TadEaton-StorageWars-NewYorkA&E’s reality series Storage Wars: New York star Tad Eaton is the level-headed half of the creative duo of furniture redesign. He co-owns a vintage store The Frayed Knot with his  chatty and impulsive-buyer partner, Chris Morelli.

Tad is well educated, very creative, and calm under pressure. He juggles to keep Chris under reigns from overspending and his dog Dottie B. from bidding on rooms; a challenge for any one person.

Tad was gracious to take time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for OnlineStorageAuctions.com.

Tad Eaton Interview

Tad: First I’d like to say thanks for talking to me Chuck. It’s sometimes hard to get a word in edgewise working with Chris. (Sorry Chris, you know it’s true.)

ChuckG: Thank you, Tad!

Q. What was life growing up in Clovis, New Mexico?Clovis-New-Mexico

A. I grew up the oldest of four on a working farm and ranch. My family is still there. It’s a world away from Hoboken! I even did a little rodeo. I spent my summers driving the tractor, building fence, and cutting wheat during harvest. I miss the wide open spaces and drawl everyone has there. If someone comes into The Frayed Knot and says Ya’ll or Fixin’ – I get a little nostalgic and keep the customers a little longer just to hear them talk.

Q. Who was the greatest influence in your life?

A. Probably my Granddad Charlie. He was a rancher near Taiban, New Mexico. He was one of the last of the original old cowboys. His parents homestead is in New Mexico. He told all kind of stories about how he Tad-Eaton-Grandfathersurvived the Dust Bowl (dust storms in the 1930s). He single-handedly built his own home and carved out a Hereford cattle ranch miles from the nearest neighbor or town.

He hauled his own water, built hundreds of mile of barbed wire fence, and as a kid strapped himself to windmills for fun. He had no telephone until the last years of his life when we got him a cell phone. He would have to drive or ride a horse out to the tallest sand dune on his ranch to make a call. When you answered his call, “Hello?” – he would then ask, “Is that you?”

He would then hang up abruptly without a goodbye at the end of the conversation! His humorous optimism, determination, and the ability to find a solution with what he had on hand are attributes instilled in me today.

Q. What was your childhood dream?

A. I wanted to become an artist. I don’t think it was anything I saw that inspired me to want be an artist.  I just enjoyed the process regardless of how good each masterpiece turned out.

Q. What was it like to work at the New Mexico State Legislator?

A. Mark Twain said, “There are two things you never want to see how they are made – sausage and law.” I actually got to use my political science degree and worked as an analyst for the House Minority for a few years. It was always an ugly process getting the “feed bill” which funds all the New-Mexico-State-Legislatorprograms and services for the fiscal year of the state passed each year.

I had to pull a few all nighters to meet some ridiculous deadlines. One of my jobs was to find duplicate and excessive spending (sometimes on frivolous or partisan projects) and present my analysis to the house minority caucus.

Your work wasn’t always appreciated or even considered. There is nothing like being in the hot seat and arguing a position in front of a room full of angry opinionated legislators with billions of dollars at stake. I saw a lot of last minute concessions and under the table handshakes. I learned a lot about the reality of the bureaucratic process. Skills I still find useful most everyday.

Q. You were in a car accident hit by a bread truck; can you tell us what happened to you and how it may have changed your perspective in life?

A. The first year I moved to New York City I was hit on 14th and 7th. I heard a thud and remember thinking, “Oh, no! Someone got hit!” I woke up facing the curb with a busted face. I had no serious breaks but didn’t look so pretty. I spent the night in St. Vincent’s Hospital.

I didn’t realize until later that the accident really messed with my short term memory. I kind of floundered for a while and dropped out of Columbia’s conflict resolution program. Eventually I found my footing. I gained a new appreciation for the life I was given and my true purpose. Oh yeah, and now when someone beside me starts to cross against the light, I stick my arm out reflexively against their chest!

Q. You’ve lived in New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas; what brought you to Columbia-UniversityNew York?

A. I was working as a litigation consultant in NYC but living in Austin. I spent a lot of time in airports.  I was completing an advanced degree at Columbia because they offer a premier program in mediation and conflict resolution.

Q. How did you get started as an auction hunter?

A. When I lived in Austin I went to the occasional auction. I bought a welder and started making and selling beds out of old wrought iron. But after opening The Frayed Knot, I started going at it pretty seriously. I’m picky, sometimes too picky. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about buying and flipping but I’m trying to hone our BRAND and don’t want to water down the store with a bunch of ordinary household items.

Q. Your store was devastated by Hurricane Sandy; can you describe the experience and how long it took you to rebuild?

A. It was like being on the sinking Titanic. We called it Frayed Knot soup! Hurrican-Sandy-TheFrayedKnotWith a flashlight and candles we watched from a second floor loft as stuff began to float tip and crash. Emergency sirens went off all over the city. It was eerie. The petroleum fumes were so toxic that we eventually had to evacuate the building.

We are still so grateful to our Storage Wars: New York family. A few of the cast and crew helped us tackle the HUGE MESS when the water subsided. We had the store opened (in a crippled state) a week after the storm.

