Where it all Began ~ Shizzle Design launch at Holland’s Art in the Park, 2011

Three years ago today, my sister Cathy and I launched our painted furniture business at Holland’s Art in the Park.  


It was August, 2011.  I keep thinking it’s been four years (the brain doesn’t function quite like it used to!).

We are so very thankful for where God has led us since and can’t believe the changes that have occurred over these past three years.  I woke up this morning welcoming the new day.  I was excited to go to work because we’re doing some really cool pieces right now (stay tuned).

Shizzle Design painted furniture 2018 Chicago Drive, Jenison, MI 49428

Shizzle Design painted furniture 2018 Chicago Drive, Jenison, MI 49428 2






















but even more than that, I’m really excited to go shopping at this year’s Art in the Park.  I can’t WAIT!!  It will always have a special place in my heart!  LOVE this show!!  I wanted to share with any of you new followers with how we started and possibly inspire you to push yourselves beyond your comfort zones.  You never know what will happen!

August 2, 2011 I vividly remember the lady telling me they had never been rained out…

Shizzle Design Debut at Art in the Park, Holland, MI  2011
but… just as my sister got in the van, it started to sprinkle.  I didn’t say anything but my jaw dropped when we pulled out the driveway and headed toward the lake shore.  Our raindrops weren’t part of a passing shower.  The entire sky was full of rain!
Miraculously, the rain stopped just as we reached Holland’s Centennial Park and held off while we off loaded our vehicles.  Then, just as the 42nd Annual Art in the Park opened,
                CATS & DOGS!
                               for HOURS!

Shizzle Design Booth at Holland’s Art in the Park, 2011

If you look behind our tents, you can see the other “experienced” vendors tarping their tents because it was POURING!

Shizzle Design booth at Holland’s Art in the Park, 2011
I kept trying to shoot photos of our booth, but the rain messed up most of my shots 🙁

We finished this vintage desk and chair the night before the show!

The pigeon hole cubbies were perfect for organizing clutter.  It also featured a cool shelf underneath for storing books…   I decoupaged the top with vintage looking paper.  And… of course, I solicited my sister Cathy to custom line the drawer with fabric for that unexpected surprise.

My sister Cathy and I had worked for months preparing for Art in the Park

We had absolutely no idea how we would do.

Neither one of us has the highest self esteem

but that day proved to be a a true blessing

Despite us being brand new and the lousy weather, we sold…

this French Provincial Coffee Table – it was first to go

Shizzle Design’s Furniture Debut at Holland’s Art in the Park, 2011

 Shoppers started gathering

under our tent

as the rain continued to

flood the park.

My Venetian Bronze faux finished Candelier was 2nd to go and we were off and running!!

 It looked so pretty hanging under our gazebo.  I need to do another one for my back yard!

The pink gooney bird mosaic chair planter went home with a lovely lady who made time to dress up as a princess  with her beautiful granddaughter.  How awesome is that!  This was one hip grandmother!!

We also sold oodles of cup and saucer bird feeders, candle holders & yard stakes!

We also sold EVERYTHING in the picture BELOW ~ Wahoo!!  less packing!!

This is the only shot I have of the adorable skirted oak chair & little French nightstand

Cathy does such a great job of adding skirts to chairs.  She’s as meticulous as our dad was with his upholstery.  I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

Another lady drove back from Chicago to get this cedar chest the following week.  

There was also a cute little red chair from the 1800’s that never was captured on the camera because it was gone in the blink of an eye.  There’s a little story behind THAT one.  When I was half through painting it, I noticed a burnt-in logo on the bottom of the chair.  I joked to my sister that it’s probably worth “something”.

As I’m slathering paint all over it, I heard Cathy gasp.  Two had just sold exactly like it on Ebay for $400 EACH!  OOPS!!  We try to do a little research on pieces we refinish, but I never imagined in all my wildest dreams that little ‘ole chair would be worth that kind of money.  Live and learn!

