I’ve followed my dream. In 2007, I quit a perfect job in terms of income and location to start a company from home. I called it Simply Beautiful Spaces because it describes what my mission was – to simply create beautiful spaces for people. About four years ago, as my home became over-crowded and overwhelmed with client’s furniture and accessories, I started contemplating the idea of owning my own shop. If not, I’d have to curtail my little hobby turned crazy-busy, as there were times I couldn’t walk through my home. It bugged me and I certainly knew it bugged my husband, who is a classic Type A, borderline OCD neat-freak. But he never said a word and still treated me like the best woman in the world. Now THAT’s love. Mark deserves a trophy or two.
For years I did so much background research, bought and read many books, developed a business model and plan and waited for the right time. Timing IS everything. Since this month marks the fifth year in business, it seemed fitting to move upward and onward and open a shop and studio. There were some ups and downs and some suprising disappointments in the last several months, but God has a plan for everything. For me, it was to make the timing perfect so that I had the right space in the right place and wasn’t brought down by what turned out to be dishonest and unethical people. It was a teachable moment. I will always encourage other’s to follow their dreams, but if you find yourself in the midst of talking business or partnership with someone who hasn’t any business experience, please, please be wary of those who seem so sweet and nice – they’ll use your ideas and take everything they can – business plans, vendor lists, ideas, etc. Now I’m not putting this out there for you to feel bad, it’s just another example of how challenges can come and to not let it bring you down. Fortunately I am very blessed with genuine friends and a God given talent – I am an inspired and original thinker, and was able to adapt and use my creativity to change directions and move forward.
So here I am, occupying a little shop at 45 Walpole Street. The Shops of Amyclae. Perfectly situated and not located so far off the beaten path. Before I get to the great stuff, I want to share the progression of the shop from what it was when I first got it to what it is now.
I will have to give a huge thanks to so many people whose encouragement and love has kept me going and to the contractors who helped me:
- Danny Garrison of Picture Perfect Walls for helping me with the brick wall covering
- Sorin, Claudiu and their team from Medias Painting for walls and trim
- Jeremy from Sherwin Williams for the paint and samples for my clients
- Dorel and team from Creative Remodeling for installing my kitchen cabinets
- Roland of MC Electrical Service for fixing broken light fixtures
- Alex, my son for installing the floor and track lights
- My new team, Kathleen, Ty, Dave, Alex, Marissa and Kristal for helping me with tons of crates and boxes and inventory
- My husband, Mark, for being by my side and helping me with various projects.
Here are the before photos of the shop:
With some upcycled chandeliers and salvaged shutters, the bath is now more elegant!
Of course, we needed a fireplace for the shop.
I love unique pieces.This linen cabinet is currently holding some truly AWESOME 1820 House candles which you have to smell to truly appreciate. The cabinet would be fitting for a bedroom, bath or kitchen, even a foyer and can hold anything, even a collection of family photos and artifacts.
Before I go on, I wanted to point out that beautiful butterfly vase in the bookshelf – one of my plans for the shop is to bring in art and artifacts from local artisans. That vase was made by Dolena Sinclair of Art from the Heart. She and co-owner, Lisa, will have more items for the shop or you can go to their studio and learn to make wonderful glass and ceramic pieces of your own!
I ‘ve also been fortunate to meet a very creative woman who upcycles plastic shopping bags. Her creations have already made it to Hollywood at the Oscars and Emmys – now she’s creating a home accessory line just for us! Tina Dean Designs. Then there is Theresa Boutchyard, who walked in one day to buy pool supplies and found herself in the middle of my shop-in-progress. We hit it off so well and turns out she likes to upcycle furniture too! One of her pieces is already on display, you have to come in to see it! And last, but not least, Karen Presecan, Karen Presecan Photography a wonderfully genuine woman who has branched into art photography. I just LOVE the horses she brought in.
In additon to the wonderful offerings, I am also a crazy-hyper do-it-yerselfer who loves to share and show other’s how to change old pieces of furniture or objects into something different and beautiful. Depending on how the design work and shop rolls, my plan is to start teaching classes in 2013.
Here is Alex finishing up his first creation using an old bowfront chest we found in a nice man’s shed. He selected the colors, listened to his mom, and ….
A mixture of great finds to offer – even custom bedding and window treatments – truly MADE in the USA.
Now there are plenty of new and old finds when you come in. Some are very unique, one-of-a-kind pieces, others are customizable. You’ll have to come in to truly appreciate what we have to offer and come often – the items have gone fast and the landscape changes daily. Like us on Facebook to see new items and exclusive offerings we extend to our fans!
Come see us!