TEMPERANCE – Barbara Cassidy brings new life to old things with a coat of paint and a bit of creativity.
The Temperance resident owns and operates Vintage Finds & Redesign, 8955 Lewis Ave. in her hometown, a store specializing in vintage and antique furniture, upcycled jewelry, vintage clothing, fabrics and linens. The shop also sells furniture paint and offers do-it-yourself painting workshops and craft classes.
“Inspiring creativity and helping you DIY” is the store’s motto.
For at least two decades, Cassidy has had a passion for antiques.
“My shop has a variety of vintage items from furniture and lamps to linens and clothing,” she said. “I do have a vendor that offers candles and a vendor that makes jewelry out of old silverware. I also carry handmade greeting cards.”
Items for sale are set up in vignettes throughout the store.
“I have a wide variety of styles and colors. My items are not reproductions. I don’t order wholesale,” she said. “The majority of my items are one of a kind.”
Cassidy is always on the hunt for unique vintage items and antique furniture. Sometimes things are in pieces or missing parts and she enjoys the challenge of putting them back together.
There are times when upcycling means getting a fresh coat of paint and there are times when an item is beyond saving and Cassidy will salvage the good parts and re-purpose them into something useful.
“I’ve always been drawn to older things,” she said. “People ask me where I get things. I go to estate sales, thrift stores, auctions, garage sales and find items by the road. I have people who will come in and sell me items or sometimes I will go to people’s homes if they have a lot to sell.”
Cassidy’s intention when she opened the business was to have a workshop where she would paint furniture, stage it and then sell it online.
Her search for a quality furniture paint led her to not only use Fusion Mineral Paint but to carry it in her store. One side of the shop serves as a do-it-yourself painting workshop, where Cassidy offers three types of furniture paint – mineral, chalk and milk. She also carries decoupage papers and Iron Orchid Designs products like transfers, stamps and molds that can be used to decorate furniture, windows, boxes and signs. Workshops are offered featuring the products she carries.
“I also focus on things that you can upcycle,” she said. “We take old costume jewelry and we make Christmas art out of it.”
Cassidy’s style is eclectic. She likes a little bit of everything and although she likes white and gray, she also likes color, like navy blue, when it comes to painting furniture. She said black is always classic and many of her customers like off-white painted pieces. The majority of the furniture is distressed and chippy, a look that occurs when paint layers have chipped off to reveal more paint or wood underneath.
“The majority of the items in the store are vintage and they are quality items. I like the craftsmanship and the quality you get from old furniture,” she said. “I don’t like to see things go to waste or end up in a landfill. I can pick up a kneehole desk that’s missing a drawer. I can cut the top and make one of the sides a nightstand. There’s still something purposeful from that desk. Sometimes you can take the hardware off and salvage that. Many of the older pieces of furniture are better made and it can be repaired.”
Along with upcycling furniture, Cassidy teaches how-to workshops and plans to post a list of potential classes on her website. If four or more people are interested in taking a particular class, she will work with the group to schedule a date.
“You don’t have to be creative to upcycle furniture. I can teach a lot of it,” she said. “But you do have to be able to look at something and see it in a different way. You do need some creative vision.”
At a glance
Business: Vintage Finds & Redesigns
Owner: Barbara Cassidy of Temperance
Address: 8955 Lewis Ave. in Temperance
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday
Services: Vintage items and antique furniture, upcycled jewelry, vintage clothing, fabrics, linens and home décor. Furniture paint retailer and do-it-yourself workshops and art classes offered.