One Company, Three Great Shops

Poverty Barn is the parent company of two other businesses: Roo's Remnants and 4 Left Turns. Between the three, we've got you covered when it comes to home decor, baby and kid items and anything related to racing. Visit the links on the left to find out more about what we have to offer.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Quick Saturday Project

Several years ago, I found this lonely red chair sitting outside of a re-sale shop, and I just couldn't resist.  I had no idea where it was going to fit into our home, but I just knew that it would.

Since then, it found a place in our Americana kitchen.  When not in use, it is home to a couple of pillows and a Teddy Bear.  When we have company, it gets put to work.

In the past year, I've fallen in love with my Silhouette Cameo, and while I make gifts for others, and create pieces to sell in our Etsy shop and in local retail spaces, I have done very little for myself.

Enter the chair.

It has been calling my name for ages, a blank canvas that I pass by dozens of times daily.  I just didn't know what I wanted to put on it, and I never made the time to actually do it.  Today I made time.

I hope you like my chair re-do as much as I do. Now when I pass by, not only will I smile at the cheerful red of this rescued seat, but my heart will be warmed by the verse that it bears.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Diving in for a Dumpster Dive Makeover

 A few weeks ago, while dropping our newspapers into the big recycling bin at our local grocery store, my husband spotted this magazine rack among the discards.  He pulled it out and threw it in the back of our van thinking that we could use it as some kind of display piece in our business.

It's been sitting in the garage ever since, but the other day, it occurred to me that this would be a great piece to use out by the pool for storing towels, lotions and toys.

I found some cute shapes that I cut on my Silhouette Cameo, applied them to the little metal front pieces, and voila!  Discarded plain Jane piece transformed into something very useful.

A small wicker basket in the bottom rack holds lotions, small toys and bug spray while the upper racks are perfect for the oodles of beach towels that we go through.

 With 100+ degree temperatures predicted for the next week or so, I'm thinking we'll be getting a lot of use out of the pool.  This little makeover will definitely come in handy!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

First Fruits

 As kids, my siblings and I were always forced to work in my parents' garden.  Trust me when I say that their idea of a garden was no little 10x10 plot with a few tomatoes, some corn and a few bean plants.  Oh no.  This was (and still is) a HUGE plot with everything from green beans and peas to row after row of corn, zucchini, radishes, pumpkins and several types of lettuce.

At the time, weeding and later harvesting that produce, out in the heat and bugs and other skittering critters was definitely not how I wanted to spend even one minute of my day.  Looking back, I have to admit that I was horrible about it, whining and carrying on and usually a major slacker when it came to actual productivity.

I swore to myself that when I grew up, all of my veggies would come from the store like normal people.

Fast-forward many years, several homes and two grown kids later.   While I have to admit that I'm still not a gardener, I have made a couple of feeble attempts at home-grown.  Most of my labors were enjoyed by rabbits and squirrels, but every now and then, a sweet, succulent tomato actually made it to our kitchen and was thoroughly enjoyed. This, I mused, must have been why my parents did what they did.

We've been in our current home for nearly 19 years and up until this year, we've had this neglected side of the house that we've wanted to fix up.  Terracing has been discussed, stone steps to the back yard, and even a box garden idea was tossed around.

Leave it to my clever and amazing hubby to finally take the initiative to bring the box garden to life.  I have no idea what inspired him, other than the prices in the grocery store produce aisle, but in a matter of a few days, he "threw together" this wonderful little box garden, filled it with soil, put in plants and voila!  Veggies!

I love walking outside and seeing the vibrant reds and yellows of turning tomatoes, the greens of the peppers and the golden marigolds lining the edges, in hopes of keeping away some of God's hungry little creatures.

The other night, my hubby brought in this perfect little cherry tomato, and I just couldn't resist photographing it and sharing this, our first fruits of the season.  It's a beauty of a cutie and it makes my mouth water for more.

Maybe this time, the garden will inspire less grumbling and more appreciation.  Ah, the things life teaches us as we grow up!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pickin' Pics

A quick album of some of our favorite recent picks.  As you can tell, we've had a lot of fun, and our enamelware obsession is going to require an intervention soon.

