I am excited to announce that I will be blogging on a regular basis and also making some fabulous "how-to" videos where I share all of the secrets and tricks I have learned since starting my furniture business 7 years ago. In this blog, I am going to share my insights, health and wellness and some of my favorite recipes but I also want to hear from YOU; what questions do you have and how I can best help you with your furniture design projects? Please comment below. But first, a little background on myself and how this business got started.
I was born and raised in beautiful California by parents who had a love for furniture and upcycling (before it was cool). I feel like my style represents both my Mother and Father and I am inspired by both of them and everything they have taught me.
As a child I spent weekends at the Flea Market (around here it's known as the Swap Meet) learning from my Dad how to negotiate and find value and purpose in items nobody wanted. He was also the first person to put a hammer and nails into my hands and let me put as many nails as I wanted into a railroad tie when I was a kid.
A birthday gift I made for my Dad after he taught me how to use the hammer when I was 3 years old.
Appreciation for finely crafted wood furniture and antiques is an inherited trait that has been passed down through the generations on my mother's side. My Mom passed this great appreciation down to me and has shared countless stories about her and my grandmother re-finishing many pieces of furniture over the years. When I was young, my Mom and I would frequently purchase pieces from the unfinished furniture store and stain them together.
Solid wood coffee table my Mom and I stained together when I was a kid. I learned the hard way to always sand WITH the grain of the wood.
After high school I attended college and earned my bachelor's degree in Business Administration. My pursuit of college was to have the freedom to do something that I had a great interest and passion for. My husband and I got married in 2010, we moved into our first place together, a small 800 sq ft granny house
I loved tending to my Mexican Sage out front.
and we didn't have much money. We decided one day to get some finches to liven up our home (because who wouldn't want some messy birds in a small home?).
I thought why not get a small table we can set them on and I found the perfect table on Craigslist and painted it myself. Mind you; I had no idea what I was doing, I just knew I needed a table and wanted it to look cute. Good ol' YouTube videos were what got me through my first project and it was a complete success! Unfortunately, the birds weren't a success and we re-homed them, which meant we had a table taking up space in our small house so I thought I would sell it because the space was worth more to me then having a table that would become a catch-all for all out "stuff"! Before selling the table, I thought it would be nice if it had a chair to go with it. After going to a few garage sales, I found a really cute antique chair that I wound up reupholstering and painted to match the table.
I put the set up for sale on Craigslist and a woman found it and totally fell in love with it. This woman drove an hour to our home to pick them up and even though she had just recently been laid off from her job, she told me that she "had to have it." I was completely flattered that she loved the set so much. Mind you, it was priced kind of high, but she had no problem at all with the price. I thought wow, I might really have something here. I was hooked from then on and would pick up any solid wood pieces I thought had potential, much to my husband's dismay. We may or may not have had a huge argument over the space in the garage and how what I was doing was making a cluttered mess out of his garage. Little did either of us know it would become my full time job 7 years later.
I ventured into the professional world after college while still doing furniture on the side. It wasn't until my Dad got sick in 2015 that my perspective started to change. I was thinking more deeply on what it means to be happy and how short life really is. Was sitting at a desk in a small office all day what I had worked so hard in college for? My Dad passed away at the end of that year and it was a huge turning point for me. I got really brave and quit the job I had at the local community college, a job I had always wanted, to start working full time on my furniture business.
My Dad had seen how happy I was working on furniture and loved hearing about my latest project and seeing my pieces when they were finished. This was a bond that we shared, seeing value in everything and trying to make use of things other people saw as trash. He gave me the first real opportunity to work with my hands and I am forever grateful for that.
On that note, I would like to say thank you to all of my wonderful customers who have been with me since the beginning (you know who you are). I wouldn't be where I am without your love and support, so thank you! I could not do this business by myself, I am very lucky to have the support of my husband Chris...
...he helps with all the heavy-lifting and provides his own expertise on design styles and paint color options for the pieces I re-finish. Lets also not forget about Rosie and Wrangler who are by far the cutest co-workers I have ever had! Plus my extremely supportive family who are my cheerleaders and believe I can do anything I set my mind to do (L/R Cathy (sister), Rebecca (sister), Pam (mom), Bill (dad), me and Anthony (brother).
Now your probably wondering if I will ever get to the point where I tell you how I came up with my business name. It was actually quite uneventful, but to me it explains my style perfectly. Chris and I poured over different names we dreamed up in the very beginning when my business was in it's infancy. We looked at the pieces of furniture I was painting and loved their simplicity and saw beauty in pieces that were understated. To me, simplicity is beautiful and chic, so there you have it, Simply Chic.
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