Note: Insurance did not cover damaged merchandise in store.

Q. How did you meet Chris?

A. I met Chris when I was floundering. I ate at his restaurant and he was thinking about selling. I wasn’t sure what I was doing next. He needed some help and I thought I could help him. Chris and I formed a partnership sort of out of necessity. We were both at the time kind of looking at doing something new.

Upon moving up to NYC I was shocked at what was put out on the curb for garbage. You could practically furnish an apartment in one block. We started rehabbing antiques we found and up cycling different furniture pieces. We then sold them on Craigslist. It kind of took a life of its own and grew from operating out of an apartment basement to a 2-car garage space, then to a warehouse, and lastly to our present retail location.

Q. How did you come up with the name for your store?

The Frayed Knot · 601 Newark St. · Hoboken, NJ · 07030


A. Chris likes to say it’s derived from customers trying to haggle a ridiculous deal and we would say – ‘Fraid Not! That’s not really true. I came up with the name because I think of a knot as a coming together of a lot of things; and because we deal almost exclusively in antique and vintage merchandise. Most items have a little rust, paint missing, and “frayed” edges.

Storage Wars: New York


Q. How did you get cast on the show?

A. They held auditions at our store. THAT was a crazy few days! We talked to a few different people in camera interviews. We had done a few appearances on another network, so being in front of the camera wasn’t a big deal.

Q. What would you consider the perfect room for you to buy?

A. My motto is – History·Mystery·Dust. I like well-packed rooms that have enough dust on the boxes for you to write your name on that have sat undisturbed for a while; and in the back of the room is the glint of a thing that makes you say – What the Hell is that?!

Q. What is your best find at any auction to date?Charles-Dana-Gibson-Art

A. I really enjoyed finding the original Charles Dana Gibson art. I was not only a big score but researching its history has been fascinating to me.

Q. How many auctions do you attend per month on average?

A. Really varies on inventory and busy season at the store.

Q. What surprised you most about working on a reality television series?

A. How the shows turns out after all the filming and editing is completed. There are so many amazing rooms and funny moments that are never seen on the show.

Q: Describe your cast mates:



Mike: Squirrel trying to get a nut. | JoeP: That was then, this is now.
John Luke: Didn’t know anyone could maintain that decibel level (or tan).
Candy: Did you mean for me too see that? | Courtney: Why you love NY girls.
Chris: Can’t get out of his own way.

Q. Why does Chris bid against himself; what’s up with that?

A. You tell me. I have yet to get a logical answer.

Q. Now that John Luke takes Dottie B.’s bark-bids, what can you do to ensure that doesn’t happen again?

A. Dottie has her own agenda. I think she remembers that room filled with peanut butter. I just have to bring more cash when she comes with me to an auction.

Q. What items sell the quickest?

A. I can never have enough industrial mantiques (antiques and collectibles that typically appeal to men).

Q. How would you describe the show?

A. It’s a massive amount of work crammed into an addicting show that everyone loves to be a sideline quarterback.

Tad interacts with his fan through social networks. Please “Follow” him on Twitter @EatonTad or “Like” his Facebook Page: Tad Eaton – https://www.facebook.com/tad.eaton

Q. You are currently single, what do you look for in a date or mate?

A. I’m draw to people who are quick to laugh, independent, confident, and think outside the box.

Q: Dottie Bingo is 17-years old; how long have you been her owner and Dottie-Bingo-StorageWars-NewYorkwhat happened to her eye?

A. Yeah, Dottie is 17 . I used to raise Jack Russell terriers in Austin. I had Dottie’s mom, so I’m all she’s ever known. I think I’m more hers than she is mine. Dottie’s a little survivor! She was the only one of her litter to survive parvo (highly contagious viral disease that can produce a life-threatening illness).

She lost her eye being overly protective when she had her own pups and got into a fight. She’s getting old and sometimes a bit of a burden, but she LOVES to “go” – so what am I supposed to do?

Q. What plans do you hope to have for your store or yourself in the future?

A. In the short term I would like to open another location in Manhattan. In the long term I’d like to see The Frayed Knot as a household brand with its own line of furniture and merchandise.

Q. What are your hobbies?

A. My hobby has become my career. I compare it to working in a candy store. Its fun but its still a job.

Q. What motto do you live by?

A. Is this the best I can do?

Q. What’s on your bucket list?

A. Get involved in some philanthropic work. Spend some time in Swiss-Australia-NewZealandSwitzerland, Australia and New Zealand.  Live in an old church. Write a book or two. Spend a summer fishing in the Adirondacks. Teach a college class. Rehab an old house in the mountains outside Santa Fe.

Q. What’s your best attribute?

A. Being stubborn and persistent.

Q. What’s your worst attribute?

A. Being stubborn and persistent.

Q. How would you like to be remembered?

A. Someone without regrets.


He is a Scholar. He is an Artist. He is a Renaissance Man.

Check your local listing on A&E channel for episodes of Storage Wars: New York.

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