Doll/baby-sized bed springs.

Enamelware colander, dipper and little pots.

Crayola chalk box.

A pyramid of benches and enamelware.  Yum!

A rusty green metal box becomes a sweet showpiece for our next event!

A slide box, whose slot are just the right size for a business card.

What's better than plain old enamelware?  Enamelware that stacks, of course!

A tall skinny cabinet that holds lots of goodies.

We love flea markets, garage sales, junk shops and Etsy.  Ahhh....

Friday, June 1, 2012

When a Door Opens

About a year ago, Jesse called me up and asked if I wanted to join her at a craft fair.  She'd been sewing cute wallets and billfolds and setting up at few shows and she was tired of going alone.  I had a few things of my own to put out, so I agreed.

On the morning of our first joint show, we were awakened by tornado sirens, and it was no drill. In a haze of sleep-induced grogginess, my husband and I did our usual turn-on-the-tv, check the radar-on-our-phones thing and realized that there was, indeed, severe weather approaching.  Fast.

We weren't frightened for ourselves, because we have decent shelter in our basement, but Jesse, Joe and the dogs have no basement, and, as it turned out, Jess was home alone, huddling with her hounds in the bathtub, praying that the storm would pass and staying on the phone with us for comfort.

Fortunately, no twisters touched down, no damage was done, and we made it to the show only a little tardy.  As was everyone else.

That first show was in a smoky VFW hall and the shoppers outnumbered the vendors by only a slight margin. However sparse the turnout, we made a few sales, had a lot of laughs and really enjoyed ourselves.  It was an inauspicious beginning to what was about to become an all-consuming passion.

What followed was a whirlwind of craft shows, farmer's markets, a web site, launch of our Etsy Shop, Facebook and Twitter pages, and eventually, we stumbled upon Pinterest.  Sigh.  It not only fed our creative lust, but gave us one more place to tout our rapidly-growing product line.

We didn't really set out to start a full-fledged business, but Poverty Barn had a mind of its own and before long, whether we were ready or not, Jess and I became more than two names on a checking account.  We became small business owners.

The last year has taught us a great many lessons.  We've been a part of two great shops and just really immersed ourselves in the experiences.  Those partnerships have inspired us to dream of having our own brick-and-mortar store some day.  And we mean that quite literally.  No modern strip mall will do for Poverty Barn. We need wood and exposed brick, wavy glass windows and tall pressed-tin ceilings.  Those things will be the perfect backdrop for us.  Eventually.

The best part about this business is that we are in it together, a mother-daughter team that works like a well-oiled machine.  Through this experience, I've gained new insight to the creative creature that lives inside my daughter.  I've watched her blossom not only with motherhood, but with the mindset of a true marketer.  She is brilliant and gifted and despite the way her room looked when she lived here at home and the way her office looks now, she really is organized.  We make a great team, and I will be forever grateful that she invited me to be a part of this.

It's funny because I mourned the passing of days as she prepared for her wedding almost two years ago.  I feared that once she left, her world would revolve around her husband, household and eventual children.  The empty nest, while appealing in some ways, held a certain trepidation over my being left to gather dust as I scrambled for any remnants of herself she might save for me.  Well, all I can say is that this Mom is definitely not gathering dust.  There's no way Jess would let me!  And honestly, I think we spend more time together now than we ever have. And with Olivia added to the fray, the mixture just gets sweeter.

As I look back over this past year, I find myself humbled by what has become of this little enterprise.  Not only have we made sales, but more importantly, we've made friends, and not just the Facebook kind.  I would like to say thank you to our families who have prayed for us, supported us and cheered us on.  I would also like to thank the fellow artists, shop owners and small businesses who have contributed to our success.  Without each of you, we would never have made it this far.

Most of all, I would like to thank Jess, for opening the door and inviting me along for the ride.  It may have started out on a dark and stormy morning, but it's been fair skies and smooth sailing for all the days since.  You rock my world, Sugarlump.  Never give up your dreams!
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