knitted uggs woman furniture restoration business takes flight
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A fascination turned into a means for Shiloh Richner to earn a few extra bucks while she stayed home preparing to become a first time mom.
It’s now become a full time operation for the 26 year old who just moved her furniture refinishing business, From Drab to Fab, out of the basement into a new Mayfield storefront back in November.
Shortly after quitting her job in 2014, Ms. Richner, a Keystone College graduate with a degree in sports and recreation, bought an old desk and chair combo for the baby’s room at a yard sale.
She cleaned it, painted it and lugged it upstairs only to find it didn’t fit, so she tried selling it on a flea market style Facebook page.
“I posted it on there and it sold in like two hours,” she said.
In short order, she was selling her refinished pieces to customers seeking sturdy furniture at reasonable prices.
Her business, in the WSK Plaza between Archbald and Carbondale along the Scranton/Carbondale Highway, is packed with finished projects for sale, as well as custom commission work most of which she treats with her homemade paint. Many look fashionably weathered after Ms. Richner uses sandpaper to artificially distress the furniture.
Wearing paint smudged jeans and rugged style Ugg boots, she pointed out end tables,
dressers and chairs all painted with slightly different techniques to achieve a unique look.
“I want you to love it, because if you love it then you’re going to use it,” she said of her work.
Heather Percival, a commercial insurance agent from South Abington Twp., was one of Ms. Richner’s first customers who has refurnished much of her home after remodeling and building an addition.
“She’s definitely creative in the colors and the distressing techniques that she uses,” Mrs. Percival said. “But she also keeps it simple.”
Ms. Richner, who lives in Greenfield Twp. with fiancee Jake Byrnes and their daughter, Kinsley, makes and sells her own chalk paint, a trendy designer fad made with plaster of Paris that can cost as much as $40 for a quart. She offers made to order colors at a price that undercuts much of the competition, she said proudly.
She avoids serious repairs or reupholstering, although she can replace chair cushions and make other simple fixes. There’s enough of a market for refinishing between her hometown in Honesdale and Wilkes Barre to keep her busy every week, she said.
Some clients, she’s found, would rather pay for a little guidance and the materials to refinish their own furniture, so she hosts private or group refinishing parties for up to eight people.