Wednesday, January 4, 2017

This Isn't Always Pretty But Always Worth It

Happy New Year, Friends!!
2016 was such a great year for my business but 2017 better get ready for me. I'm coming at it with determination, excitement and commitment. 

I opened my Etsy store in 2010 but it didn't really take off until 2013. 
That's when I really zoned in on furniture painting and began working out the shipping aspect of running an online shop. Please don't be fooled by my photos...

This isn't always pretty.

I have second guessed myself in every aspect of my life but working alone and convincing others to believe in my work has hands down left me feeling more uncertain than any thing else I've experienced. 
Confidence is a tough one for me. 

This isn't always pretty.

I always receive comments about my photos..."Where do you take your photos?", "Do you just use things from your house?", "How do you do all of this so quickly?" 
You get the idea. These are common questions I get asked and I 
wanted to answer them in a post. 

This isn't always pretty.

 I take all of my own my own what is designed to be a formal dining room but serves as my "staging room and holding room". Occasionally, I'll buy things that I plan to just use for staging my more times than not, all of the things you see in my photos are somewhere in my house, always moving and looking for a new shelf or table to rest upon. I can make a pretty huge mess while staging a piece to photograph.

This isn't always pretty.

As far as painting pieces so quickly...I don't know for sure how to answer the question. I'm one to start a project and get through it at a pretty good pace, however, I've learned to be flexible with my constant changing schedule. This has taken time for me to learn. I prefer to start a piece and not do anything else until it's finished but for those of you who also paint, you know this is close to impossible due to drying times or in my case, my hand/arm/back needs a break.
I don't feel like I'm "fast", though. I do all the furniture hunting, pick up my furniture ( 95% of the time ) paint alone, stage alone and photograph alone. I even do all of my social media outlets. The one thing I do always have help with is unloading furniture from my car ( thanks to strong boys at my house ) and carrying the furniture in and out from our garage. 

This piece has a base color of white...this was on this dresser when I purchased it.
The lighter blue is Beaufort Blue from CeCe Caldwell's Paints.

This gorgeous dark blue is an Aurora Staining gel from Heirloom Traditions Paint called Boy Blue. It's so fun to use and I just let it drip and drip and drip. 

So, yes, I'm always learning and trying to better my work but I will honestly say, this job isn't easy. The photos may be pretty but working alone is tough. I do things around here I shouldn't while ignoring the little voice in my head telling me to wait for help. Wait and get an opinion. Wait and ask a few more questions....

This isn't always pretty.

I painted this armoire in Old School Gray and accented with this Bohemian Blue, both colors from Debi's Design Diary DIY Paints.

Staging with holiday decor is so much fun. Poinsettias give the bold color
 and texture that make a photo really pop. 

I used Klein Blue on this little antique cabinet. I adore this color, as I always say, and when it's paired with Patina Green, well, Bam! These are colors from General Finishes and are on my list of favorite paint colors

YOUR kindness AND support are what drive me to get better.  Maybe, I won't always be working alone.  Maybe, I will hire someone to pick and haul my furniture. Maybe, I'll trust someone to do my social media advertising for me. 

Maybe I won't.

This isn't always pretty but always worth it.

I would LOVE to hear what your plans / goals are for this year.  Have you made your list yet? I'm working on mine and plan to share in my next post.

I hope you all are off to a great 2017!



  1. Hi Dione, thanks for writing about how much work it is to run your own furniture biz as I am in the same business and do everything by myself just like you. Until I need someone to help load, unload my truck and move things from the garage to my living room where I try to keep one bare wall just for pictures and then into the basement to wait for its new home. That's the part I hate the most, some of these pieces are beasts. Honestly I wish that was something I could do that by myself just because I would not have to wait for my husband to come home from work to help me move the piece around. And then of course I have to wait to continue the next day because by that time it's the evening and my mom/wife duties call. It can be quite lonely at times doing everything alone. My business hasn't boomed yet so I don't get a lot of interaction from those who follow my pages but I try interact with other artist such as yourself and it helps me not feel so lonely. Anyways, I just wanted to thank you for shining light on those who think this is a lot easier than it looks and that we have an army of people behind the scenes making everything run smoothly when it's not true. And thank you for your daily inspirations on all my social media feeds, I always look forward to your pictures when scrolling and you always stop me at my tracks. Your are an amazing woman and someone to look up to, I admire your work!
    Thank you,
    Carmen Gomez

    1. Thank you, Carmen!😊 I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and share with me!

  2. Fantastic work! Thanks for sharing and I'm so glad I ran across this today. I have been doing the same things day in and day out for nearly six years now and it's always an adventure with the picking, hauling, quest for perfect staging that makes a great photo, digging around in boxes and closets for those perfect staging pieces, endless lamp and rug choices, etc. Your pieces are quite stunning and I'm guessing no two will ever be alike!
    Elaine Childress- Portilla Design

    1. Thanks, Elaine! I love hearing from like minded ladies.

  3. Loved this post! This year I am anxious to start an Etsy shop, but so far I have been intimidated by the prospect of long distance shipping. Do you have any tips?

    1. Go for it!! I've made many mistakes along the way and have no doubt that I'll make more. Trust yourself!

  4. Ur awesome and thanks for sharing!! In addition to "getting better as a painter", my goals for this year consist of figuring out how to balance running a new antique shop, while still having time to hunt, haul, paint, photograph and list... somehow the 6 day a week schedule of the new shop has gotten in the way of all the rest, but I am looking forward to figuring it out! My kids r grown now, I'm retired, and I own the store w my mom, so its perfect timing and a fun experience, althou daunting at times! In addition to that balancing act, I'm determined to start my blog soon,,,(its only been a goal of mine going on 3 years now :-)) Thanks again for ur works of art and inspiring painters like me to just keep getting better!

    1. Wow! I'm so impressed! Thanks for sharing and commenting. Cheers to a new year full of opportunity!!

  5. You are doing a fantastic job! Us, women, tend to be our own worst critic. Based on all your hard work and success, though, I advise that you do start looking for help. Specifically, help with your social media. There are many online companies that do nothing but help advertise and promote businesses. It's not very expensive and will save you lots of time and added stress.

    Lindsey @ Nosto