I am so excited to introduce you to my new friend, Melissa Sayler of The Vintage Attic
Doesn’t Melissa look like someone you could just enjoy a relaxing afternoon with?
Melissa is so talented, but so humble! When we were first setting up our “interview” time, she was telling me she wasn’t sure she had anything interesting to share. I laughed and just reassured her that EVERYBODY has a story. I especially love to hear from other creative’s stories of howthey landed in this funky field of furniture painting!
Melissa has a story to tell, and it is a good one. So settle in and enjoy!
GTC: So many people “happen” into this business by accident, or it is a hobby turned profession. Everybody comes to it in different ways. Everybody’s story is personal and sweet. How did you arrive to the to your current place, painting and selling furniture and selling CeCe Caldwell’s paints?
MELISSA: My Father used to make wooden toys. Then he would sell them at craft shows that were centered around toys. My creative life started from here. I would help him out with his work and the shows. As a family, we were always going to yard sales. I started my Hope Chest when I was 8 from a beautiful Garage Sale find! It was our family culture to attend Flea Markets and Yard sales.
GTC: (Could I possibly get my family on board with frequenting Dumpsters and picking up curbside finds????)
MELISSA: It was in my “genes” to be in this business. My youngest son was born in 1999, and I wanted to be a stay at home mom. I truly needed that “creative outlet”! (Remember the family business of going to garage sales and flea markets?)
My son got used to going to auctions and flea markets with me at an early age, he still comes with us!
My sister painted furniture with me. We would pick up pieces at auctions and then we would sell it at fairs and Flea Markets. Not long after we started, a woman was looking at our furniture and pointed out to her friend that we had“Shabby Chic” style. I had not idea what “Shabby Chic” was! I came home, looked it up (this is early internet days still!)
Looks like Melissa knows how to rock that Shabby Chic look. This piece painted in Mississippi Mud and Vintage White
MELISSA: I kept going with what I was doing, painting my furniture and selling it. In 2000, I decided to take a plunge and rented a space at a store to sell my furniture. In 2001, the owner of the business wanted out. I took a great leap of faith, negotiated with the landlord of the building and took over the space. I basically opened my business right after the previous business owner closed.
I love everything about running a business, crunching the numbers, all the details that go into the nuts and bolts of it. I love the creative process too, somehow I have always just made it work! To me, this was FUN, not work!
This looks like fun. Painted in Myrtle Beach Sands and Vintage White
GTC: (Melissa has five Children, one still at home who is 15. Three grand daughters. Melissa could run circles around me!)
GTC: Did the down turn in the economy affect your business as it affected so many other small business owners?
MELISSA: Unfortunately, yes. We are located 3 miles more or less from PA border. This is a little section of Maryland that looks like it was pinched. (Melissa’s words, funny!) There were lots of Antique Stores and Antique Malls. Just within my town there were four of them. Our store was doing a wonderful business until the downturn. The economic situation hit my little town hard. Some of the larger businesses were forced to close their doors. This situation eventually trickled down and negatively affected my store.
In 2009, we had to make the decision to close our doors.
I didn’t sit around for too long! Shortly thereafter, in 2010, I rented a space in an Antique Store. My business is The Vintage Attic. I have been there ever since!
Melissa working. With the amount of furniture she paints, she is probably doing this most of the time!
With adorable furniture like this piece painted in Santa Fe Turquoise , I am sure Melissa doesn’t sit around too much. She needs to keep painting!
GTC: So many of us painting people find painting furniture and working with our hands to be very therapeutic.
MELISSA: I completely agree. About the time that Chalk Based Paints began to be popular in the U.S. Market, I was facing some tough trials. I knew that painting was my solace. I also knew I wanted to expand my business to offer Paints to sell to my customers. I was becoming educated on the harmful effects of chemicals in many of the paint products on the market that I was using. I began doing research because I wanted to carry a paint in my space. Because I paint so much with my son near me, I really wanted to find an earth friendly paint that would also be kind to me and my family’s health.
