Have you ever dreamt about hopping in a van and taking off across the United States in search of treasure? Okay, weirdly specific dream. But you’d be hard-pressed finding an Outsider who thinks that doesn’t sound like a good time. If you do happen to find someone matching that description, rest assured it’s not “American Pickers” star Mike Wolfe. There’s nothing he’d rather be doing.
They say if you do what you love, you’ll have never worked a day in your life. “American Pickers” star Mike Wolfe is doubly fortunate in that regard. His History Channel show has obviously taken off since it first premiered in 2010. But if it hadn’t, Wolfe would still be doing exactly what fans watch him do on the show every week.
For Wolfe, it’s the human appeal that’s such a big draw. He’s fascinated by the stories of people who have dedicated their lives to collecting things and those of the items themselves. He’s passionate about discovery. And one of the primary job requirements is driving around, seeing what this amazing country has to offer? Sign us up.
In a 2011 interview with Southeastern Antiquing and Collecting Magazine, Wolfe talked about why he feels picking is the best job in the world. After sharing a few anecdotes about collectors he has encountered over the years, Wolfe explained.
“Just watching that unfold, it really drags you in. That is why I started this project. I wanted to tell their stories and show their items. I also wanted to show that a picker gets to see something firsthand. It is the best job in the world. We take things and sell them and put them in their place,” Wolfe said.
The ‘American Pickers’ Star Truly Does Put Items in Their Place
Mike Wolfe is clearly passionate about his work. Of course, at the end of the day, he’s running a business. He hopes to profit off of the things he finds, yes. But oftentimes, the profit is secondary to the way a person or item strikes him.
And rarer, but likely the most fulfilling, Wolfe makes a find that eventually ends up in a proper museum. Now, fans of “American Pickers” will know about the brick and mortar locations of Wolfe’s Antique Archaeology stores. Many of the items he finds on the show end up there and are often for sale.
Occasionally, however, an item is so historically significant that Wolfe will only conduct his business with a dedicated museum. For example, one of the craziest finds on the show was a turn-of-the-century Jell-O carriage in fantastic condition.
The pickers shelled out a pretty penny for the piece, recognizing its significance. Soon thereafter, Danielle Colby attended the unveiling of an exhibit at the Pierce-Arrow Transportation Museum in Buffalo that featured the very same carriage.
“American Pickers” found it a home.