The furniture comes out only one weekend a month. It’s artfully displayed in front of a former Deale, Maryland, granary. Laura, Lisa, Jeanette, Elsie and Jill rotate in and out of the rustic building, taking their time to get it right. One sets up, another rearranges. The same is going on inside the granary and out back.
They are the owners of “Re-find”, a vintage furniture & home decorating shop on Galesville’s main street. During the rest of the month, the co-owners search for unique pieces, then restore them. But not as they originally were; these pieces are chalk-painted, spruced up and renewed in artistic new ways.
A great frame with a not-so-great picture becomes a chalk board. A desk with a worn top may get a replacement marble writing surface.
“Alot of people like to have fun, unique pieces for their house,” she says. “This is the place to do that.”
It can take a day or a week to spruce up a piece. Loose corners are tightened. Seams coming apart will be professionally glued and clamped for another 20-30 years of wear.
Each month features new pieces, as they’re constantly adding and designing.
The idea started in July 2013, when the long-time antique store in that location closed. The owner retired. The artist next door, Elsie Whitman, 58, suggested a couple of her daughter’s friends take it over.
One of them is Lisa Elcano, 35, a Washington, DC, parole and probation officer with a two-year old girl and four-year old boy. Her husband is school athletic director. They’d already been selling rehabbed furniture on Craigs List.
“This was an opportunity to take it to the next level,” says Lisa.
At first, the ladies were going to do consignment sections of “shabby-sheek”. But they kept borrowing pieces from each other to better stage their area. They decided to join forces and form a single store.
The shop opened in May. It’s just getting discovered, but already they’re getting an early run by yard-salers.
As I’m talking to Lisa while we sit on a vintage wrought iron patio set outside the shop, another woman comes up, “zucchini bread anyone?” She places a plate of the homemade sweet-bread on the table and sits down. It’s that kind of small town.
Five female owners of one shop raises eyebrows, but then Elsie co-owned her artist gallery with seven women at one time. “We’ve never had a squabble,” she says. “And it’s because we have a good melding of abilities.”
Each has an area they’re good at, and they help each other out.
“Identify your strengths and weaknesses and go for it,” Elsie says.
How many times have you walked through a yard sale and thought of all the cool things you could do with it? These women actually do it.
Items this weekend ranged from $1 for a nicknack to a $350 buffet. They’re open 8am-4pm, but the hours may change, check their Facebook page or call if you’re planning to stop by on the fringes of the hours. And, so far, they’re open only on the first, full-weekend of the month.
Here’s the team line-up (from youngest to oldest):
- Jeanette Silor, 30 – realtor
- Lisa Elcano, 35 – parole officer
- Elsie Whitman, 58 – sailor & art gallery owner
- Jill Williams, 63 – grandma
- Laura Dixon, 67 – artist