‘American Pickers’: Here’s the Interesting Reason Why Mike Wolfe Started ‘Picking’

by Shelby Scott

“American Pickers” star Mike Wolfe became an icon for American pickers and antique collectors since the show’s premiere in 2010. However, things weren’t always easy for the collector. During an extensive 2020 interview with CBS Sunday Morning, he revealed the interesting reason that later inspired his stardom as an American Picker.

Many American families experience financial hardship throughout their lives. Like many “American Pickers” fans can probably relate, Wolfe was initially one of those individuals. The History Channel icon previously shared that he and his family could not afford luxuries such as bicycles growing up. However, during one walk’s shortcut, Wolfe stumbled upon a perfectly functional “girl’s” bike. He expressed amazement at what else people might throw out.

“It was one of those big garbage days,” he recalled. “I was cutting through this yard and I remember seeing it…And I picked that up, and I was amazed that someone would throw out a bike.” He then began to wonder what else people might throw away that still has some kind of purpose or functionality.

The “American Pickers” star continued, “So that’s why I started digging in the garbage, constantly. Even if it wasn’t a big garbage day I was always in the trash cans and stuff.”

As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, I suppose.

So, things weren’t always easy for Wolfe and his family. Regardless, he grew up to strive for and attain a lifestyle of luxury and contentment. In the long run, stardom has given him access to almost anything he could desire. However, he says he does still enjoy exploring other people’s trash to see what treasures he might find.

‘American Pickers’ Leads Mike Wolfe From Trash to Riches

We can’t be sure whether or not Mike Wolfe ever purposely set out to find fame among the world of antiquing. However, we are sure that antiques have brought the “American Pickers” star miles from where life began as a child. In an earlier exclusive, Wolfe shared the internal quirks, features, and overall beauty of his $2 million Tennessee estate.

The architectural structure of the estate is, for the majority, built with an eye for the modern. However, Wolfe has taken his passion for picking and covered the home with noteworthy objects and pieces of furniture. In the clip, he reminds fans there is always a possibility to incorporate the historic.

For example, while many of us surely have beloved lawn ornaments that express our passions and comforts. Although, Wolfe’s lawn features an $800 antique gas pump that previously resided in the back of a semi-trailer. After 20 years of waiting, the vintage pump has found its newly refurbished purpose, adding personality to Wolfe’s expensive estate.

The Tennessee estate further boasts vintage light structures, amenities, and collectible items that few people purposely incorporate into their home’s interior design. The “American Pickers” star created a small reading nook surrounding the addition of a vintage telephone. Though of course, for the antique lover, the phone he currently possesses isn’t old enough, and so he continues his search.

Regardless, thanks to his childhood passion, he’s been able to leave behind the struggles of middle and lower-class Americans. What started with a little girl’s bike has given Wolfe a business, a luxurious home, a generous income, and fans from all over who follow his love for antiques on “American Pickers.”