‘American Pickers’ Star Mike Wolfe Explained How His Mom ‘Threw Gas on the Fire’ of His Picking Hobby

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

“American Pickers” star Mike Wolfe has become an icon in the world of picking and antiquing since the show’s upstart in 2010. More than a decade later, Wolfe’s hit show and antique store has continued to gain recognition nationally, putting a major highlight on the collector’s passion and hobby alike. However, while we’ve learned a lot about the “American Pickers” star here at Outsider, we’ve learned that the History Channel star’s mom is truly the reason Wolfe’s hobby has gotten off the ground in the way it has.

Fans of “American Pickers” have seen Mike Wolfe go, quite literally, nuts over a vast collection of finds and antiques. However, longtime fans know the star has quite an obsession with bikes, and its that reason that helped lead Wolfe to wear he is in mainstream media now.

In speaking with Bicycling, Mike Wolfe revealed the way in which his mom “threw gas on the fire” regarding his hobby in picking and collecting. The star shared he had been walking to school one day when he noticed a bunch of bikes in the garbage. As the star has shared before, he and his family grew up with very little. As such, Wolfe said, “I was freaking out. I didn’t even go to school that day.”

Mike Wolfe’s Mom Kicks Off Picking Hobby

Instead, the “American Pickers” star told the outlet, “I gathered them up and hauled them to the front yard of my house. When my mom came home I told her I’m going to have a bicycle shop.”

Rather than getting angry at Wolfe and his passion for what some might consider junk, his mother was instead compassionate and kind regarding the then-little boy’s dreams. Wolfe said, “The coolest thing she did was, she said, ‘If you’re going to start bringing this stuff home, I won’t park my car in the garage anymore. You can have the garage.'”

Years later, Mike Wolfe’s mother has provided Outsiders a chance to follow the avid collector and picker through his journeys across the country, and learning a little about collecting themselves.

Mike Wolfe Highlights Importance of Narrative On ‘American Pickers’

As I said, Mike Wolfe has, and probably always will be, an avid and talented collector and as such, it makes sense that the items which feature on the hit History Channel show are only a fraction of what the picker brings home at the end of the day.

In speaking to his time picking on the road, Wolfe shared that often, he and his crew will find hundreds of picks at various sellers’ around the country. Totals range anywhere from 200 to 500 finds. Therefore, attempting to feature each one in each episode of “American Pickers” would be absolutely ridiculous.

To combat that, Wolfe shared previously that instead of highlighting some of the most valuable of items, he instead picks two to three items per episode that feature a unique story.