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story.lead_photo.caption Becca Holiday and Neelie Harville have been friends for about 20 years. They are happy to start a new project as the Salvage Sisters. (PHOTO BY KATIE STONE)

When a new year begins, people begin to look at their lives and decide it is time to organize and prioritize. That is exactly what Neelie Harville and Rebecca "Becca" Holiday specialize in. This quirky duo met in the early 2000s and have shared a multitude of life experiences since then. From marriages to having children at the same time and even a divorce or two, they have stuck it out through everything.

"We feel like sisters, honestly," Neelie said. In 2017, they found themselves down on their luck. So, they got together to figure out what they could do to supplement income but still enjoy the work.

"We had a glass of wine and just sat down and talked about what we could do," said Becca. "Ultimately, we decided that we love to go to garage sales, so that is what we are going to do!"

Neelie's aunt has always done flea market booths when she was little, so she felt confident that they could do the same.

"We wanted the sales to be fun again, and for people to be able to buy the items. Our goal is to find out what outcome our clients are expecting," Becca said. "Whether it is to just sell as much as possible or make as much as possible."

The Salvage Sisters' clients are typically living individuals who are looking to downsize.

"People always think that estate sales are being hosted because someone died, but honestly that is not always the case," Neelie said. They have helped people reorganize and downsize due to divorce, or the client is moving to a smaller place.

Sometimes the clients don't know how to begin.

"Our clients are just overwhelmed when they try to do this, because they are emotionally attached to every piece of paper that is there," Becca said. "They are holding onto a memory."

Once the process has started, the clients have an allotted amount of time to get the things they want and let the Salvage Sisters do their magic. They try to make this process as easy as possible for their client while maximizing their time spent on the project. Each house is a new adventure, and they discover so many special things as they work the sale.

"It is kind of cool being able to uncover their life," Neelie continued. "Sometimes it is sad to learn that they may have lost a baby, but it is also very rewarding to learn about their story."

They have stayed at some out-of-town houses overnight to gain efficiency.

"We have met some of the greatest people by staying the night and eating at the local eateries," Becca said. They credit their success to hard work and a great support system.

"From our friends, loved ones, and boyfriends; we have so many who help us make this possible for our clients," she said. The support comes from those who shop the sales, as well.

"We love the people that shop our sales. It is a crazy connection that we develop with them because they come to every sale," Becca said.

"We have even watched children grow up over the years. We had a customer that got a foster child placed in their home, and we felt like we were there for the whole process," Neelie said. "Every sale meant they had more great news!"

The sisters understand the stress that comes with deciding what goes and what stays.

"I just love our clients! They are going through a rough time and we get this great opportunity to help them through this," Neelie said.

The Salvage Sisters love a good sale, whether shopping or hosting. They decorate their homes with vintage pieces like the ones that you might find at their estate sales.

"My favorite stores are Goodwill and Salvation Army Thrift Store," Neelie said. "We shop at those all the time!"

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