Aside from all the home decor items and the extracts, I spend most of time restoring and repurposing furniture. The reason? Because I love well made WOOD furniture with craftsmanship and detail. The problem I found was that the furniture in stores today are not wood but "Wood Products and Veneer". Now veneer has been used for a long time but usually over hardwood and only for accent. Like most people I also have great taste that my bank account can't cover. I have always been an avid second hand store and thrift store patron and have found amazing pieces of furniture and decor items that I turned into something for my home.
Then I found that there are many people out there who are looking for unique, quality furniture and decor that won't break the bank. So there you are. That is why i do what I do. I want everyone to be able to furnish and decorate their homes with quality items that they can afford. Check out our products!
I'm a little weird in that I look for the old, dumpy pieces of furniture with a hint of character hiding under the grime. We picked up a piece at auction a couple of months ago. My husband thought I was a little crazy because the piece was old, broken, grimy, the back was missing and the top was cracked. I liked it because it had wooden handles on the drawer.
The cabinet has four layers of paint on it and in order to get to the fasteners to remove the top without breaking it, I had to remove everyone of them. I brushed on stripper and scraped, cleaned and repeated. As I began to expose the details of the cabinet I noticed that it had very beautiful craftsmanship. The handles were hand carved wooden leaves and nuts. The detail in the carvings had been filled with old paint. The doors were meticulously carved. But the real cincher in this piece? The square nails that I eventually removed from the top of the cabinet.
Most people are not familiar with square nails, these nails are not actually square but more rectangular with a small flattened head. Why are they so unusual? Because these are hand crafted nails. Before the industrial revolution, nails were hand made by blacksmiths. By the beginning of the 1800's steel mills began producing long rods that could be cut and finished by blacksmiths making the process easier but it was not until 1880 that the wire nail became widely used and by 1900 wire nails were found in every tool box.
So as I sat with my chisels painstakingly removing paint from carved details and I wondered, where had this piece been? How many homes had it served? How many families had found a purpose for this piece? What parts of history had it endured. We don't think of those things much because we live in an instant society. But think about it for a moment, these nails were probably made between 1800-1880 and we can guess that this piece was made somewhere at the end of that time period. The civil war was fought from 1861-1865, President Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, The Homesteader's Act was signed in 1862, Colorado became an official state in the union in 1876. People traveled in wagons, your house was furnished by cabinets, dressers and sideboards. The piece has a story, a legacy of travels and people.
That is why I take the time to repair, restore and repurpose these pieces. They have already stood the test of time. This piece is probably 120 years old, more or less, and even after all the use, all the paint and all the travels, it is still useable. The pieces of furniture that we find in stores today will not have the same legacy. They may not make it 5 or ten years before they begin to fall apart, they cannot stand the test of time and there will be no legacy. It won't be around to be passed on to the newly married daughter or son. It won't be a dowry gift from a grandmother to a granddaughter.
That made me think of something I read the other day. Are we going to leave a legacy? What are we doing to make memories or to be memorable? Are we working solely for our "resume virtues" or are we working for our "legacy virtues"? In other words, are we doing the easy thing and focusing on building titles or are we building relationships? Leaving a legacy. What will your children say about you? What about your grandchildren? What will you be remembered for? When all the kids have grown and the grandkids have grown will you have good memories to keep you company? Give it some thought.
I better get back to scraping now.
So you have been diligently working on your projects. You have refined your skills and begun to find your own signature look for your products. Everything seems to be moving along just smoothly and then a little tug shows up in the back of your mind. Soon the tug becomes a nag and the next thing you realize....it's time to grow.
Most often our need to grow is the result of a wall. We hit a wall in sales growth, in followers, in product expansion but something comes on our path to MAKE us change, grow and take the next step.
For me it was the need to expand my customer base, make it easier for my clients to make purchase and to get my name outside the boundaries of my neighborhood and city. I began researching the usual options, you know the neighborhood consignment store, a consignment store in the nearest city, boutique shops or a shop of my own.
Growth is necessary but it must also be strategic. What is the logical next step? What is the easiest? What will be a building block for future growth? What is fiscally responsible and reasonable? All these questions must be answered and all plans must be put to the pencil and paper test. Will it be worth the risk? Once you have racked your brain, run the numbers ten times and ten different ways, there is only one question that really counts. Are you being true to yourself and your dream?
You see when you are an artist, (paint, photography, furniture, graphic design, marketing, manufacturing, gardening, interior design, chef, restaurateur, seamstress, fashion design, jeweler, silversmith....the list goes on) your product stops being unique, precious, a labor of love, when you put money first and your dream second. Yes we need to make a living but not at the cost of creativity and a business built on ethical, moral, creative truths are the ones that become legacies.
With that being said, we are growing and changing to make the dream bigger and to make it easier for our clients. STAY TUNED. Oh and this will be one of our new pieces in our new place.