Most people might see an old end table on the side of the road with chipped paint and cracked wood and keep walking or driving without giving it a thought. But Patty Jewett doesn’t see just a broken table—she sees potential for her newest trash-to-treasure flipped piece of furniture.
With a new coat of paint, some vintage drawer pulls, and a little distressing, this old table minus its legs has a new life as a farmhouse-inspired serving tray. And this tray, like many other fabulous flipped pieces, can be purchased on Jewett’s school-bus-turned-mobile-vintage-market, 2 Girls + a Bus.
Jewett, co-founder of 2 Girls + a Bus, travels year-round across Whatcom and Skagit Counties to festivals, craft markets, and even private events, where she sells unique pieces of home décor and furniture from her one-of-a kind market space.
In 2015 Jewett turned her love of garage sales, vintage items, and the “thrill of the hunt” into her own vintage goods business, with the added twist of creating a unique and fun space for customers to shop.
“In the middle of the night I woke up and decided to buy a bus,” Jewett says. She’d been curious about the possibility of turning her hobby into something more, but wanted to stand out among other vintage markets. A 175-square-foot mini-school bus was her answer.
She found the perfect bus on Craiglist, being sold by the North Kitsap School District, and her vision began to come to life. Jewett removed the bus seats, put in wiring for electricity, and added a charming cedar fence on the back—her bus was ready to be filled with treasures.
Even though the bus and Jewett are always moving to sell at new venues around Whatcom and Skagit Counties, this doesn’t stop 2 Girls + A Bus fans of from following the bus to wherever it’s parked and selling next.
“I have such loyal customers,” Jewett says. “The comments I hear from them warms my heart. People just love the bus.” It’s not just the unique quality of shopping on a bus that draws customers in, but also her low prices and quirky, one-of-a-kind products.
Besides a few speciality products, all of the items she sells on the bus are either found and flipped by Jewett, or donated from friends who find items and pass them along to her so they can be restored and revived. Customers know that the treasures they’re finding are truly one-of-a kind and each bring their own origin and restoration story.
Over the course of a year, Jewett takes the bus to 20-25 shows in addition to private parties. In 2019, the bus will appear at six more shows, including the Lynden Craft and Antique Show in October and the Ferndale Home for the Holidays annual holiday shopping event.
It’s not only her customers that love the charm of bus, but also the craft markets themselves that look forward to seeing the bus pull up. Judy Meixner from the Lynden Craft and Antique Show is a big fan of the bus and especially appreciates that it’s evident that Jewett loves what she does. The bus has been out at the Lynden Craft and Antique Fair several times and is always popular for its pricing and all the unique items that are packed on and outside of the bus.
In addition to a sparking inspiration from the repurposed items, the bus itself ignites a sense of creativity. “[The bus] gets the creative juices going,” says Meixner. “She really shows that you can do anything with a space.”
For those looking for inspiration, Jewett and her bus give them an opportunity to think outside of the box and be inspired, Meixner says.
While Jewett is the sole operator of the bus today, friends and family members are always happy to join and help out on market days. When she’s not driving the bus to festivals as far away as Enumclaw, Jewett works one day a week at the Whatcom Community College bookstore.
You can find 2 Girls + a Bus at the 30th Annual Lynden Fall Craft and Antique Show on Oct 17, 18 and 19 at the Northwest Washington Fair, Haggen Expo Building located at 1755 Front Street in Lynden. Visit and like the 2 Girls + A Bus Facebook page to keep up with where the road will take the bus next.