Pickers Sisters

Picker Sisters On Lifetime

Last Tuesday, August 2, 2011, Picker Sisters aired on the Lifetime Television. (If you were confused by the ads showing American Pickers Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz promoting the show on the History Channel, that’s because both Lifetime and History are part of A&E Television Networks — but that really didn’t help those who went to The History Channel on Tuesday night and, confused, wondered why the TV promos weren’t as clear as they could have been.)

The show’s premise is that best friends and interior designers, Tracy Hutson and Tanya McQueen (of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home EditionPicker Sisters has the same producer, RelativityREAL) are on the hunt for what Wolfe and Fritz would call “farm fresh rusty gold” to turn into “stunning pieces for their Los Angeles home decor pop-up shop.”

[I don’t want to start any rumors, but I can’t find a single reference to this shop… Or where it ever pops up. Establishing shots in show episodes feature the store front with a sign that indicates the shop is named I-10. But not only did searches find nothing, neither are there details or links at Hutson’s offical site, the official Facebook page, Tanya McQueen’s Twitter, the official Hutson-McQueen blog, etc.]

Alan Luxmore, Tracy Hutson, and Tanya McQueen

To assist the designers in the creative process, there’s a third cast member, contractor, Alan Luxmore, himself with connections to Extreme Makeover and previous host of A&E’s Fix This Yard.

Despite early complaints or fears (primarily based on the American Pickers‘ promos) that Picker Sisters was going to emphasize pretty women (including the use of short-shorts and other feminine charms in order to get deals), I was looking forward to the show. Like Cash & Cari, I was hoping this series would emphasize decorating both in terms of objects and projects; much like Cash & Cari, I was to be disappointed.  As with Cash & Cari, I was hoping we’d not only have the Picker Sisters show us what they transformed, but how it was done. But it misses that mark.

Since the success of these collecting shows is partially dependent on the personality of the cast, it bears mentioning that Hutson and McQueen come across as Valley Girls meet former professional NFL cheerleaders; perhaps a bit to bubbly and hair-twirly for most of us. (And those 80’s headbands only emphasis it.)

I don’t want to bash these beauties for how they look; that would be as wrong as saying someone isn’t good-looking enough to be on TV. But there are practical matters here…

Those of us willing to pick on farms, through old industrial items, etc., we don’t only have work gloves, we wear jeans or long pants to protect our legs — no matter how fab our legs look in short shorts.  I get that they are on camera, but aren’t they annoyed enough by their own Farrah Fawcett locks, blowing into their eyes, sticking to the sweat on their necks, to put it up in a ponytail or something? I’m less worried about two grown women — complete with camera crew — getting hurt heading off with strange men than I am about cuts, infections and diseases from stumbling about improperly dressed in places where tetanus and hantaviruses make excellent bedfellows.

As I mentioned, I feel that Luxmore‘s work is slighted… But perhaps that’s because he’s an actor playing a character role.  In the few scenes Luxmore is in, he plays the frustrated “daddy” to the two little girls on the road, ominous about projects, money spent, design ideas. Worse, he’s shown working while appearing straight out of some Gap ad or GQ photo-shoot, his black sleeveless muscle shirt taunt across his chest, tightly and neatly tucked into crisp belted green khakis. If he’s a master of the 100 hour build, why is he playing a stock masculine character, one part beefcake one part paternal male disapproving of his errant shopping sex kittens?

Like his female cast members, Luxmore ought to dress for the work at hand. We’ll notice he’s handsome, anyway, I promise.

Overall, the show feels far more Hollywood glossy than “unscripted” (the new word for reality shows). While this may appeal to a certain part of the television audience, I feel it’s a disservice to the cast — showing them more as pretty and, due to the lack of “reality,” more bumbling than the educated and experienced people they are. Coupled with the absence of any shop or announcements of where it will appear, the pretty posing makes me feel the shop is simply a premise. Television does blur with tinsel town, you know, so it all feels too glossy, too fake…

Tracy Hutson & Tanya McQueen On The Road

Perhaps we’re supposed to enjoy the fashionista-fish out of water thing… But McQueen, Hutson and Luxmore are build and design heavyweights, so maybe they should have left them a little more raw and saved all the polishing for the finished project pieces.

