It was a going away party. I didn’t really know the guy. I only met him a few times. He was going to volunteer abroad for a year and I was taking over his apartment.

By midnight, everyone was boozy and dancing – until the music stopped. The DJ, his friend, pulled out a mic and announced that he would be auctioning some stuff off to help raise money for the guy’s vaccination shots. A live auction? At someone’s house? Second hand stuff? I was a bit skeptical but what happened next was awesome. The DJ was an animated auctioneer — like someone you would see on a show like Storage Wars.  His name is Andrew Todd and I tracked him down to be the auctioneer at the event!

And people were bidding. They were buying everything from a Simpson’s chess set to a hot dog making machine. I went home with a funky lamp and a bit of an adrenaline rush – I had never bid in a live auction.

I don’t buy tickets to expensive fundraisers. I don’t go to estate sales. These kinds of parties aren’t really within my means. But that night was so different, so fun and it felt great to rescue second hands goods from a becoming part of a garbage heap. I thought to myself, if I had loved it so much, perhaps others would enjoy an experience like that too…..

I sat with the idea for a few years. When Kevin Kennedy and I teamed up to run events throughout the city, I raised the idea, not sure about how it would work or what we would sell. He was inspired immediately – he thought it was something that was unique to the city and would bring together a fun mix of people. We wanted to make this social experiment a reality. Kevin would supply the craft beer (after all he does own one of the best craft beer houses in the city) and I would bring the auction. My friend Kat and I had been working on an upcycling business, featuring vintage finds from summer road trips – and I realized that we had the makings of a great night.

We would take our collection and reach out to other vendors/collectors to auction off furniture and décor at affordable prices. Add a great venue, awesome music and craft beer and we really had something. Bids & Beers.

Like a lot of people I know, I’m at the point in life where hitting up a bar on Friday night has lost some of its magic. I want to do something truly different – something I’ll be talking about long after the hangover has subsided. That’s what we’re hoping to do here. With a nod to local businesses and folks who share the same passions.


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