CHATHAM, Va. — A Chatham couple sells to hundreds of people from across the states outside their Tightsqueeze home during the biannual Hundred-Mile Yard Sale, which stretches from Danville to Amherst this weekend.
The yard sale takes place the first weekend in May and the first weekend in October every year. It runs form Danville to Amherst and every community in between. Karen Hearn of Chatham has only missed one sale in the past seven years.
"Business today has been brisk," Hearn said, amid conversations with her customers, Thursday afternoon. "So far, we have had close to 500 different cars come through since yesterday."
Karen and her husband, Grant, will continue to sell through Sunday.
"I'm a collector at heart," Hearn said. "If I like and enjoy something, I'll collect it. Sometimes, I get a little tired of it, and may say, 'I'm ready to give up my collection of clowns.' Next time it may be angels or dogs. Whatever it is, I just like to change it up."
Hearn said she gets a rush from passing great deals along to her customers.
"When I find something on sale, usually I'll buy it in bulk and either distribute it to people in need or sell it at a yard sale," she said. "I give great special discounts. The more you buy, the more you save."
When asked if she participates in the twice-annual sale for supplementary income or for fun, Hearn said she views it as a community event.
"One friend I've known for over 30 years—I hadn't seen her since COVID started last year. My first time seeing her was today," Hearn said. "It was perfect. It's a community of friendship. It's meeting new people and seeing older friends that you've had. It's building a community. Yes, it's getting rid of things. Yes, it's selling the surplus that I get in. But it's basically a good community project."
Hearn shared that her customers have come from as far as California. Several have come from New York, with others driving through from North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, D.C. and Northern Virginia.
"I have my regulars," Hearn said. "The out-of-state folks that come in, they just drop by. They remember where I live in Tightsqueeze here and they drop by every chance they get. Sometimes it's once a year, sometimes it's twice a year."
The Hearns sell everything from baby clothes to cleaning products, from stuffed animals to collectibles and from electronics to old license plates.