Hi friends, can I be one of those gushy people for a moment and just gush. I LOVE WHAT I DO! Not only do I love creating something new out of old pieces and furniture that was unloved, but I love the people I am meeting. Every month, I have had the chance to share with you someone from my favorite paint company, CeCe Caldwell’s. Not only do I love this paint, but it is the PEOPLE who make this company magical. If you want to read my thoughts on that, you can HERE. This month I got a chance to catch up with Mindy Jones from Pretty in Paint.
What an amazing woman Mindy is, not only is she so talented in transforming furniture, but she stages things beautifully,
Like this for a barn sale:
Mindy teaches workshops using CeCe Caldwell’s paints, and she is gorgeous!
Mindy is a CeCe Caldwell’s retailer for the Southern Oregon area, so if you live around those parts, go visit her, or take one of her fabulous classes.
She teaches people how to create beautiful things like this Santa Fe Turqouise table, and the other in Young Kansas Wheat
So….here we go!
GTC: How did you ever get into this business of “Redouxing” and crafting?
Mindy: As a kid I was always redecorating my room, and re organizing my closet, always changes things. I loved putting my clothes in color categories, I was constantly changing the look of my room, redesigning it. I have always been a “creative” person so to speak.
My husband is a home builder, but I never liked living in a new home. I always dreamed of living in an old, chippy paint with character home. I loved this look, but didn’t know how to create it. One day, at a yard sale, I was introduced to a Rachel Ashwell book. It was like a whole world had opened up to me. I loved everything about it, and I couldn’t get enough. I fell in love, I even went online to research some more of this “Shabby Chic” look and found Anthropology. There wasn’t an Anthropology near us, so my husband and I actually drove to Portland so I could see it in person. I was really sad when I started looking at the prices of things, knowing this was way out my range.
(GTC: I love Anthropology, but I wonder, who does buy that furniture? Hello? $9,000 for a beautiful dresser is not in my budget this month.)
Even though there was nothing in that store I could afford, it inspired me to try to achieve this same look myself. I began painting my own furniture and experimenting. I started building things, experimenting with barn wood, that kind of look. I truly wanted to find a niche to “sell” my creations, but I was so nervous to approach anyone. Finally, my husband convinced me I needed to try. I filled up my trunk with stuff I had painted and made, and drove to a nearby home décor store, that had fun, funky things, and I shopped at occasionally. I sat out front of the store and prayed for confidence to go in. I even called my husband for back up. Finally, I got up the nerve, brought a few things in, they loved it and took ALL OF IT!
From there, I started doing more furniture. My husband and I began putting the furniture in the homes we were building, then selling, using my furniture to “stage” them. The buyers began wanting to buy my furniture along with the house!
At this point, my husband convinced me, I needed to look for an outlet to sell my pieces on a regular basis. From there, Pretty in Paint was born. I started out with two spaces, but it became increasingly difficult to fill both spots. A wonderful opportunity happened, at one of my shops, they offered me the front part of the store, which is quite large, and this is where I am now.
Mindy: So meanwhile, my business began to grow more and more. I was blogging occasionally, and updating my Facebook page with my work. About two years ago, I found that I was fielding so many emails from people wanting to know how I had achieved the look I had. I started to feel like I truly had something to share, people were wanting to hear this, and I needed to be teaching these skill sets. I believe all that has come with my business are gifts, and I needed to share my gifts. When I began sharing and teaching some of my applications, amazing things happened. More doors opened for me, then I began helping people set up their own businesses. It truly has been such a joy to see women succeed in their creative endeavors, and be able to earn an income with their creative talents.
GTC: Now for the really fascinating part. How did you learn about CeCe Caldwell’s?
