What neighborhood do you call home? And what is your favorite part of living there?
We have called Bellevue home for 10 years now. We moved here from Lawrenceville and we loved Bellevue because it is just 10 minutes outside of the city but feels like a small hometown. Bellevue has unique, locally owned shops and and you can easily walk to whatever you need. Because we are such a small community, you tend to be able to get to know people really well. I like that since I have three kids and want to know who they are with and where they are when they are out. I believe Bellevue is one of those up and coming communities that you are going to be hearing about in a few years. We have some work to do but we are doing it and it is exciting to be apart of that with my family.
Tell us about Reposhture Studio. Your tagline is "Where junk gets redefined." What types of items do you offer?
I think that as a throw away society, anything that is slightly marred becomes "junk" and gets discarded. I want to redefine what people consider junk! I am a maker but also a fixer. There are very few things, and my husband will attest to this, that I think can't be fixed and made into something better and more unique than how it started out in this world. Because of this philosophy, I offer a wide array of items…. from painted furniture, to bicycle wheel photo displays, pallet wood projects, to lamps made from old ski poles!
I also chose this tagline because as a Christian, my life is constantly being remade, redefined, and made new through my relationship with Jesus. He is the best repurposer I know and I use the verse from 2 Corinthians 5:17 to illustrate this. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And I truly believe this in my business. There is nothing that can not be made new with a little love and hard work.
How did you get your start in repurposing/designing furniture and housewares?
I have pretty much done this my whole life, just on a much smaller scale when I was 10! I have always looked at things differently and used things in my home differently than most people! So many times I have had people come to my house and be astonished by how I used a particular item and from there I thought, 'Why not try to make some money at this" and share these ideas so that not only will people have more unique homes that reflect who they are but will also keep things out of landfills through repurposing.
So maybe about two years ago, I started officially selling my painted furniture on craigslist and Etsy and got a very positive response so then I had my items in a local Antiques Mall. Again, the response was very positive and that pushed me recently to consider my own shop. Now I am researching storefronts to hopefully own that shop that I have dreamed about in the next year or so.
Tell us about the process. Do you find the items or do they sometimes find you through customers with their own pieces to be updated?
My items come from any and all avenues. My friends and family are my best pickers! They will text me photos of finds, tell me about a piece on the side of the road that looks promising, and even give my their own pieces they no longer need. One example is the little red roll top desk that I am bringing to the Flea in September. My friend had this as a child and her kids had used it and loved on it to the point that the roll top no longer was functioning. Her kids had grown and no longer used it and she thought I might be able to repair it and sell it. It had to be completely taken apart to fix the roll top but once that was done it was great. For some reason I thought it should be red and got to work. She absolutely fell in love with it when it was completed. So I decided to offer it back to her which she declined but every so often she asks if it has sold yet with a wistful look in her eye. See we have history with our furniture and just because it might not work so hot right now, it can be fixed and restored and loved on some more.
Other ways I find my items are through thrift stores, craigslist, and of course private customers. Those are really fun because every piece of furniture I have ever done for a client has a great story behind it and I love to hear the history that comes with the piece. It helps me in my process as well to hear how this piece functioned in their home or the memory that accompanies it. Then I interview the client to find out how they want this piece used and either make suggestions for color or for use but often times it is a great collaboration between myself and the client.
When I get a piece that I am just going to work on to sell, my process can be a bit willy nilly. First I need to prep it, which is the most labor intensive part of the whole thing but also the most important. It can range from simply sanding it to overhauling drawers, removing bad veneer….there is a wide range of things that need to be done to pieces depending on how I find them. If you want a stellar paint finish, then you have to do the prep work. Paint is amazing at transforming things but it also shows every flaw so prep is key. After prep, then I kind of just stare at it until inspiration hits. This is the willy nilly part…. Sometimes, I know exactly what I am going to do with it as soon as I see it and other times, I stall out and the piece sits for a few months. Usually the ones that sit are my favorites because it may take me longer to figure out what the piece needs to turn into but it is usually my most creative work and I get a bit giddy seeing it appear through the work of my mind and my hands.
What is your favorite type of item to update?
It amazing what a little color can do to jazz up a less than stellar piece of furniture so furniture makeovers are probably still my favorite. I do love the instant gratification of paint!
A close second are my repurposed items however just because these always wind up so different then how they began.
Do you have a favorite era or style of furniture?
I really don't. I love them all although I will say the super ornate are not really a favorite but that is just because I am not a from-frou girl myself. But that doesn't mean I won't paint something ornate for someone else! And just to clarify for all the wood purists and lovers out there that are fainting dead away at the thought of ruining an "antique", I NEVER paint wood that is in good shape! But here's the thing, if the piece is peeling, cracking and generally a mess there is no antique value to it and someone is going to throw it a way because of that. If repairing and painting it will make it usable again, then paint it I will.
I am currently in love with MCM items but I tend to like a mix of paint and natural wood for these items somehow. I also have a soft spot for waterfall dressers. These are a style where the upper front edge is rounded like water flowing over that edge. It is just pretty to me. But these can look masculine as well depending on how you paint them. I painted one for my son with the British flag on it and it looks killler!
Each style of furniture lends itself to a different paint style and color choice I think.
What other services do you offer?
I offer in-house repurposing ideas where I come to your home and offer advice on how to repurpose items you already have and how to style them. I have a large selection of vintage items so I offer vintage styling for events as well.
I am also able to come to your house to paint your larger pieces of furniture that may be too difficult to transport or to help you to paint them.
Is there a website where people can see more examples of your work?
Yes! I write a blog which chronicles my makeovers and crazy fun repurposed items in more detail than before and after pictures can do alone. You will also get a little bit of life thrown in there which helps my readers and clients get to know me a little better I hope
Go to http://reposhture.blogspot.com to see past projects and follow along to see what's coming next.