Happy almost weekend friends!! I hope you are enjoying the last days of July. Summer is ending for moi soon. My kids start school next Tuesday!!!
Luckily, I can still make time to blog. I am so excited to introduce you to these two fabulous women from Arizona.
Jennifer Robb and Nancy Rhodes are the geniuses behind this gigantic furniture Nirvana
If you live in the Phoenix area, then you probably know all about “Furniture Affair”. Furniture Affair is a 28,000 square foot design playroom. These gals have everything from Model Home furniture, to all kinds of vintage pieces, and have “themed” rooms! I think I could spend a month in this store and still not see it all.
Even though they have furniture for everyone, and top brands from top designers at bargain prices, their favorites are the pieces that they makeover themselves with their staff. They use CeCe Caldwell’s paints and finishes. They also sell the paints, have a huge area for workshops, and even have “before and afters”, so you can purchase the furniture as is, buy some paint, and be the artist yourself!
I can’t get enough of people’s stories of how they arrived in the “redouxing” business. Everyone has such a unique story to share.
Nancy was a stockbroker in her past life, and says, “she wasn’t very good at it”. Nancy knew she needed a change, and she needed money! She was broke, single, and decided it was high time to start her own business. To cheer herself up, Nancy would often visit model homes, that were decorated to the nines. Nancy would daydream about herself living in these beautiful places. (I did this for years too before I had 3 kids!!!!) Having a furniture store, where things were stage beautifully began to be a dream about to become a reality for Nancy. Nancy had never dreamed of being in the furniture biz, but here it was. Unfortunately, every estate sale and used furniture store she came across, Nancy says, “the furniture had an old smell to it”.
These frames I am sure do not smell!
Nancy shifted gears and went back to her Model homes. In her spare time, she started “cold” calling contractors and tracking people down to find out what they did with the model home furniture after the homes sold. Nancy entered this market of selling Model Home furniture, long before this was such a booming business. Shortly thereafter, the furniture started pouring in from model homes all over and “Furniture Affair” was born. This was over 20 years ago. Not too long after, she brought on her partner in crime, Jennifer Robb.
Nancy’s motto when getting started was “My Furiture doesn’t stink’!! (LOL!)
This is adorable, definitely no stink here!
Jennifer’s story was vastly different. Jennifer spent her teenage years with a babysitting business. She even subcontracted babysitting! One of the family’s children Jennifer worked for had a Grandmother who had a boutique. It was the busy holiday season, and a crisis occurred. A gift wrapper hadn’t shown up and the Grandmother asked Jennifer is she would fill in. Jennifer loved working in a store so much that a career in retail was sealed into her future. Jennifer says she always had jobs in retail, but it hadn’t occurred to her to actually pursue this as a career.
Jennifer went to school to become a journalist, but ultimately, retail won out.
When the market began to change, and new home building slowed, the inventory for Furniture Affair started to change. Nancy and Jennifer realized they had to diversify in order to keep up with a changing market. Beginning with having a picker , they started with beautiful “gently used” pieces. The more Jennifer and Nancy bought, the more they realized they wanted to do their own “picking”.
obviously they “studied” this market well!
Market changes again, and suddenly painted furniture is on the rise and there are new breeds of paint on the horizon. Jennifer started researching paint brands and found CeCe Caldwell through bloggers and Facebook!! (We do have a lot of power in this world!)
I had a chance to interview both of these amazing women and here are some fun things I discovered:
GTC: What attracted you to CeCe Caldwell’s paints?
Jennifer: Nancy and I are very focused on supporting local and small businesses. We try to buy local and be as “Green” as we possibly can. CeCe Caldwell’s fit our concept perfectly.
GTC: What did you think of CeCe Caldwell’s the first time you had that paint brush in your hand and some CeCe’s on the bristles?
Jennifer: Well to start with, Nancy and I are not artists, but we are both a little bit crazy. The first thing we noticed was how easy it was to use and transform an old piece of furniture. CeCe Caldwell’s is the lazy person’s paint. No prep, no primer and it goes on so easily. I have created things that I think belong in Architectural Digest. (I think we all feel so proud of some of our masterpieces!). You don’t have to be a creative genius to be brilliant and create.
Everyone gets into the act at Furniture Affair, this is brilliant!
GTC: Do you have a favorite color?
Nancy: Destin Gulft Green, I would paint everything this color!
Jennifer: Destin Gulf Green, I painted some frames this color, and they all came out so beautiful!
GTC: What is one of your favorite things about using CeCe Caldwell’s paints?
Jennifer: The versatility! Layering, the color combinations are endless, and I have even painted fabric with it! (me too!) You can read all about the fabric painting adventure at their blog post “Where we discover our inner French and attempt the unbelievable”
GTC: What gets you up and motivated in the morning?
Jennifer: Finding new stuff and making the world more beautiful one piece of junk at a time. (Darn, I wish I had thought of this for my motto first!)
GTC: How would you describe what you do?
Nancy: Furniture Store owner, Dumpster Diver, Business person, and Paint peddler.
If you live in the Phoenix area, or you find yourself visiting there, you must stop in to meet these gals. I had SO much fun doing this interview. They are both HILARIOUS! I can see why CeCe Caldwell’s paints sell so well in their store! CeCe Caldwell’s is such a fun paint to use. What a fun place to shop! A place that sells pieces wearing some CeCe, buy some for yourself, and even take a class to learn how be brilliant too!
If you would like to visit the store in person, here is the info:
Monday-Saturday 10-6 & Sunday 12-5
15602 North 7th Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85022