All those sales, all that interest, incredible feedback and awesome contacts happened on a miserably rainy day; our very FIRST day unveiling our new business.  We were blessed beyond our wildest dreams and are so very grateful  of how God continues to stretch us and bless us with our gift of craftsmanship.
Many thanx to each and every one of you who did brave the elements and stopped by to check us out Saturday!  We truly do appreciate your business!
Thanx again, Shelly
Since this post, we’ve grown and 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 recurring respiratory problems and even with my exhaust system, I was advised to remove as many chemical hazards from my environment as possible or find another line of working order to get well.I replaced toxic, hand burning, chemical strippers with citrus based strippers (which work better anyway), pulled chemically laden paints, waxes, glues… and started searching for better products.  That search eventually led me to the products we still use today.  We now over a vast array of all natural, eco-friendly chalk and clay based mineral paint supplies.  I for one, will never go go back to those toxins.
I know that sounds so dramatic, but after everything I went through, It was a God send.  The paint we use now is so much easier to work with.  It spreads easier, covers better, adheres well and the wax and finishes have been life changing!  I can get so much more work done now because everything is so much easier to work with.  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 love these paints so well that I decided to share what I do with our followers.  We proudly offer American Paint Company Paints, Frenchic Furniture Paint, Old Town Chalky Style Paints & Vintiquities Fine Paint and Wax Brushes in the Greater Grand Rapids area.  We also sell worldwide via our Online Shizzle Shop.  

shizzle design paint studio 2018 Chicago Drive Jenison MI American Paint Company CeCe Caldwell's Paints retailer buy chalk clay instructor workshops paint retailer 1

  • Did you know…

    • Shizzle Design is a small family owned business in Jenison, Michigan.  My sister Cathy and I work, paint, ship and teach our chalk and clay paint workshops out of the same space where we paint all our furniture.  We are truly humbled to be known as a leader in the world of chalk and clay paints.
    • Instead of hoarding our knowledge, we empower DIY’ers by sharing our years of experience.  Stop in for paint and we’ll offer you honest and knowledgeable answers for all your chalk and clay paint needs.
    • We are so blessed to have taught people from all over the United States and Canada.  Join us for one of our super fun hands-on chalk and clay paint workshops.  Learn in our casual & relaxed environment.  Click Paint Workshops to see a list of current classes offered.
    • Subscribe to Shizzle Design for tips, tutorials, ideas, pictures, videos for our furniture painted in all natural chalk and clay based mineral paints.
    • Did you know that you can get these sent directly to your inbox and that it’s FREE?  It is ~ what are you waiting for?  Enter your email in the right hand column of our blog to stay in the loop.
    • We have a Shizzle Design Facebook Page.  We share all sorts tips, ideas, photos EVERY DAY and offer special deals (which you’ll only know about if you’ve Liked our Facebook Page).
    • Pin our posts on Pinterest ~ Find all sorts of inspiration here.
    • We sell our painted furniture in our Shizzle Design Paint Studio at 2018 Chicago Drive, Jenison, MI 49428 and at Not So Shabby Antiques and Fine Furniture at 2975 West Shore Drive in Holland, Michigan
    • Shizzle Design is an Authorized Retailer for American Paint Company Paints.  We offer a large inventory of chalk and clay paint and supplies at our Shizzle Design Paint Shop /Studio,  2018 Chicago Drive, Jenison, MI  49428.  We also stock several other shops in the greater Grand Rapid’s area, to find out where, click LOCATIONS.  Not from Michigan?  No worries, we ship paint and paint supplies worldwide through our Online Shizzle Shop.

    Click here to see Shizzle Design Painted Furniture Makeovers


    Click here to see our Shizzle Tips, How To Tutorials & Video’s


    Click here to see Funky Finishes


    Linking up to these GREAT Parties!

    Domestically Speaking – The Power of Paint Party
    The Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday
    Miss Mustardseed – Furniture Feature Friday
    Redoux – Friday Link Up Party
    Homespun Happenings – Rustic Restorations Weekend
    Funky Junk Interiors – Saturday Night Special
    Silver Pennies – Silver Pennies Sundays
    Knick of Time Interiors – Knick of Time Tuesday

3 Replies to “Where it all Began ~ Shizzle Design launch at Holland’s Art in the Park, 2011”

  1. What a sister DUO! I love to read your new posts so I can attempt to try doing the same thing. I have a rented space – ‘When Pigs Fly’ at a new antique mall, ‘My Favorite Things’, here in West Texas, Odessa! The ‘Pig ‘ is doing great! I can’t wait to visit my sister, JoAnna Truemper. Valparaiso, IN.
    who attended one of your workshops, and have the opportunity to attend a workshop. Love everything you paint! God is good!

  2. I am so excited that I happened upon your web page. The first time I saw painted waxed furniture was about 3 years ago in a second hand store. I fell in love with the silky smooth finish and the colors. I have been trying to find someone that knew this technique ever since and have been unsuccessful. I decided to try it myself so I did a web search and found you!!! I can’t wait to start my first project. Thank you for sharing your designs and techniques!!

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