Using my God Given Talent

This August we launched our furniture designs at Art in the Park in Holland, Michigan.  It down poured most of the day and many people left planning to come back when it let up.  It didn’t!  
Shortly before closing, the rain finally let up and by the Grace of God, we were blessed with many wonderful sales.  One gal even drove back from Chicago the following week to pick up a cedar chest she had seen that morning! 
We received so much positive feedback from our local community during Art in the Park that we decided to search for a local shop to sell our painted furniture.  We were accepted much sooner than we imagined and moved into Not So Shabby the following month.  Shizzle Design started off with a bang as we sold our most valuable piece the very first day!
Other large pieces have sold since then but we’ve noticed most of our sales come from smaller pieces of furniture and home décor.
What I’ve noticed so far is this: items under $100 sell quickly  while pieces that are a few hundred dollars take a while longer. 
That’s to be expected right?  I think it depends on the location and what the customer expects to find inside once inside the doors.  The name alone “Not So Shabby Antiques and Fine Furniture” seems like it should send the right message, but what are most people in this small town shopping for on a regular basis?
And if there are buyers out there looking for furniture that’s been re-loved with high end European Paint finishes, how will they discover our talent?  

Right now, I feel like we sell a piece of furniture only if someone happens to stumble upon it, not because they’re actually coming into the store in search of unique furniture.  
Maybe we need to give it more time; it’s only been a little over three months.  The owner told us we were doing great and offered us the front location in the showroom shortly after we moved it.  We moved into that space our second month. 
Then came the Christmas Open House in November.  I scrambled trying different ideas for unique gifts, several which didn’t work out     It dawned on me that though I can do many things, I’m passionate about writing and painting.

I’m a designer at heart who seeks to bring new life to quality built furniture that might otherwise be tossed aside.  

Using my God given talent for craftsmanship, I transform pieces so they’ll fit into today’s styles without losing the wonderful character that’s evolved over time.
While the Christmas Open House was going on at the Not So Shabby, we were painting more furniture for Macatawa Bank.  They’re featuring our business this month in the lobby of their Byron Center branch.  Here’s a couple of the pieces we have in for sale in the bank, an Antique Empire Chest of Drawers
and a neat Dining Room Table and Chair set. 
This was already featured by Redoux out of San Francisco.  What’s so confusing is trying to figure why so many designers across the nation have featured our furniture, yet locally we can’t seem to get the word out.  

Update…  It took a little while, but the word officially got out and we are jamming!  Mahalo Nui Loa for all your support!!

Since this post, I’ve learned so much.  I worked countless hours almost a year using these products but continued to have difficulties achieving a quality finish with their wax.  I tried other several other waxes by different companies, some were hard, other’s were a little easier to blend in and work with but also had those terrible fumes.  

I experienced months of reoccurring respiratory problems starting as soon as the weather got cold here and I had to start working within my workshop.  Even with my exhaust system, I was advised to remove all the chemical hazards from my environment and find another line of work or find green products to work with in an effort to get well.  

I replaced toxic, hand burning, chemical strippers with citrus based strippers (which work better anyway), pulled chemical laden paints, waxes, glues… and started searching for better products.

It was during that search that I discovered CeCe Caldwell’s all natural, eco-friendly chalk and clay based mineral paints.  It’s 100% Naturally Green ~ wahoo!! and I was geeked to find out that it’s owned and operated right here in the USA.  

From the first time I tried CeCe Caldwell’s paint and wax, I fell in love.   I know that sounds so dramatic, but after everything I went through, It was a God send.  This line is so much easier for me to work with; it’s so 
different than any other paint I’ve ever used.

For my style of painting, I can achieve a much more superior finish and can create it much faster eliminating the stress of working so hard to achieve something that’s easy with a chalk and clay mixture.  

I have so much faith in CeCe Caldwell’s line that I became an Authorized Retailer for them.  I carry a complete line of CeCe Caldwell’s Paints, Clear Wax, Aging Cream, Satin finish, brushes, color charts… locally at our Shizzle Design space within Not So Shabby Antiques and Fine Furniture in Holland, Michigan here as well as online on our Online Shizzle Shop here.  Shizzle Design offers all 36 colors in quarts as well as sample size pots.  You can learn much more about CeCe Caldwell’s amazing products by reading through my blog archives in the sidebar.   

If you live in West Michigan, CeCe Caldwell’s Paints can be found at the Shizzle Design booth in 

2975 West Shore Drive, Holland, Michigan here.  
You’ll find our display along side all our hand painted furniture and home decor.

Click here to see some of the furniture currently for sale. It is constantly evolving as it sells quickly.

Wanna See More Shizzle Design?

Thanx for stopping by!  A hui hou!

8 Replies to “Using my God Given Talent”

  1. Shelly, you ROCK at what you do, and you must just keep doing what you LOVE…I say do smaller pieces to offset..that has worked for me. It gets people in there and then they see something they never thought they were looking for and fall in love with it. Look at the small pieces as a way to bread crumb trail the people to you. Good luck and God bless….Have a BEAUTIFUL Christmas!!!

  2. Don’t get discouraged! I’ve been selling painted furniture in the Detroit area for about 6 yrs and it takes time to get ‘discovered’. Even if you don’t want to ship, list items on Etsy because it’s great, cheap advertising. Also posting on craigs list directing people to your store space has worked at least a few times for me. 🙂

  3. Shelly, you are so talented. Just keep on doing what you do best . It just takes time. Do Craigslist & direct them to your shop. Do facebook & link it to you blog & also direct them to your shop. Maybe seek out some interior designers & let them know what you specialize in. I do the same thing in the Flint area. I did the local farmers market. It all takes time.Word of mouth is the best advertisement. Hang in there, I think your doing great. I’m a big fan. Dee

  4. You are very talented and do beautiful work! Advice from a shopper on a budget would be to style your work in various ways. So instead of a chest of drawers that I may not need, display it as a linen chest or a craft room organizer or a bathroom piece to hold towels and bath items. Style the piece in a way that most of us wouldn’t think of and we will see it and “have to have it!” Good Luck, Keep the Faith and have a Merry Christmas!!

  5. Shelly, you are indeed talented. Your work is so beautiful and artistic!

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful post at Potpourri Friday! Have a very Merry Christmas and wonderful Holiday Season!

  6. I agree with what others have said here — Craigslist and contacting local interior designers (GREAT idea!). Also, have you thought about adding before-and-after photos to each of the items on the showroom floor (attached to the tag or even placed in a cheap picture frame on top of the furniture piece)? Because nothing says “wow” like seeing how icky something looked before and how great it looks now. AND, this would be a type of cross-marketing, too, because it’d show your talents and let people know that you can redo one of their beloved pieces at home, too!

  7. Hey Shelly! I just did a similar post today on my blog and just hopped over here and saw this title in “you may also enjoy reading…” so I clicked on it. I LOVE it! Just popping by to say hello and see what you’re up to! Pray all’s well with you! Have an awesome Wednesday and if you get time,stop by and read my post about my passion and talents! *deep breath* ;))

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