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Oct. 15, 2021

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Vancouver woman builds liquidated-goods business, LiquidNation, despite variety of obstacles

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor
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Jullienne Adams, owner and founder of LiquidNation, started the business out of her garage after buying a pallet of 15 miscellaneous goods from an auction website for $375 about three years ago, she said.
Jullienne Adams, owner and founder of LiquidNation, started the business out of her garage after buying a pallet of 15 miscellaneous goods from an auction website for $375 about three years ago, she said. (Photos by Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

There’s a little hole-in-the-wall family business in central Vancouver run by a woman who clawed her way out of homelessness and is now selling liquidated goods that she buys by the pallet.

Among the goods at LiquidNation Liquidators, 717 Grand Blvd., you’ll find Samurai swords, little unicorn salt and pepper shakers, luggage and purses. It’s a growing business that owner and founder Jullienne Adams started from “basically nothing,” and it’s seen its fair share of hardships.

Adams lived in Washougal in a five-bedroom home and practiced massage for 10 years until a long, drawn-out divorce left her homeless, she said.

Until about 2½ years ago, she was living out of her car for three years while she fought through a divorce in court. After the divorce went through and her frozen funds cleared up, she moved into a house, and she decided to buy a pallet of 15 miscellaneous goods from an auction website for $375, she said.

Among the stuff she found name-brand power tools and an electric kids motorcycle, which she posted and sold through Facebook Marketplace. From there, she’s invested nearly all her profit back into the business.

“I literally built the business through Facebook Marketplace,” she said.

Adams moved into a brick-and-mortar shop in February 2019, but her troubles weren’t over yet. The pandemic hit, causing her foot traffic to nearly grind to a halt. And she couldn’t apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan because her business was too new.

But Adams decided to pivot the business and buy bulk “essential” supplies, such as masks and toilet paper that retail stores don’t sell for reasons such as damaged packaging.

“I had no choice but to become essential,” she said.

In February 2020, the rent at Adam’s brick-and-mortar had become too expensive, so she relocated the business to 717 Grand Blvd. At the time, she had about 500 items listed on Facebook Marketplace.

A month later, Facebook banned her marketplace account, she said, and she still can’t figure out exactly why.

“I don’t know the exact reason, she said. “I’ve never been able to speak to a Facebook person.”

Adams still sold items online through websites like OfferUp, but Facebook’s ban was a major loss of revenue, she said.

“Being banned was heartbreaking,” she said.

Adams has kept moving forward in her business, which also employs her son and his girlfriend. Adams’ boyfriend also helps with tech work.

Nowadays, as travel starts to pick up again, Adams said luggage is a big seller, and she has been selling luggage from six pallets she bought from Costco.

Her store also showcases 15 local artists’ work, because “it brings a beauty that I cannot live without,” she said.

“I’m here to build something beautiful for the community by upcycling the things the corporations would have thrown away,” she said.

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