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!
It was September 2016 & our current employer was moving in a different direction with their company. My husband, Nick, had an extensive background in refinishing & I had a long history of sales, social media & marketing. We thought about our options and the thing that made the most sense was to start our own business! And so it began...
We were pleasantly surprised (and overwhelmed) at how fast our business was growing! Not that we didn't think we would be successful; it all just happened so quickly! Before we knew it, our workshop was piled floor to ceiling with furniture to refinish for clients and for our inventory. We were full! It was time to start looking for a storefront.
Our workshop is in Huntersville & we also live in Huntersville (super close to the Charlotte border). It was a Monday or Tuesday while running out for a bite to eat when we came across a sign on the back of a strip of buildings. All it said was "available" with a number. I called & made an appointment to see a building on Thursday- wasn't even sure which building but we had to start somewhere, right?! We pulled up to a strip of old brick buildings. The man meeting us there to show the building tells us that they are over 100 years old and part of the original Main Street in Huntersville – the railroad track runs right in front. The outside wasn’t the most inviting thing you have ever seen but as soon as we went inside we fell in love. Don't get me wrong - it needed some SERIOUS work but especially being in the line of work that we are, we saw the potential through the scary-ness. The high original pressed tin ceilings, exposed brick in the back, & cool story... We knew it was the building for us.
This building needed lots of love. LOTS OF LOVE. We started with a little (who am I kidding – I mean a lot of) cleaning & came up with a game plan. To brighten things up, we decided to go with white walls and a cement gray floor. Outside paint would be charcoal gray with black doors & trim. We started painting and soon realized these walls were thirsty. Like 20 gallons of paint thirsty. Of course I took pictures constantly during this process and the before & after pics are more fantastic than I even imagined they could be. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I do!
Stay tuned for lots of fantastic-ness in our store & let us know if you need any furniture restoration help! We are very blessed & beyond thankful to be on this journey as business owners! I look forward to sharing regularly on our blog page. Let me know if there are things you would like to hear about!