With the holidays looming in and our wallets at the ready to be emptied out in the spirit of Christmas, we’ve been on the lookout for the cutest new local brands and businesses to get our holiday shopping done quick and easy from the comforts of our little bed nests. While the economy is still weaning off of its quarantine crutches (albeit in a excruciatingly haggard and clutch manner) and COVID cases still prevalent left and right, we’ve foregone the annual rat race to the malls and turned our shopping goggles towards online stores for safer (and infinitely more convenient) gift-getting. Plus, supporting small, local businesses always puts a smile on our gastadora faces–especially when the wares are oh-so cute!
That’s why we’ve decided to let y’all know about this new store we’ve fallen in love with: Greta’s Junkshop! Now, those that may know Julia would probably have heard of the lovely woman who runs this shop before; Gretchen Gatan (known to her cousin as Greta, hence the name) was her boss turned dear friend, mentor, meme supplier, and chismis dealer all in one. To say Julia owed a great deal of her self-growth to Gretchen is a grave understatement, as those who have read our article on the ex-bosses that have changed our lives for the better may have already known.
Aside from showing our ceaseless support for our friends and local business (two birds in one stone, yay!), we wanted to be able to also shed a little spotlight all the people behind the products and why our hearts–and wallets–adore them so much. In today’s spotlight, we’ve asked the beauty blogger, editorial writer, influencer, entrepreneur, and girl boss herself to let us into how her shop came to be. Maybe you’ll be just as inspired as we are to start your own biz!
So we’re letting Gretchen take the screen to give you an insider access to who’s been supplying the cutest junk in our trunk!
Who is Gretchen Gatan?
I’m a writer and editor based in Metro Manila, and the blogger behind Greta’s Junkyard. Greta’s Junkyard actually started as a Tumblr back in 2009. At that time, it was mostly a dump of fandom-related or emo posts. Haha! Greta isn’t actually my real name, but more of a nickname that my cousins and friends used to tease me. And then Junkyard—because it was literally a dumpsite of my thoughts and feelings! The logo, which shows a little kid inside a trash can, was randomly drawn by my best friend when we were in high school. And it just felt so perfect to use for my brand—because it captures who I am as a quirky introvert who loves to write about her favorite things.
In 2013, right after I graduated from college where I majored in Creative Writing, I ended up working for a digital marketing agency as my first job. I wasn’t able to write as much as I used to, and so my boyfriend (now husband) built what is now GretasJunkyard.com, so I could still write about my favorite things on the side—just on a bigger and better platform. And that’s basically how Greta’s Junkyard started!
What is Greta’s Junk Shop?
Greta’s Junk Shop was something I already had in the pipeline as early as 2016. In fact, the e-commerce section was ready (thanks to my boyfriend-turned-husband who also built it). But at that time, I didn’t have enough capital nor did I have a clear direction for the shop. I thought about starting my own beauty brand—but didn’t think I could pull it off. Then I considered self-publishing my own short stories and novels, and selling them on the shop—but I wasn’t emotionally ready to put my work out there. And so plans for the shop just stayed under the “Parked Projects” list of my personal Trello board.
When the pandemic forced the country to go on lockdown, and I was furloughed from my latest full-time job, it put things into perspective for me. I knew it was a huge risk letting go of a fixed income, but I decided to resign anyway and focus on the passion projects I had parked instead—which included Greta’s Junk Shop!
The ideas just kept coming as I was putting the plan together. Similar to how I started Greta’s Junkyard, which was writing about topics close to my heart, I wanted to sell items that I know I would love and use. I stuck to three categories: Fashion and Accessories, Home and Lifestyle, and Pet Fashion and Care. If you visit every product page, you’ll find a quick backstory on how the item is an extension of who I am. And because the blog was celebrating its 7th anniversary last September 2020, I thought it was the perfect time to launch Greta’s Junk Shop: a curation of my favorite things!
Inside the Junk Shop
How do you curate the items for sale?
I would research on different local suppliers and get in touch with the ones that fit my brand. Every time I see something, I think to myself, “Is this something that I myself would want to have?” And that’s how I make the decisions when it comes to curating and selling items in the shop!
Why did you want to start selling these things?
I’ve always been an avid fan of online shopping ever since I got into the e-commerce industry in 2014. I know and understand the giddy feeling of finding something unique and affordable with good quality—and I wanted to replicate this experience for my readers and customers. I used to always joke that shopping online is just your past self buying a gift for your future self, which explains why every package from Greta’s Junk Shop is prepared like a gift using sustainable materials.
Do you have inspiration when it comes to the things you sell?
