Joan Taxis and Sandy Young worked together for 10 years, most of them as partners in Two Rivers Estate Sales in Jamestown. When Young retired in October, Taxis wasn’t sure what she wanted to do.

“We tried to sell our business. ... Nothing panned out,” she said. “After a couple of months I decided ... I needed to start another one. I had to go to work doing something.”

Taxis launched Joanie’s Estate Sales of Jamestown on Dec. 1. Joanie’s Estate Sales provides the same services that Two Rivers Estate Sales did: selling items people no longer want.

Joanie’s Estate Sales fills a need, Taxis said.

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“It’s a service to our community,” she said. “When we weren’t working (after Young retired), people just said ‘we really need this (service).’”

Typical reasons for having an estate sale are the death of a loved one or wanting to downsize a home, whether it’s due to a person moving into a nursing home or assisted living or moving from a larger house to a smaller one, Taxis said.

Taxis said in her work it’s important to be considerate of the family and help them get through the estate sale process, especially if the family has lost someone, knowing that this is a hard time for them. She wants to make it as simple as possible.

“It’s basically all about the family,” she said. “And there’s houses that we had done before that were not money makers but it was a need. So I feel like I’m out there for the need. It doesn’t matter if it’s a huge house, if it’s a small house, it’s a service to the community and just trying to help fill that need.”

She noted “a lot of times the family lives somewhere else so there’s nobody around and they need to get this job done and get back to their jobs. So to have an estate sale business is something that we can do to help the community get these things done.”

Taxis said a lot of people don’t know what to do to liquidate items and there are few places here to take items that families no longer need. She organizes the sale at the site, conducts it and cleans up when done.

“It’s just a way for them to sell their goods and make money for the family and not have to deal with any of the headaches of going through things,” Taxis said. “And a lot of times when you go through things, you know you spend an hour in a closet just because you’re reminiscing over those pictures that were in that closet and for me, I don’t have to reminisce so I can just go in and get the job done, I don’t have any emotional ties.”

Just as people have a need for the service, there are also people looking to purchase things and the sales draw high interest.

“It’s like a treasure hunt,” Taxis said.

Taxis said she and Young were very busy with estate sales when they operated Two Rivers Estate Sales. She hopes to be as busy as the owner of her own business and says she has enlisted a team to help her.

Experienced in estate sales

Taxis has been involved in estate sales for longer than her partnership with Young.

She said in 2007, she would buy out estates, then sell the estate inventory on her own.

“I did that for a couple of years,” she said.

That same interest in estate sales would continue but turn to a different way of doing business. In 2010, a friend knew someone who needed her mother’s house cleaned out because the mother had moved to a nursing home.

“So I just did it kind of like a rummage sale,” Taxis said. “From that, I got a couple other calls, just word of mouth. So in 2010, I did a few sales by myself.”

In 2011, she said she had a large house estate sale job in Sanborn and asked her new friend, Sandy Young, for help. After landing more and more sales after that, they both quit their respective full-time jobs, forming the partnership in 2012 that was Two Rivers Estate Sales, she said.

“It just worked out really well,” Taxis said.

The sales

The time it takes to get ready for a sale varies, she said.

It just all depends on how much stuff is there,” she said.

Two Rivers Estate Sales continued to operate during the pandemic, at times holding sales by appointment, and Taxis had one sale in December after launching her new business.

She said people have been good about wearing a mask, which is required. If too many people come to a sale at one time, they are directed to wait or go to a different area of the sale.

“It seems to be working OK,” she said. “Everybody is eager to wear their mask.”

Those working the sale also wear masks, she said.

“We all have ours on so we are all protected,” she said.

Taxis said she will be emailing customers when she has sales. People may provide their email address at a sale to get on the list. She said people looking for something specific may also let her know and she will contact them when the item becomes available.

Joanie's Estate Sales of Jamestown conducts estate sales in Jamestown and surrounding areas. To reach Taxis, call 701-320-6177 or email joaniettc@daktel.com.