lunch: Indian buffet. Otherwise, I enjoy the occasional tumble off the veggie wagon for a big honest burger.