I find my inspiration in the things and people I love. For example—all items under Pet Fashion and Care are inspired by my fur babies, Booboo and Bellatrix. The floral house clothes were inspired by the dresses that my grandmother started making for me during the quarantine to keep herself productive. The sports bras—because I saw how the lockdown encouraged my sister and cousins to keep themselves physically fit and healthy by working out everyday. And the pajamas? Because I love wearing pajamas all day, everyday! So yeah—all items really do have a backstory behind them.
What else can we expect in the future?
I plan to continue looking for and supporting local suppliers. I intend to keep growing my portfolio of products under the three categories—especially as I’m entering different chapters of my life. Maybe someday, I can have a category for Baby Fashion and Care! And hopefully, when I’m ready, I can finally self-publish my short stories and novels, and make them available on Greta’s Junk Shop.
Our Cute Junk
If you’ve ventured inside her store already, you’d already see just how adorably curated these finds are. From workout wear to pajamas to fluffy slippers to cute polos for your own little fur baby, this shop definitely lets you get some useful and aesthetically pleasing items all while having a peek into Gretchen’s personality. Just take a look at the “Never Too Cold for Iced Coffee Shirt”–big mood. Getting our hands on some of the cutest junk from her shop brings us such happiness that these thoughtfully curated finds already have a special place in our closets! 😍
Penelope Pajama Sets
Whether you’re doing socially distanced slumber parties, working from home, or simply contemplating your nth existential crisis of the day, loungewear is undoubtedly the unforeseen trend of 2020. With that, we’re hopping on the bandwagon of living in our very own sets of loungewear!
The Penelope Pajama Sets definitely has us switching out our usual oversized ratty tees for something much cuter! Our match-y sets are the definition of ultimate comfort, so we’re sorry (not sorry) that you’ll have to pry out our cold dead bodies from these PJs. 🌼 They’re literally so comfortable we’ve now declared them as our new second skin.
With cute orange hues are very relaxing for the eyes, coupled with the floral line art that are just 100% aesthetically pretty, it makes for super cute gifts for all the girls in your life–your sister, your best friend, your mom, your S/O, or even for yourself (because we all know you deserve some TLC)!
Pauline Yoga Sports Bra
Even before the pandemic hit us early this year, our number one motivation to get us moving has always been the excuse of being able to purchase and wear cute sports ‘fits. Our go to workout ‘fits are usually yoga pants and sports bra! So color us extremely kilig when we were able to add these super comfy, stretchy, and versatile sports bras to each of our growing collections of sportswear. These are obviously the best of excuses to get off our asses to work out and look cute!
Peep these baby “trainees” in action featuring our new workout staple! (Hello, we’re open to being scouted, char!)
Pineapple Jewelry Tray
We all have our go-to jewelries and precious trinkets that really are just our ride-or-die. These could be gifts from loved ones, heirloom pieces, or even cute self-care gifts from your favorite IG shop! So it just makes the most logical sense that they are kept in an easily accessible trinket tray so you don’t have to go fishing for them in your baul of treasures. Also, what an added bonus it is if you’re a bit clumsy like us and are always loosing a couple small things here and there! Keeping track of your tiny trinkets and treasures is made easy with this lovely tray!
This locally-made wooden tray deserves the fanfare as it serves both form and function with this adorable pineapple shape!
Clawed by Ming Press-On Nails
While we didn’t get this from the store as we ordered our set from the very, very talented Ming herself (follow @clawed_byming and you’ll be dying for 10 sets yourself, we swear), we were pleasantly surprised that Greta’s Junkshop housed these on her site as well!
We’ve posted them on our page before, but in the event that showing them to you again would be the budol sign you need to add to cart, then here you go sis! You won’t be disappointed. These sturdy, beautifully hand-painted gems are EVERYTHING, especially if you need a little reminder on what kind of irreplaceable bad b*tch you really are.
Now, it is only fitting that, as your friendly neighborhood enablers, we cheer you on as you browse and shop for the cutest junk at Greta’s Junkshop. BUT WAIT! There’s more! As a super cute and merry little gift to you, our lovely readers, Gretchen has graciously provided a discount code exclusive for Talk Tayo readers and followers. Hop on over to Greta’s Junkshop and addu-to-carteu 🛒 to get P150 off on your first purchase (for a minimum spend of P1,000). Use code TALKTAYO when you check out your goodies 🛍!
Happy shopping and merry hols babes 🥰 Remember to slay safe always!
A 24-year-old writer, producer, and stylist who’s got the starry-eyes of a shopaholic with an irrefutable love-hate relationship with carbs and wine.
A 25-year-old writer with an obsession for beauty and an ineffable love for all things sharp—from cacti to hedgehogs to intense winged liner.