Mindy: I had been using another brand of Chalk Paint, which I really loved. I was not even aware there was any other kind on the market. This is a weird, but true story. About the beginning of this year, I woke up in the middle of the night, and could not get this idea out of my head that I needed to go research competitors to the “Chalk Paint” I had been using. This is not something I do! Get up in the middle of the night and start researching! I really couldn’t sleep until I began searching. I came across the CeCe Caldwell’s website. I was so intrigued. I loved that it was 100% green, and I was really interested because it was the only paint that had two kinds of clay. After reading all I could about it, I sent an email that I was interested in learning more. The next day, after only reading about this on the website, I told my husband that I wanted to sell this paint. I NEVER had thought about stocking paint, it wasn’t even on my radar. I just can’t explain it, I felt like I needed to be a part of this company, and I wanted to get involved with it before it became huge. I heard from Anne Skougard shortly after, who is the Western Distributor. It didn’t take long, and I was selling CeCe Caldwell’s here in Southern Oregon!
What really attracted me to this paint and this company were these things: The fact that is was clay and chalk, this really set it apart and intrigued me. The face that is made in the USA. The paint is 100% all natural. I have two children, and I paint inside all the time, I was so thrilled to learn I could paint inside all the time with this, and I do! It was an investment, but I NEEDED to be a part of this company. I really had just been thinking about something else I could do to supplement my income, that wasn’t as physically demanding, but I never considered selling paint. It just happened.
(Like maybe this guitar just got painted? I love it, a joke around here is that if it stands still too long, it will get painted).
I have been a retailer now since about February. And I cannot keep enough paint in stock, when people try this paint, they are completely loyal to it, and can’t wait to try more.
Last year was an exciting year. Not only did I become a retailer for CeCe Caldwell’s but I branded everything I was doing, with the “Pretty in Paint” logo and name.
(GTC:)This is something all creative bloggers who sell a product should take note of. Branding is a huge marketing tool that truly moves your work up a notch and helps people “recognize” your name and remember it.
Mindy: One of the things I love the most about this paint is teaching others how to use it. I once had a customer, she had no confidence in her ability to paint furniture. Once she had some CeCe Caldwell’s in her hand, she couldn’t believe how easy it was to transform something. Teaching people has been one of the best feelings, when they start painting, and they get the 2nd coat on, they are so inspired, it is so rewarding to see the excitement.
This is a fun picture from a workshop
I even have someone that flew in from Wisconsin to take one of my classes! She found my business on Facebook, and was so intrigued. She is a flight attendant, so she managed her route, so she could make it for one of my workshops! She tells me now that she tries to get to me and see “Pretty in Paint” on her route whenever she can.
GTC: What colors do you love the most?
Mindy: This is always a tough one. I use a lot of Vintage White,
I love Vermont Slate, especially together,
This is Vermont Slate, with a stencil done in Vintage White. (Oh my is this gorgeous!)
Here is a gorgeous buffet in Vermont Slate
but I REALLY love Destin Gulf Green. I have a picture pinned one of my boards of this gorgeous piano.
I just wanted to find someone who had a cool piano so I could paint it with Destin Gulf Green. I met a gal in my Bible Study class, I really didn’t even know her, we got to talking about my work. I was telling her about this piano I wanted to paint. She had a piano she wanted painted! Now this is the fun part, when I showed her the picture I had pinned of the piano I wanted to do, she had the EXACT same photo pinned!
GTC: Wow! That is two people and a can of Destin Gulf Green who are meant to be together!
GTC: What else do you love about CeCe Caldwell’s paints?:
Mindy: I love the colors, there are so many choices. I love that my daughter who is very artsy, paints with me.
“My daughters 1st piece of Furniture… using CeCe Caldwell’s Memphis Blue ** She said “Im gonna sand this baby and sell it!!” (LOL!!)
If I am doing a buffet, or something big, I let her do the legs, or some of the smaller parts. I love that I can paint in the house, because there is no VOC. One of the coolest things about the paint is that you can distress it with water! You can even make a wash out of it. It is so endlessly versatile. I love that there is easy cleanup, (we both wash our brushes in our kitchen sink) . It is such a forgiving, easy paint to use. Everyone loves to work with it. And I love to share it with others.