If Mike Wolfe knows anything, it is how to flip rust into cash. For decades, Wolfe has collected ‘junk’ across the country. On his finds for History Channel’s American Pickers, Wolfe goes through piles of random knick-knacks to find a good payday. Originally based out of Iowa, Wolfe and former show partner, Frank Fritz travel the country to find the best of the old stuff people have collecting dust.
Across lofts in old barns, on top of piles of literal rubbish and refuse, and through small openings, the Pickers do it all. Mike Wolfe loves bicycles and motorcycles, which is what got him into collecting. While the two have not been on speaking terms recently, the show goes on. Wolfe has money to make and picks to find. Although he travels the nation, there is a bit of a honey hole.
There is one place that Wolfe has made most of his money in recent years. New England, of course.
When asked, Wolfe said, “We just got done doing New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York. We did a little bit of Pennsylvania.” The trips are not short for the Pickers, they put in a lot of time on the road. “We were on the road out there 18 days and we got some amazing things. The East Coast is where I’ve really made my living the last 10 years.”
The fact that Mike Wolfe makes most of his money in New England makes lots of sense. The region made up most of the original 13 colonies, and there has been a lot of history there. As far as American manufacturing goes, the east coast in general is going to be a hotbed for antiques. The United States’ oldest cities and towns can be found in New England.
Mike Wolfe Picks New England
Not only is New England prime territory for antiques because of its history, but other factors also play into this as well. With the harsh winter climate that can sweep through the region, plenty of outbuildings and garages can be found. Antiques that stay indoors stay in better shape. Compare a 50-year-old bike that’s been in the rain versus a garage-kept bike and the difference is clear.
While Mike Wolfe was based out of Iowa, his Nashville roots have gotten deeper. Surely having a home base that is close to the east coast helps make those New England trips easier. Wolfe keeps finding great picks in New England and keeps making money. There isn’t a barn or outbuilding around that Wolfe can’t spot from his Antique Archaeology van.
One of the good things about becoming famous on TV for picking, surely cold calls go a lot smoother. Before Mike Wolfe was a household name and face, he occasionally got into some risky situations. However, persistence has made him quite the living off the door-to-door style.