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Posted: March 17, 2010

Secrets of the garage sale millionaire

It's all about what you can become

Triche Guenin

Q: What do an art gallery opening, book signing, and charity fundraiser have in common?
A: A Colorado native with a passion for the underdog!

Aaron LePedis, owner of the Fascination St. Fine Art, author of The Garage Sale Millionaire, and supporter of Project CURE recently combined his passion for all three into one venue. Ultimately all proceeds were contributed towards the Haiti Relief effort.

As a boy of 7, Aaron experienced his first garage sale and got ‘bitten by bug' of the fun and profit of it all. He soon became addicted to going to others' garage sales, estate auctions, antique stores, storage unit auctions, etc. And as electronic commerce has grown, he's become a master of buying/selling on the internet (e.g. eBay, Craigslist).

As for collectibles, it all started with comic books and collecting items from his favorite athletes. But his first major collectible, although he didn't realize it at the time, was an autographed photo of Thomas Edison given to his grandfather, which he had inherited as a young boy. Through the years, his buying/selling and collecting have enabled him to host a weekly local TV show ("Collect This!") on PBS highlighting collectibles topics, as well as open a couple of galleries, hit the speaking circuit, become an FBI expert, and author a few books.

His new storefront in Cherry Creek North connects to an existing gallery location. This shared space hosts the works for both the Fascination St. Fine Art Galleries (sculptures, original art, and limited editions of contemporary and traditional realism) along with Animation Artwork (animation art and cartoon collectibles). Both entities also buy/sell electronically. Through a strong network of contacts/relationships with other galleries/collectors, they are some of the largest providers on the Internet for their respective art forms.

Concurrently, while his business was booming, the economy was suffering. When asked why he wrote The Garage Sale Millionaire now, he responded,  "I tried to write a book about collectibles, and no one was interested. But when I was watching the news one day, I saw a feature story on all the folks losing their jobs, and I wanted to know what I could do to help them make a living."

His observation of so many people slipping behind financially, prompted him to write a book about what enabled him to become successful, a fact that might help others. Aaron continues, "This book is not about what I've done and become but was written to look at who you are and what you can become."

Bruce Granger, local business owner and customer of the Fascination St. Fine Art Gallery agrees. "The Garage Sale Millionaire attempts to explain how to take average expendable assets and turn them into actual cash. Your junk becomes someone else's treasure. Aaron brings the notion of sales to a down-home conversational level."

So how does a gallery opening and book signing tie in with the Haiti relief effort? In keeping with his support of charities, Aaron uses his Fascination St. Fine Art location in many ways: consignment program for charity auctions, "subsidizing" charities by utilizing his space for functions, fundraisers, etc. In pulling together his life's passions, he coordinated the timing of his gallery opening and book signing with the long-time support of a favorite charity - Project CURE. The timing just happened to concur with the recent Haiti disaster.

Doug Jackson, President/CEO of Project CURE, is appreciative of Aaron's donation to Project CURE. Jackson remarks that Aaron "is showing that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. He had no special interest in Haiti, just compassion for those less fortunate than himself. He's not expecting anything in return, just the knowledge that he was able to help others."

Colorado-based Project CURE was founded to build sustainable healthcare infrastructures by providing the medical supplies and equipment that medical personnel need in order to deliver healthcare to their communities. Since its inception, Project CURE has delivered medical relief to needy people in more than 120 countries. In the last two months, Project CURE has sent 11 shipping containers to Haiti.

For more info on Fascination St. Fine Art or Animation Artwork Galleries, located at 2727 E. 3rd St, Cherry Creek North in Denver, call 303-333-1592 or reference the following website www.fascinationstart.com.

For more info on the book, The Garage Sale Millionaire, check out website www.thegaragesalemillionaire.com.

For more info on Project CURE, look at www.projectcure.org. They continue to appreciate receiving donations (e.g. cash, medical equipment/supplies, volunteer effort), either in general or for a specific cause.

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Triche Guenin is President of Partners Through Change, Inc., a process improvement firm that helps organizations become more efficient/effective in their day-to-day operations. She can be reached at 303-777-9680 or www.partnersthroughchange.com.

 

 

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