Distressing CeCe Caldwell’s is easy, and it gets the stress out! This piece in Virginia Chestnut and Destin Gulf Green
MELISSA: I discovered CeCe Caldwell’s paints in 2012. I was so excited to get my hands on this paint because I loved everything I read about it. I found a nearby retailer, purchased a bunch of paint to try out. Within two weeks, I knew I had found what I was looking for. I sent CeCe Caldwell’s a check for paint and I started selling the paint in May. It was only a few weeks later, that I was set up as a retailer and selling it! This is how much I believed in this product and this company.
I believe if I saw this, I would buy it!! Adorable little dressing table in Portland Rose
MELISSA: I feel a very deep gratitude to CeCe Caldwell’s Paint Company. The ease of using this paint, the fact that I could paint anywhere, anytime, opened new outlets for me. Through painting, and creating, and being able to do this many times right inside my home, truly helped pull me through some of my most difficult challenges.
GTC: Let’s talk about this paint. I could go and on about what I love about CeCe Caldwell’s, but I love hearing what draws other people to this fantastic product.
MELISSA: There are so many gorgeous colors in the CeCe Caldwell’s pallet, but I sell a great deal of Cottage White furniture. The wonderful thing about Simply White happened to be almost the exact same tone of White that I had used in Latex paint for years. I have many repeat customers, and they like WHITE, and they like it to match. I love that I can continue to sell them my pieces, but now with a product that is better than anything I have ever used.
Looks like Melissa uses Simply White, but sneaks in some pops of Santa Fe Turquoise too!
MELISSA: I love that this product is safer for me and my family. I love that it is so durable! (CeCe Caldwell’s paints contain NO acrylic, but is made of Chalk and TWO kinds of clay, this is what makes the paint highly adhesive, and because there is no acrylic, not only extremely easy to use, but also will not chip or crack, because it bonds with your surface, and has no “give” to it to chip).
GTC: Beyond White, let’s talk colors. What CeCe Caldwell’s colors do you really love. We all have our favorites!
MELISSA: I love Smoky Mountain, Seattle Mist, Young Kansas Wheat, Traverse City Cherry.
Table and Chairs in Traverse City Cherry
Mississippi Mud over Cinco Bayou Moss
GTC: You have been offering the paint to your customers for almost one year now! What is some of the feed back you have received?
MELISSA: People love that is so easy to use. Truly, it is a paint for anybody. I don’t have to work too hard at convincing people to buy the paint. It really does “sell” itself.
This paint won’t be in this cabinet for long!
MELISSA: I love that is a natural Green product. It is the perfect paint if you are pregnant and fixing up a nursery. I love that it is a company that started out small, and they truly support small business. I love that it is an American Product and Company. I LOVE that we have Satin Finish! Something that no one else has, a 100% natural clear coat. No one else has this! I Love that they keep coming up with new products. CeCe Caldwell’s is innovative…..and I LOVE the glaze.
This little dresser in Young Kansas Wheat and Memphis Blue would be so sweet in a nursery
GTC: What are some of your favorite projects, or do you have a type of furniture you love to paint?
MELISSA: I really enjoy doing smaller pieces in a bright pop of color. That fun little conversation piece that you can put in any room in your home. There are so many fun colors. Having something with a fun color in your home is what really makes your home unique.
Like this adorable table done in Emerald Isle!
MELISSA: The paint can be finished in such a soft, touchable way. When you add the 100% natural wax, it is just perfect! I recently completed this chair and dining set in Blue Montana Sky. I just love the contrast of Dark Wood and this gorgeous color.
GTC: It sounds like there is no stopping you. I think you are always looking on the horizon for what is next. What are your plans for the future?
MELISSA: I truly would love to have my own shop again. My husband is 110% behind me on this. He loves it too. (Not so much the moving of furniture part!).
This gorgeous buffet does not look like it was easy to move!
MELISSA: When the time is right, the opportunity will be there for us. I know this is a dream we will realize again in the future.
GTC: And it will be filled to the brim with gorgeous pieces painted with CeCe Caldwell’s paints! It could be the most eco friendly Antique Shop around! Be sure to stop by Melissa’s Website and LIKE her on her Facebook page so you don’t miss any of the amazing works of art she is sharing!