Savage Finds salvages local antiques, offers DIY workshops

Co-Owner Joey MacArthur’s antique store is gaining national attention, transforming Waco’s forgotten items and oddities into new treasures. Baylor student Amalia Penagaricano is just one of the locals who frequents this hidden gem. Mireya Sol Ruiz | Multimedia Journalist

By Mckenzie Oviatt | Reporter

Located behind the Magnolia Silos in Waco, Savage Finds sells antiques and oddities, containing everything from old jewelry and house decor to artwork and classes for at-home projects.

Customers can book a workshop, bid on auctions and view the online Etsy shop for antiques.

Owners Joey MacArthur and Tamara Smith MacArthur moved to Waco from Seattle to start Savage Finds about two and a half years ago. They fell in love with Waco and MacArthur said their goal was to bring big city nightlife and shops into the growing city.

When they opened the shop, they found that many people began dropping off old jewelry, unwanted household items and random collection items. Sometimes even Magnolia Realty asks Savage Finds to rummage through their houses that will soon be renovated. Savage Finds then uses some of these finds to sell in the store.

Aside from the antique section in the store, Smith MacArthur also leads classes for “do it yourself” projects. For $29 per person, customers can make one linen and two towels. For a different class they can also choose to make tea towels, coasters and pillows. Signups are available online or customers can call the store to book appointments, although all classes have limited availability.

“People from all ages are welcome to participate in the hour-long craft session, and kids and adults alike have had great success,” Smith MacArthur said. “It can be discouraging when people who are unartistic or aren’t as creative walk into the session and feel defeated. We try to make it easy on the customers and make them feel like they can make whatever they envision.”

Iron Orchid Designs is a company that works with Savage Finds to sell stencil outlines for DIY projects. Since seeing the popularity of these classes, Smith MacArthur said that they have increased their revenue from just carrying black, blue and gray colors to having red, yellow, turquoise and gold colors in stock. Smith MacArthur can also make special items upon request such as custom pillows with various designs and fonts.

The hard work that the MacArthurs have put into the business is also paying off with national attention. Savage Finds is promoted on popular websites such as Airbnb, TripAdvisor and Ebay. They have also appeared on The Travel Channel and Fox News, as wells as local TV commercials.

MacArthur also gives Silo District tours throughout the week going to highlighted places in Waco. For $55 per person, people can enjoy seeing the restored houses in Waco, landmark areas and have a free lunch.

The MacArthurs are also working on creating more nightlife in Waco. They are planning to open a comedy club on the weekends for ages 21 and over.

MacArthur said that Savage Finds has been rated No. 1 for nightlife on TripAdvisor, and that he comes from the comedy industry and has special insight into who would be great performers for their comedy nights.

“I just want to make people laugh and show them a good time,” MacArthur said.