That said, there are good things in the show…

There’s less of a monetary focus on the show; though that could simply be due to the too-small price / sold graphics.

And it is fun to see the before and afters — even if it is at sacrificing how it’s done.  I consider myself a creative person, a visual person with an eye for seeing the potential in “junk” and I’m not bored with what I’ve seen so far — far from it, I’m inspired by all the repurposing of industrial items!

I won’t be glued to episodes, but I will watch more of Picker Sisters. Even if I am hoping the show format itself will undergo a transformation of it’s own.

PS Because Lifetime quickly signed on for a seven-part, one-hour series (originally entitled To Live and Buy), I’m not sure we’ll see any changes in Picker Sisters; the slick format’s likely set.

PPS Check out the comments below for more & updates!

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Deanna is the founder of Inherited Values, among other sites. She is also an antique dealer.

49 thoughts on “Pickers Sisters”

  1. it shows on history channel now not lifetime as hisroy channel sayd next picker sisters which siad nothing about lifetime so that shows it comes on histroy channel not something life time would show unless o ntheir other lfie time channel that is about women on digital cable

  2. Hi! I just happened upon your site while searching for info on Picker Sisters. Frankly, I couldn’t agree more with your review. I tried to imagine myself in their stilettos, but my vision never got past picturing me in a t-shirt and jeans with my hair up in a knot freaking out about the possibility of black widows under all that junk. Maybe that’s in their deleted scenes. I, too, enjoyed the “before and after” and sketches in the show, but the banter was almost vomit inducing. ; ) I’ll be tuning in just for the final creations. Thank you, Lord, for DVR.

  3. Yes, Monday night Picker Sisters did air — in reruns — on The History Channel. Original, first-run, episodes air on Lifetime.

  4. Hi Holly 🙂

    I’m still holding out a glimmer of hope that the show will (over time) shift a bit towards a more realistic approach, including more “how,” — not only for we viewers, but so as not to belittle the cast. But as you noted, meanwhile, we can fast-forward 😉

  5. I was not only turned off by the banter, apparel and hair tossing but also at the reveals. The gals picked up a slew of great items down on the farm but only showed a couple transformations. Disappointed me for 2 episodes with that.

  6. I kept wondering if those projects didn’t work out, or if we’ll see them in later episodes…

    PS I thought last night’s episode was a little better… Or maybe I’m just getting used to it lol

  7. Your review cracks me up. That’s how I dress to work but thank you for the compliment.


  8. Hi Alan 🙂

    Glad you understood the compliment in there 😉 And I hope we see more of you and your work on the show!

  9. I watched a bunch of the episodes yesterday and I really like the show. The fact that you are picking on their clothing makes me think that the author of this story is probably not very attractive and is jealous. Probably cant fit into a pair of daisy dukes! First off I live in Florida where it is really hot and no matter what Im doing Im wearing shorts to do it. If you are going to get cut by something it will cut through your jeans anyway. If you are wearing jeans in this heat your not going to last very long outside. The humidity in all the states they have been in is awful, so shorts are totally appropriate. they arent wearing stilletos but boots. who cares what they wear, just another woman author tearing women down instead of being proud of 2 women making a successful living at what they enjoy. I find them fun to watch. they seem like very nice fun women with an unbelievable talent for seeing wild things in junk. It makes me miss my old best friend from Cali. Id buy that big sign with an arrow on it anyday. Love it! The way they interact with the people they meet is fun. They are extremely outgoing and friendly and can talk to anyone. A trait many people wish they had or need liquid courage to do so. They are extremely creative and talented designers with a great contractor to make it work. Stop being such a hater behind your computer and do your own show if you think you could do better!

    as far as venturing off with strange men, you live this life once, and you have to trust your gut with anybody, the fact of the matter is your more likely to be raped or murdered by people you know then strangers, life is about taking chances and getting out there and new people can surprise you with amazing things in life if you just give them a chance. I have traveled all over the world and becasue I took off with strange unknown men, I have had the most wild incredible experiences not sitting by the pool at my hotel cuz Im scared, I went on a motorcycle ride through the rainforest in the middle of the night, i ended up on the film helicopter for Baywatch getting the best chopper ride ever, in a private party for team New zealand and Stars and stripes Americas cup teams, a private charter and best snorkeling trip with a stranger with a boat in Aruba, a private media bus in polar bear country, etc. I have had amazing adventures cuz i went off with strange unkown men that I didnt sleep with.You have to be a strong enough women to always trust your gut when it comes to people and not just be a follower or live your life scared.

