Did a little thrift store shopping, found some chalk paint, a small store front and went to work. I loved chalk paint! No sanding, no priming, and easy clean up were certainly some of the best things about it. I sanded and stained, learned to use wood putty and wax, and even made my own chalk paint to use. Here are some pictures of The Refinery in its beginning and some of our first projects.
It was a simple and small beginning for sure. I made my children help me and a few friends. It was a great showroom but had little space for me to paint projects and only one or two at the time. So I closed my showroom and rented a booth at a local antique mall and moved The Refinery operation to a storage unit. It felt like doing projects in a frying pan but it worked for a few months while I hunted for a space with room to work on projects.
Forrest Gump tells us, "Life's like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." And so it is like this in my own life. You never know what's coming around the corner at you or what the next opportunity may be. I happened to be working in my booth one afternoon when one of the owners approached me just to chat. I mentioned I was looking for some workshop space and turns out they had some available. I met with the owners, the Brewer family, and talked over the ideas for my shop. Together we envisioned a shop, connected to the end of the antique mall, that would be a complement for Angel's Antiques. A place that offered custom services so if a client found a great piece at Angel's Antiques but wanted it to look and feel just a little different to fit in their personal space, they could come to my shop and we would help them with that. I reached out to a one-man upholstery operation and he agreed to join me. In May, 2014, The Refinery and New Creations Upholstery moved into their own space connected to Angel's Antique's and Flea Mall. We often tell folks we are the "Custom Stop Shop" for Angel's Antiques.
The Brewer family (shown below) and the staff of Angel's Antique and Flea Mall have played a major role in the development of our business. We LOVE helping people who come to their store looking for furniture pieces and then come to our shop for a custom look. We have grown our business so that we now serve clients from everywhere who bring us their cherished pieces for us to refine. But we wouldn't have made it this far without their help and support!
Our showroom on opening day in our fabulous new space!!