This is an excerpt of my article in the LA Weekly about this incredible family who makes a living reselling things they buy at yard sales! Thank you to Dino Anello, Kristy Paul (The Godmother!), Ryan Paul and the rest of the Hollywood Junkys family. Also a special thank you to my amazing editor Sarah Fenske!
It is 7 a.m. on a Saturday, and Dino Anello is cruising the back streets of Beverly Hills in his Champagne-colored Camry. With him is his affable brother-in-law, Ryan Paul, as well as a documentary cameraman, who monitors the action from a remote-controlled cab camera mounted under the rearview mirror.
Their prey is not celebrities but yard sales — a surprisingly technical (and action-packed) undertaking…
Anello moved to L.A. from Marin County in the early 1990s, hoping to become an actor. He landed speaking roles in movies and small parts on TV shows, including Baywatch and ER, before focusing on screenwriting. But like so many others seeking stardom, he found it hard to make ends meet. He knew he would have to find a backup plan.
Enter Kristy, who goes by either KP or “the Godmother.” When she met Anello four years ago, he was throwing a yard sale in front of his apartment off Olympic Boulevard. She began browsing through his items, and the two hit it off instantly…
It was destiny. Both early risers, they went hiking at 6 a.m. for their first date. Just a few months later, they decided to start a family. They now live in that same apartment, a one-bedroom, with their bulldog, a 2-year-old daughter and an infant son — a home life that is both hectic and joyful.
And they make their money on yard sales. They hit sales every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and spend the rest of the week listing their haul on eBay and Amazon and shipping it to eager buyers — netting an annual income that they say is well over six figures…
After completing their morning haul, the brothers-in-law drag “the kill,” as they lovingly refer to their new inventory, into their cramped living room. They’ve purchased more than 200 items (mostly books, plus a big collection of sealed DVD box sets), all for a total of about $235 — which they estimate they can resell for at least $1,000 online, maybe more.
At the apartment, Kristy Paul looks over the kill proudly, carefully assessing the morning’s hard work. Of her family’s trade, she says, “Because our life is unconventional, we are able to stay home and be with our daughter and son all the time. There are no real days off — but we are basically blazing a new trail and creating our own way.”