  10. I love love love this show!!! Who gives a crap what the girls are wearing….they always look adorable. As a gal born in texas and raised in LA…maybe I just get it hahahaha

    Any who, their creations are AMAZING I just want to know where their shop is ’cause I feel a road trip coming on 🙂

    And if they ever need another picker sister….pick me 🙂

  11. I liked it. I think you’re jealous. Sure, they looked kinda silly at times, but it is what it is. I appreciate it for that.

  12. Sydney, I think you should re-read the whole article. I’m neither jealous nor tearing them down; nor do I think two women with a herd of camera folk are in danger.

  13. Alyssa, the store location continues to remain a mystery. Every episode I watch, I look for more info (like the building address of 8300), but so far, no store has been located… Maybe that will be the hook — like “Where’s Waldo” 😉

  14. I do so much crazy work and am a huge part of the show yet Lifetime has no link to my fan page! I need your help. If you like me on the show, please copy and paste this link on your news feed and like my page. It really helps me and also means that you care enough to take the time and for that, I am indebted to you.

    Alan Luxmore Fan Page
    Check out Alan, the talented funny contractor Tuesday Nights on Lifetime’s “Picker Sisters” 10/9c

  15. I love the show! Watched for the first time tonight. Wish a marathon would come on! : ) Alan, you have a great talent. I envy you!

  16. I’m at 8300 W Melrose today and there is no I-10 store. There is a store space for rent. Did I mention it is September 4, 2011? What happened?

  17. I love the show. I think the target audience is smart enough to figure out what they’re doing and how. And if I looked like either of them, I guess I would flaunt it, too.
    And Alan, you are incredible. I wish you would come help me with my projects. I’m definitely posting your link.

  18. I love this show! Just discovered it today and though its not what I would normally watch, their annoying bubbly attitude grew on me! I’ve noticed on here that the store seems to be M-I-A which really makes me wonder how real this show is? If your so invested in this project, wouldn’t you want to make lots of money? If you already have a show, why not advertise your location and really blow up??? Hoping this whole thing isn’t just a fačade for ratings!!! If that’s really you Alan on this thing, maybe you can help us all out with this question!?!

  19. What I can’t believe is that the owners of the “junk” actually ask for such ridiculous amounts of money for it!! They should pay the girls to take it off their hands!

  20. As of september 6 20111 8300 melrose ave. los angeles where the shop is located on the episodes is a vacant for lease store. The episodes used it to film at only and I know it never actually opened. More fake reality tv. Alan, Tracy and Tanya are all actors who do now really currently make a living in the fields they represent on the show Try finding any phone listing anywhere for the I-10 home store or reference to it on the picker sisters or lifetime sites. Totally imaginary fantasy on TV

  21. I really do enjoy the show. My husband and I run a shop in Texas that specializes in salvaged repurposed pieces. And while I would never go picking in shorts or heeled boots (hubby would love that), or without gloves and jeans tucked into work boots (it took a single brown recluse bite to teach me that lesson), these gals sure are fun to watch. I think their banter and creativity is spot on. Great show.

  22. Always loved the ideas Tracy and Tanya had on Extreme. So I was sooo excited to watch them on the history channel. They are nothing like american pickers(love that show too) and I am happy for that. They are so natural and whitty–They are true friends and you can tell that. Their Ideas are awsome!! Each episode gets better and better!! I especially like the look on some of the good ol’ boys’ faces when they get caught up in their ideas for the cool “Junk” they are trying to purchase. My husband even is trying his hand at a “vintage” chair out of an old childs metal bed we have had for YEARS. It’s looking good and would love to show a picture to the Gals once it is done. My hat is off to Alan. He is sooo in need of a gold star for listening to their ideas and how he some how makes it work–for the most part. He’s not bad to look at clean or sweaty!! Keep up the good work picker sisters!!!!!

