Happy almost Friday friends! I am having so much fun interviewing and getting to know some of the Western Region CeCe Caldwell’s retailers. I love getting to know the creative minds and having a conversation with like friends. I always end up feeling like I have made a new friend. With Monica, I feel like I have found an old friend. You know that feeling you get when you are first meeting someone, and you just click instantly? This is how it went with Monica. It was almost WEIRD how many random things we had in common. Monica has a great story to tell. She is an amazing person, and beautiful, inside and out!
GTC: Where did this all start? How did you get into the business of “Redouxing and Crafting?”
Monica: I have been into “this” for a long time. My father was a General Contractor. He used to bring home all kinds of junk to fix up (Sound familiar to anyone you know???). My dad was a “Dumpster Diver” before there was a term for this. He always brought home cool things, but my mom was not always so thrilled. I can remember as a 12 year old even, going out to “save” the furniture. Making it into something beautiful before my mom wanted it gone. Here I was, a 12 year old, stripping, sanding, and staining, and sometimes painting furniture. My dad had tons of tools, and I was able to use many of them. I learned early on how to restore and build furniture. (My dad would bring home things from time to time too, it is in our genetic makeup I guess!)
GTC: What did you do when you left home and had to pursue a “real life”?
Monica: I went to college, studied Corporate Banking (because I thought this was the responsible thing to do, not because I loved it). I did this for 8 years. I really disliked it. Coworkers would complain to one another about their children were too “needy” and they (their children) needed to be more independent. This went against everything I felt. I began looking for some line of work I could do more from home. I found my way into home appraising, (went through a very unpleasant apprenticeship), and then discovered, even though I was at home, this wasn’t really what I was looking for either. I was pretty much stuck to a computer all day.
(Monica is definitely a people person, this would drive me crazy!)
Monica: My reward to myself for finishing a certain amount of work, was to do a “project”. Not just a little project, I would go and remodel something in our home. My husband never knew what he was going to come to. (This sounds way too familiar, probably to many of you reading this!). One time we were having a new refrigerator installed, before it came, I decided to rip out the cabinetry surrounding. No problem, a little paint and it fixed it all!
(Not Monica’s home, but a funny idea! Surprise! I remodeled the kitchen while you were at work!)
Monica: Back to remodels….Another time while my husband was gone for a week on a business trip, I decided I would retile my boy’s bathroom, (Monica has two energetic boys, ages 6 and 3). After I ripped out the tile (which was far more difficult than I anticipated!), I noticed the subfloor was wet……all the way through to the master bedroom. There was a huge leak in the boys bathroom, and what started out as a minor project, turned into a HUGE remodel…..
Eventually, we moved to our current home in Alpine, which is about 30 minutes outside San Diego. Real Estate was slowing down quite a bit. Since we moved to a more rural location, I suddenly did not have access to friends and most of my conveniences, like a Target down the street. This forced me to turn back to my creative side. This time I decided to try my hand at painting furniture. I loved the “Shabby Chic” and Vintage look, and was not finding exactly what I wanted in the San Diego area, so I decided to fill this niche myself!
We had a terrible accident with our oldest son about this time. It was a very hard time for me, and I soon learned that painting was one of the best things for me to help me come out of the trauma I had experienced. (Monica’s son is doing fine, but life has a way of changing direction on you when you least plan). About this time, another Chalk Paint came on the market and I loved it. When we moved, I couldn’t find it. Instead, I found CeCe Caldwell’s at Urban Barn. I went online to see where else it was sold. The company was so new, it was barely hitting the shelves nationwide at this point. I had been truly praying and looking for a new way to earn money that would bring me great joy. Anne Skougard (The Western Distributor for CeCe Caldwell’s paints) called me on President’s Day weekend. She asked me if I would be interested in selling the paint myself! I hadn’t thought of this at all, and didn’t take it too seriously. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized this was the absolute perfect job for me.
This is one of Monica’s creations. Clearly her “experiments” are working!
I finally found a paint I can use anywhere in my home. My children are with me all the time while I paint. I used to be so nervous they would “mess up” my paint jobs, but CeCe Caldwell’s paints has turned my passion into a family business. My kids can even put their fingers in something I just painted, and I can just “brush” right through it again. If I am doing a table, or something where the underside needs to be painted, my boys get in there and help me paint. If I want a very “rustic” look, my boys are great at painting too.
This is really rustic, but gorgeous!
One of my favorite things about this paint, is that it allows my boys, to “disconnect” their minds for a little while, from having to control themselves, and they can just create.
GTC: I understand your paint business extends beyond your immediate family too?
Monica: Yes, my mother, Meridith Hess is a retailer in the Salt Lake City, Utah area. It has been so wonderful to be able to share our passion together, and to bounce ideas off each other. The most amazing thing about this paint is that we, my mother, myself and my grandmother were all able to paint together. My grandmother used to be a very talented artist. Sadly, she has macular degeneration, and it has been difficult for her to see well. We were able to give my grandmother a paintbrush, and the three of us worked on a piece of furniture together. My grandmother loved it, and it was wonderful for her to be able to create again.
GTC: So you have turned CeCe Caldwell’s paint into something 4 generations can use together at the same time! That is wonderful!
GTC: What is one of your favorite colors?
Monica: I really love Vermont Slate, I did a desk with it, that had a leather top. I foiled the top (decorative foiling, so cool if you haven’t tried this, look it up), then I painted the rest in Vermont Slate. It is my favorite piece of furniture.
This is gorgeous!!!
GTC: What else would like everyone to know about why you love CeCe Caldwell’s paints?
Monica: I love that this paint is made in the U.S.A. I am all about supporting American Jobs. I love that this paint is 100% natural. I love that there are no fumes, nothing that will harm myself or my children. I love that the colors are named after cities and areas of the United States.
I love that CeCe Caldwell’s gave me my joy and happiness back. My story is a story of redemption. It helped me to pull out of a very dark time. To be able to finally find my passion, and now to be able to share this with my family, my children and everyone else!
GTC: Where can someone buy CeCe Caldwell’s paint from you?
Monica: It can be found at Urban Barn, 155 W Crest St, (between Broadway & Escondido Blvd), Escondido, CA 92025
Monica: My website, coming soon at Chic Revive!
Monica’s site is under construction, I will let all of you know when it comes online, in just another week or so!
Thanks so much Monica! I had so much fun chatting with you, and I know we will be “talking” more in the future!