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Mike Wolfe of 'American Pickers' Is the New Americana Idol Mike Wolfe, creator and star of the TV show American Pickers, is leveraging a popular passion for the past to build the multimedia empire of the future.

By Jason Ankeny Edited by Frances Dodds

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Mike Wolfe is in his element. The star and creator of History channel's hit show American Pickers weaves his way through the vintage motorcycles, folk art and random oddities that line the floor of his new storefront in Nashville, Tenn.'s Marathon Village, a sprawling small-business complex that a century earlier housed the short-lived Marathon Motor Works auto factory.

When construction is complete, the 3,000-square-foot site will serve as the Music City outpost of Antique Archaeology, the collectibles retail shop Wolfe founded in LeClaire, Iowa, more than a decade ago. For now, though, it's a work in progress, to put it charitably--with the scorching summer months closing in fast, the space still has no air conditioning (no electricity whatsoever, for that matter), the front window is shattered and the walls are in dire need of a contractor's attention.

Wolfe could not care less. "Look at these beams, man," he raves as he tours the room. "Look at these poles--they're like masts off a ship. Look at the brick. You just can't re-create this kind of space."

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