  23. Love the show!! As in interior designer I respect what these three are doing! Also being from south Georgia I weed-eat, ride horses and work outside with shorts on. I’ll take some cuts over the heat any day! Plus, it never hurts to look cute while you’re working hard. As for the store, I do wish a website would pop up!

  24. I watch American Pickers and have seen the ads for Pickers Sisters, repulsed by the appearance of two ditzy broads I vowed to ignore it. I live in the Pacific Northwest and am also in the business. Presently in L.A. on a business trip I watched American Pickers last night and decided to stay tuned for the Sisters (who appeal to my male business partner). They were as repulsive on the show as they were on the commercial. I could not get over the shorts, high heals and sheer see through blouse. I rarely wear gloves myself and have the scars to show for it, so one would think, that two women who seem to have a pre-occupation with their looks, would wear the appropriate attire to protect themselves. They are just a bit too dainty, and far too superficial to capture my ongoing attention. HOWEVER, I did find their concepts interesting, albeit some falling short of the best execution. One of the rotating hood chairs created from fenders seemed to wobble a bit when rotated, and the metal and leather table with black legs looked liked a fat woman with skinny legs. The legs were not only too spindly, and would have looked much better if they had simply been tapered, rather than black rich copper would have been fabulous. My personal preference for the Harley would have been a fire engine red if not the classic black. I did absolutely love the scale PLEXIGLAS table and the headboard.

    As it turns out I am staying a mere few blocks from where the show implies their store is located. The individual with whom I am staying recognized the area. Now this is what is interesting, rather than showing the storefront (if one exists), the vantage point seen on the show is a building in the vicinity of the area in which the shop is supposedly located ….Melrose Place. We drove by tonight and did not see it. We will take a better look during the day tomorrow. And yes, it is interesting that there are no references to the store on any site that comes up on Google. Just as the show appears to be scripted, the shop seems to be fictitious. This seems to be supported by a comment that one of the women made on one episode, stating that she hoped that they could make enough money to open a bed and breakfast. Aloud I asked myself why she would want to open a bed and breakfast if they have a successful store? Oh well, it is after all HOLLYWOOD.

  25. Hi, my grandma and I love the show! We’re from a town about an hour from Dallas, TX.
    She’s always saying Tracy and Tanya are going to come by one day and pick her up to go picking with them haha. She loves that stuff and just wants to roadtrip and go with them to watch and pick, so funny! It’d be great if the girls came back to Texas to pick around home 🙂

  26. Hi. I watched the show for the first time last night. I love all the “Picker” shows, and wanted to see if I would loke this one as well. First off, I have to say I did sit and watch 3 shows back to back so I do like part of the show, the finished project, that is. To see the piece before and after is amazing, although very sad they do not show the “how to”. If time in the episode is an issue, they could at least put it step by step on a website?? IDK just strange. Speaking of strange, the fact that the store does not exsist, screams FAKE all over it. To me they do a great job of covering it, because the reason I found THIS website was because I went online to find their store in hopes of seeing all the projects they do, the cost of them, and hoped to maybe find a little more information as to how they were made. But to my surprise, no website or store seems to exsist and many others have found this to be the same also. THAT REALLY TICKS ME OFF! To portray a “reality show” and then to find out its all fake! I feel its an insult to americans intelligence, and it affected my time. Had I known it was all fake and did not exsist, I never would of watched the show, as many others, I”m sure. Why go to all the trouble and not have the store????? And Alan making all these projects, for what? To give to people, cuz it doesnt seem as they are selling them. Actually is Alan really making them? Since the show doesnt show the how to, maybe because there isnt a how to. Maybe they buy these strange pieces and then go out trying to find pieces that match them to some degree and say “Alan did his magic, and made this masterpiece”, Again I dont know. What i do know is I liked the show somewhat, and the girls are girls (hey their in front of a camera, they will act goofy, especially if they have been on the road together for many days) Also, as to thier clothes, yes I agree that it isnt the “normal” outfit someone would pick to wear for that type of work, but hey if they can do it, do it. I didnt see any episode in heels, only boots, and that is a smart move on thier part. Most girls who are beautiful like that dont have to do much “hard labor” if a man is standing near. Hell wearing that type of attire works in thier advantage as when it comes to asking the owners of the junk to load it up for them. Dont know why Im still commenting when the whole thing is a big joke on all of us to get high ratings I-10 store DOES NOT EXSIST THEREFORE if you keep watching and keep their ratings up, they will continue to trick us all.

