How many of you, my lovely readers, have inherited pieces of furniture from friends and family members? Sometimes we acquire these pieces willingly and other times unwillingly – we just get stuck with them.
The big question arises – what should we do with these treasured heirlooms? Here are the usual options – can they be incorporated as is, in our current design scheme? Should we paint or modify it to fit into our home? Should we dispose of it or sell to someone else? And lastly, and I am guilty of this option – put it in the garage or attic and worry about it later?
Cari Majors owner of Distressed Nest Boutique turned this particular dilemma into a full time business. I had the pleasure to sit down and chat with Cari last week at her store and get to know her and find out about her business. I hope you enjoy my first official interview!!
Barb – Hi Cari, tell me a little bit about why you started your business?
Cari – It’s kind of a sad story. Over the course of 6 years I lost my mom, dad, and brother. My brother was killed in an accident while riding his motorcycle. He was 22 and just got back from serving in Iraq. My Mom developed COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) from radiation treatments she had had in the 1980’s. My Dad and I cared for her for 5 years before she passed away.
After my Mom’s funeral, my Dad thought he had broken his collar bone from lifting the casket, only to find out it wasn’t a broken bone, but he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma! He was a veteran of the Vietnam War, and the cause of this type of cancer is from the Agent Orange used during battle.
After all this, I was left with a house full of stuff. I felt very overwhelmed, and I knew I couldn’t get rid of any of it, so I started researching what I could do with it all and I came across painting furniture pieces. So I signed up for a class.
Barb – Where did you take your first class?
Cari – I took my first class at Robyn Story Designs in Tampa, and started painting some of my pieces.
Barb – Why did you turn your new hobby into a business?
Cari – After I closed my family’s trust, I took a deep breath and realized I needed to spend more time with my husband and two children. Simultaneously my painting projects as a side business started taking off. At first I was doing projects for friends, which turned into referrals.
I had worked in St. Pete as a Software Engineer for 13 years, and decided to go part time in June of last year. After a couple months I got so busy I quit my job because I felt like my job was getting in the way of my hobby!
Barb – What products do you offer your customers?
Cari – When I opened up my shop I knew I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket, so I started researching other vendors to bring their products in to sell. I currently have four other vendors in the store with me and together we sell jewelry, painted furniture pieces, and home décor.
One thing that was really important because of my parents’ deaths was to use and sell a paint that was all natural. No fumes, zero VOC. The brand I use and sell in the store is American Paint Company, which is made in the US.
Barb – What are some of the services you offer your customers?
Cari – I do custom painting for my customers and I teach workshop classes. We usually offer one or two classes per week. One of our most popular classes is called “Wine and Design”. Everyone brings their own wine, and we finish a project in one evening. Some of the projects we have done in the past have been picture frames, wreaths, chalk boards, and monograms.
We have classes for all levels, from beginning to advance painting techniques. You can bring in your own item (as long as you can carry it under your arm) and paint it during the class in our work room.
The engineer in me is always trying to learn new things and to apply these new concepts, and share with others what I have learned.
Barb – Thank you Cari for your time! It has been such a pleasure getting to know you – Do you have anything else you would like to say to our readers?
Cari – I have been able to take something so sad and tragic and make something good out of it!
If you would like to get more information about Distressed Nest Boutique, please give them a call at 813 602-1362 or you can visit their showroom located at 4357 Lynx Paw Trail in Valrico. You can also visit their website here.