Interview with Melissa Burk, Seller of Vintage Finds and Oddities 

Interview by: Yarissa Luna

What is your name, what are your pronouns, and where are you located? 

I am Melissa Burk, located in good old Dover, DE. My pronouns are She/Her.

 

What is your sign? 

I am an Aries! 

 

You sell vintage finds and oddities under the name “Misfits of the Old & New.” Where did this name originate? 

Coming up with a name was a nightmare! I kept thinking about how I wanted to involve my children somehow. Then it hit me! My kids loved the Island of Misfit Toys in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The concept of the island came from a park in Brooklyn that eventually became a swap site for toys. In other words, parents would drop off toys so other kids could enjoy them. Or, at least, that’s what I was told. That got me thinking, “Well, my items are like the misfits. They are forever looking for their forever homes.” That’s how the name came to be!

What initially attracted you to vintage and secondhand selling? 

I always had a collection of “trinkets.” I would open up my treasure box and let the kids go through it. That sparked the joy. The “oooohs” and “ahhhhhs” that an item would recieve made me want to hunt for more. I wanted to share that special feeling. The kids were a bonus in all of this, simply because they enjoy looking for items as much as I do. Especially my daughter, Mia. She is my partner when it comes to the shop. Another bonus is that I have made so many friends and met so many amazing shops. I really enjoy what I do. 

 

Do you usually set out to find specific items, or do they come to you?

​​I love to hunt for items. It would make my life boring if items came to me! There is no fun in things being easy!

 

Are you sometimes surprised by people’s interest in certain items? 

Yes! Which stinks! Some items are one-of-a-kind and others only had so many made. I’m a sucker for pleasing everyone, so if someone is looking for an item that sold, I will do everything in my power to find another one or something that is similar to it.  Lately, religious items have been a hit, though, if everyone is curious.

 

Is there a personal all-time favorite item you’ve found? 

​​Ugh, the million dollar question! I love all of my items, but there is one that I hold dear to my heart. The Pee-Wee Herman pull-string doll. I grew up watching that show, and needless to say, I was obsessed. My mother tried so hard to find me that doll, and never had any luck. In June, I happened to find one that semi-worked, but in great condition. I didn’t even ask twice on the price, that’s how bad I wanted it. 

 

You will be a vendor at the DAS Summer Exhibition on Saturday, July 24. Can you give a sneak peak or brief description of items you’ll be bringing? 

A little bit of everything! You can find some old postcards, to a panther TV lamp, to some comic books I had stashed away. My goal is to make things affordable so that everyone can treat themselves to at least one thing. Also, I like to bargain, so if you see a price you don’t really like, we can chat!

Follow Melissa (Misfits of the Old & New) on Instagram:

@misfitsoftheold_new