Over the past few days, I have received the sweetest emails and Instagram messages from folks who are following my furniture makeovers. Each one was like a little present that made me smile and feel ridiculously special. I would read through their messages and think to myself, “I can’t believe that folks actually read my blog!” Now that may seem like an obvious thing. You write a blog to be read, right? But once your blog catches, and you get a merry band of followers, it takes things to a whole new level. People are seeking me out and asking for advice on how to get their piece to crackle and chip.
Some want to know about lead based paint.
Others thank me for my videos and wonder which topcoat to use to avoid yellowing their white painted piece of furniture.
Here are a few snippets from those I received recently:
“Hi Jenn! I am messaging you because I thought I should let you know how much you are an inspiration to me. I think I have been following you since July of 2016. I have read all of your blogs and I must say, they truly helped me out with my refurnishing problems.”
“Hello. I have a beautiful coffee table I’d like to paint…I’d like to ask you if you believe it would be better using lacquer or poly?”
“Thanks so much for your recent posts. Loved the one about the products you use. I appreciated how you explained not only the products, but the order in which they are used. I am a novice and really learned a lot from your post. PLUS your furniture is gorgeous.”
Now before you think I’m really full of myself, let me say that I’m not sharing these to toot my own horn and make myself sound amazing. I’m sharing because it’s comments and feedback like this that are the exact reason why I started Eight Hundred Furniture in the first place. That’s where I used to be! I was a total and complete novice. At times, I had NO idea what I was doing and I couldn’t pick out an empire dresser from a Jacobean buffet. I didn’t know about photography and I used my iPhone camera to take my furniture pictures. I didn’t have the slightest clue where to find furniture so I would drive up and down the roads before trash day to pick up discarded pieces from the curb. Then I would scratch my head and wonder, “How in the world is this going to fit in my four-door Honda Civic?”
Have you been there? Are you there now? Be encouraged! The beginning is a sweet place and when the opportunity came to give myself a name, I wanted one that would allow me to always remember the beginning. Starting from square one is engrained in my name. Eight Hundred Furniture. The Eight Hundred part is the square footage of my first apartment. I had to furnish it with hand-me-downs and freebies from my amazing parents. Everything was Queen Anne and completely NOT my style (but it was free). My first couch was an 82″ behemoth with tapestry fabric. I had a pair of wingback chairs upholstered in blue suede and brass lamps for days. (I still actually have those chairs and I have yet to buck up the courage to make slipcovers for them.)
I’m still in the same complex where my first apartment was. Once Marc and I got married, we upgraded to a one bedroom with an office. That has ceremoniously become my storage room for furniture and I still work on the living room floor.
It wasn’t until I went to a local furniture shop near my home and met a sweet woman named Noel that I got the furniture bug. Noel was the first person to tell me about Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint® and she showed me where to buy it and how to use it. That sparked my furniture painting days and I haven’t looked back since.
I know what it’s like to pick up a paintbrush for the first time and feel utterly intimidated. I know how hard it is to decide to paint your grandmother’s heirloom furniture. I get the hesitancy to pull the trigger and purchase that old dusty dresser from your local thrift store. I’m totally and 100% with you.
This summer, I had the privilege to shoot a video with Marian Parsons of Miss Mustard Seed. She knows what it’s like to start from square one and she had a vision to shoot a short encouraging video to help folks have the courage to do the things they’re afraid of. The theme was “Prove Yourself Wrong”.
I’m not going to lie, I still tear up a little bit every time I watch this because that feeling is so REAL! Have you been there? Are you there today? Let me encourage you, dear reader. Take the risk.
You ARE artistic.
You are NOT a failure.
You CAN do it!
So from my little Eight Hundred heart to yours, go Prove Yourself Wrong.