  27. Oh Well, after reading all the don’t about the girl’s, and planning a trip to L.A to see the
    girl’s. Just kidding, grand kids. Well with all that we are being tolded, and our hero’s are
    on a TV set, well I guess i’ll keep watching Hutson & McQueen, sad but still a fan.

    Rick de

  28. Thanks for the tip, Mark 🙂

    Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbobYEjTq8Y

    Warning: loud due to large number of excited vloggers (video bloggers) so the story doesn’t become clear right away… But apparently, Picker Sisters gave away the stuff they made, or at least the bulk of it to excited vloggers who I bet the producers were hoping would get the show some buzz. The video was uploaded on August 9, 2011. Looks like the store location was a no more than a set location, really, to give the illusion of a shop.

    Also, on September 7, 2011, Alan Luxmore agreed to an interview here at Inherited Values with me; but since then has failed to reply to any messages, ceasing communication.

  29. So does anybody know if Picker Sisters got renewed for another season, or is it done?

    Have not hear seen or heard anything about them this fall, while seeing commercials for Pawn Stars and American Pickers.

    I do agree with many of the comments, but somehow they are still fun to watch, even if not realistic.

  30. It didn’t take long to figure out that this was a TV show for entertainment vs. how to turn a volkswagon hood into a chair, but I fell in love with the original ideas that were born from the stuff, and found myself looking around for unique articles I could use to build something different and unique. And the synergy between the two girls was refreshing as well. Like most reality shows, it is a tv production, but hey, it’s TV. I hope the girls make it back for a future season.

  31. IF they ACTUALLY had a shop, which they don’t, it would only ever work in LA as the stuff they “sell” is very tacky and badly designed. If you want something nice, purchase a genuine antique not some kitschy piece of crap. This would never fly in Europe or UK or NYC – so tastse less.

    That said, they guy who builds the stuff has alot of talent and is being wasted on such poor designs. Did these woman actually study APPLIED DESIGN at University, i would say, um, no way.

    Seem like old cheerleaders to me – like, um, NO WAY..so Valley, so 1985.

  32. I just discovered this show online! Although I watch a ton of History TV I never seem to run into this season… anyways….gotta say that I really love it! And the concept of showing the items refurbished! I really hope there are more seasons to come!

  33. On August 21, 2013, the Picker Sisters posted the following on their Facebook Page:

    Picker Sisters is no longer in production, and the chances of new episodes being filmed are slim to none, we have decided to start a Forum where pickers (both experienced and in-training) can develop a community, share their ideas and show off their projects.

    -Do you have a “found” treasure that you want to refurbish or re- purpose and are looking for ideas?
    -Have you finished a project and want to proudly display it to others who will appreciate it?
    -Are you an experienced picker who is willing to share your knowledge?
    -Are you just starting out and you need some guidance?
    -Are you just curious about picking?
    If any of the above describe you, head on over to the Pickers Forum page and start enjoying! (Be sure to “like” us!)

    We appreciate your loyalty to the Picker Sisters, and we will be keeping this page up…but check out the new page too!

  34. This was a good idea for a series like that of the other picker shows. The problem is besides all the actors involved look and act fake. Who the hell would go picking in short and boots, this is the stupid part and the fact that the store front, contractor are both fake. I am not sad that it was cancelled. how about seeking out real people and real talent in a real business. better luck next time.

  35. I have enjoyed watching the show. California people are different. industrial recycling was very interesting. it was neat to see what could be made out of farm throwaways.

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