There is a new TV program on Lifetime on Tuesday nights called “Picker Sisters“. It is an enjoyable twist on the very popular “American Pickers” on the History Channel. I think it will be a hit because it shows how these two designers from LA go out picking and then transforms their finds into other things. You might recognize both of these ladies from previous TV shows. Because of the interest in this article, I have decided to add an ongoing section at the bottom where I will review each episode and say which pieces I liked and didn’t like.
See the Important Update Below
The Stars Tracy Hutson and Tanya McQueen
These two talented designers, the picker sisters, have similar backgrounds and both are easy on the eyes. Both grew up in Texas about 35 miles from each other and each has been featured as designers on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Tanya McQueen got her start in design by buying and flipping old historical homes in Texas where she was discovered. This helped develop her love for design as well as things old.
Tracy Hutson grew up in Dallas and moved to LA to pursue a career in entertainment where she appeared in several movies and TV shows. She also continued with her fascination with design that started with her print work for a modeling agency in Dallas. So these two best friends with many things in common teamed together to open their own store and went on the road as picker sisters.
They Love to Repurpose Old Things
My favorite part of the show is how these two talented ladies find neat old things and then creatively repurpose them into neat things. Do I like everything they do, no. That would be true for any designer I have ever known. A difference in tastes is what makes life interesting. But if you are a lover of antiques like me, this show is a pleasant change from most of the design work we see on HGTV and other design shows. I am so tired of seeing the cheap “Design On a Dime” things we see on so many of the design shows. It’s like they never heard of an antique. I love the way Nate Berkus shows how to repurpose things on his shows.
Having owned an antique store in Dallas for many years, we always looked for interesting things that we could repurpose into something else. Lamps made out of old things were really big and everyone was looking for things to make into a lamp. These picker sisters do have a talent for finding things and coming u p with innovative ways to make them into something useful and unique. I can see why Tracy had such a big following for her design work in LA.
The talent is being able to make it into something that is useful and doesn’t look like it was picked from a junk yard. Again I didn’t love everything they did in the first two episodes, but I was impressed with how they could envision what they were going to do with a piece when they were buying it. And on the other hand they could improvise when the original plan didn’t work out, like the table made from huge chains with giant links. I wasn’t sure about that one until I saw the finished product. I would love to visit their store and look forward to going picking with them on each episode of “Picker Sisters.” Just go to this link of “Picker Sisters” to catch up on any episodes you have missed. Please leave a comment on what you think about the article and consider sharing it with a friend.
s “Picker Sisters” Cancelled
Just a quick update. I tweeted Tanya last week and there is no word whether “Picker Sisters” will be picked up for a second season. If I learn anything new I will post it here. You of course can let Lifetime and the History Channel know that you would like for the show to be brought back for another season. In a comment below, one person said the show will not return for a second season. I still have not seen an official announcement.
Important Update and Some FAQs
Unfortunately, “Picker Sisters” has been cancelled but still some of the episodes are still being shown in reruns in some markets.
Their store is no longer open.
As to why the show got cancelled, as you can see from the many comments at the bottom of this post, it seemed people either loved or hated this show. Being a native Texan and lover of antiques, I loved these Texas girls and their talents.
Please read my input below on some of the shows and feel free to comment about your feelings on the show or this article. You can also see at the bottom of the page some of my articles on other TV shows relating to antiques and our experiences of being antique dealers for 25+ years.
Reviews of Different Episode of the Picker Sisters
Episode 5, First AL Episode
There were several picks from this episode that I really liked. The room dividers made from the welding screens were really neat. They can really help set out different areas in a store, and these are so much neater than commercial room dividers.
The oudoor chairs made from the the carts were really a great idea for out door patio and pool chairs. And what a steal @ $20 each, I would love to have a few of them at that price. Maybe my favorite piece from this episode was the glass top table they made from the cement foundation blocks. The neat thing on that table is a good welder could fabricate that pretty easily. The major expense would be the glass top. But it really had a clean contemporary look, and the concrete, metal and glass worked well together.
I didn’t care for the bar made from the acid suit locker. I loved the black lacquered interior and the nautical light was really clever touch that gave a really unique look. But the outside of the cabinet just didn’t thrill me. I would rather have seen it sand blasted down to the bare metal and gave it that industrial look, and then the black lacquer interior would have really popped even more. But that is the neat thing about this business, how different people like different things. I hope they show the standing lamp they had in mind, when they bought that piece of salt water log that was all eaten away.
Epidode 6 and 7, Mobile, Alabama
There were several pieces I liked in these episodes and there was one major disappointment for me. I will start with the disappointment, the standing light fixture made from the large floor fan. When they first came up with the concept, I thought it was going to be cool (from a fan-cool). But the finished product just didn’t do anything for me. Not sure exactly what I would have done with this, but it was not a hit with me. I also didn’t care for the silo hanging chairs. I think the expense of hauling these and the work, although not too difficult, would have priced these out of the market. But I have seen crazier things sell for autrageous prices. That is the great thing about unique, one of a kind (or one of four of a kind) things. Customers will not find another one, until someone copies these. And you can charge for the uniqueness of the item.
Now to the things I liked. I loved the radiator chair and the sofa with the axel base. They went outside of the box on both of these and it a homerun as far as I am concerned. They had a great industrial look, and that is so “In” right now. I think both of those were very functional pieces that would sell pretty quickly in a store like theirs or at the right antique show like Round Top in Texas.
I was pretty impressed with the track lighting made from the commercial sprayer. Customers are always looking for unique lighting fixtures. Whether it is table lamps made from architectural elements, a unique English biscuit tin or Staffordshire figure, to the many different styles of hanging fixtures. You can tell they are allways on the lookout for things to make into different lighting fixtures.
My very favorite piece from these two episodes, was the chair made from the VW hood. It took a page out of some of the modern chairs from the mid-century modern look. If you saw my living room furniture, you would know why I loved this chair.
September 6 Episode
There were several pieces I really like on this episode. My absolute favorite was the Impossible Dream sign made into a headboard. In the 25+ years we owned an antique store in Dallas, people were always looking for unique things to make into a headboard. I have seen large mirrors, architectural pieces, and even large fireplace mantles used as headboards. But can’t ever remember a sign, and with that name, so perfect.
I also loved the two swivel chairs in the photo that were made from the Diamond truck fenders. A neat modern feel with that mid century modern feel, and yet offset with the rusty backs of the fenders. I also liked the chaise, especially the upholstery that blended well with the architectural elements. I also like the clock made from the old scales. Put in the right place, it would be a real conversation piece.
I didn’t like the table with the leather. Even if it had wood like they originally wanted, it just didn’t do anything for me at all. But you can’t hit a homerun on everyone of them. This one definitely struck out with me.
Sept 13 in Mississippi Episode
My wife loved all of the things they did on this show, I wasn’t as crazy about them as she was. I would have rather seen the motorcycle restored to its original colors rahter than the gold color for that unique table. But it was definitely a one of a kind.
I also was not crazy about the commercial saw being converted into a bathroom fixture. But to be fair, I would have loved to see how it was used in someone’s bathroom before making a final decision. What did you think about these things?
I encourage you to please leave your comments below and tell us what you either liked or disliked about their finds and how they repurposed them into something completely different. And please tell us why, it should be fun to hear what everyone is thinking about the most recent episodes of the show.