We get asked this question a lot when people walk into our showroom... "Where do you find all your stuff?"
The answer to that question is not a simple one. It is definitely a full time job looking for good furniture that is on it's last leg. Most of the pieces we buy for inventory look really rough and we put a ton of work into them (we being Nick - I am more of a cheerleader that's good on a computer)! Whether we are looking online for pieces, walking through an antique mall, or searching through a pile of junk - we are loving every minute of it. It's such a good feeling to run into a piece randomly that we know can be saved and taking it to the workshop.
I wanted to share a couple of my favorite "picking stories" and hopefully not scare anyone away. Just so everyone knows - all of the pieces advertised as newly refinished have REALLY been newly refinished. When we say this we mean - all joints have been made sturdy, wood is sanded down (no harsh chemicals), stain applied (most of the time), and layers of protective clear coat applied. No shortcuts - we keep it real. The same goes for all the restoration jobs we take in. Anyway - on with the stories...
This particular picking day was really special. It was the first time we went picking knowing that we were starting Fos Restoration Co. We saw an OPEN sign on the side of the road next to what looked like an abandoned warehouse along with a bunch of old weathered chairs. We decided it would be a good idea to go in and see what was up. The door made literally a bird noise when we walked in and I jumped, obviously (spaz), and a huge man with a ripped white T walked around the corner to greet us. We walked in and up and down the "aisles" (if you can call them that) for a little bit - not really seeing anything. All of a sudden my eye caught a mid century modern walnut dresser near the back door. I found the man that greeted us when we came in - lets call him Jimmy - and asked him how much. He said they were getting ready to paint it (oh please Lord don't do it) but gave me an as-is price with 1 matching nightstand. While talking a little bit with him, I realize he is wiping something off the top of the dresser. I didn't pay much attention to what he was wiping at first. We kept talking and I soon realized it was bird poop. Bare hand wiping this bird poop off of the dresser. I am doing my VERY best to not bust out laughing at this point and hoping that I don't catch Nick's eye because I will lose it... We pay for the dresser and nightstand and get it loaded up. As soon as we are in the jeep and pulling off we both started cracking up. WAS JIMMY REALLY WIPING THAT WITH HIS BARE HAND like it was no biggie. Yes - and we love him for it.
Another memorable picking trip - we see ANTIQUES painted really big on the side of what looked like a shack that someone may or may not live in. We pull into the "parking lot" and sit there for a minute to make sure we are really curious enough to risk our lives (LOL). So we decided it would be a good idea - yet again - to go in and see what was up (what? why?) . We walk through a hallway and into a really surprisingly nice-ish antique mall. We meet the owner - lets call him Moe - and he wants to show us around in some outside storage that he has. He had all kinds of stuff - old signs from gas stations, a stockpile of old windows, doors, home-made outhouses - so interesting what people collect. Love it! We scored some funky oak end tables & a matching coffee table that day - and it didn't turn into Texas Chainsaw Massacre so that's a huge plus. Good times with Moe!
We love finding treasure and meeting great people. This job allows us to do both on a regular basis and we really are so lucky. I am sure I will have more great stories in the future - I hope you got some good mental pictures from these and got a laugh out of them. Have a great weekend!