Humans of San Marcos: Junk in Da Trunk Owner Tony Romero

By Sarah Bey
Blog Content Contributor

Tony Romero, owner of Junk in Da Trunk. Photo by Sarah Bey.
Tony Romero, owner of Junk in Da Trunk. Photo by Sarah Bey.

Tony Romero is a third-generation San Marcos native who owns a local thrift store called Junk in Da Trunk on North LBJ. We talked about some of his favorite items and how the city has changed over his 46 years of life.

Bey: When and why did you get started with your business?

Romero: I opened in mid-January last year so in 2015. I don’t know, I’ve been selling at the flea market and I was doing well. I wanted to be open more days than just the weekend. So I found a spot and brought my stuff here.

B: What is your most popular item in the store or what do you look for most?

R: I just look for uncommon objects and unique, one-of-a-kind, kind of bizarre things. The vintage clothing is pretty popular and a lot of the music and stuff. I do a lot of pop culture, music, movies, clothes, sports collections (and) video games. It’s a little bit of everything. It’s all second hand.

B: What’s your favorite item?

R: I don’t know, it changes every week. I go pick my favorite items and put them in here every week. I like the gargoyle (a rather large gargoyle mask) and the head-hunter (a figurine.) I found him two weeks ago. He’s pretty high on my list. Then, I’ve got a working stoplight over there and that’s pretty high on my list this week.

B: Have you ever found it hard to sell some stuff because you really liked it?

R: Yeah, I actually put a lot of it at “I-don’t-want-to-sell-it” price when I first get it because I like it so much that I want to keep it in the store as a prop or to draw more people in. But then I find more cool stuff the next week and the next week. So then, with a little bit of time, it’s all for sale now. It’s just some of it is priced in my favorite range. But, everything is negotiable here. Like I said, I fall in love with something different each week so I don’t get real attached to it. But there are a couple of things in here that I wonder what I was thinking when I put the price on it sometimes.

Junk in Da Trunk is located on North LBJ in San Marcos.
Junk in Da Trunk is located on North LBJ in San Marcos.

B: Where do you find all of these things?

R: I go to garage sales, flea markets, auctions and state sales.

B: What did you do before the store opened?

R: I still work my regular job because I’m trying to grow this business. But I work at the San Marcos Treatment Center; it’s (for) at-risk adolescents. I’ve been working there since 1995. I used to know everybody but I just work at night now. I (manage the store) in the day.

B: You had said you were a third-generation San Marcos native. So, what are some of your favorite things in San Marcos and what do you like to do aside from manage the store?

R: I used to like the river but, it’s kind of hard to live in this town right now. College kids have kind of pushed all of the locals out. We’re not able to afford inside the city limits so, we all have to live outside of the city right now. But, the river is still the coolest thing in town, I guess.

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