Leaving nursing!

I think back to when I started this journey. In a corner of my mind I would think “what if?” What if the store was so successful, I could quit my job and do it full time? Nah,,, that would never happen. I have 3 days left at my nursing job, then I’m done… I will open the store every week and not be a nurse anymore. This has taken less than one year to happen.

So how did this happen? Baby steps, small increments. Putting my toes in the water a little at at time to test it. Well, I’m going into the deep end friends! In May, my employer allowed me to cut to part time. That was ideal. I worked Monday and Tuesday, then was off until the next week and worked Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The store open every other Wed- Friday.

This line of work never has enough time in the day. I continue to pick the vintage finds, clean them up, restore and repurpose. I have 10 “vendors” that have their goods in the store. I think the difference Tattered offers is most of the merchandise is things I have created. My vendors have soy candles, handcrafted jewelry, baby items. My sister is the only one who brings in things like I do. I like having creative and quality control.

The big turning point for deciding to close the chapter on nursing was something I NEVER expected or planned. People started to ask me to paint their furniture. Hmm.. ok, I could do that. All of a sudden, my legal pad had 13 custom projects with no time to complete. I never advertised custom work. This is potentially a huge boost to the business!! If the store is a little slow with customers, I have this “back up work.” Right now, I have a buffet waiting to be turned into a orange changing table to match a Dr. Seuss themed nursery, a fireplace mantel disassembled to be painted black and distressed, dressers for several customers and the most recent was an old bike that was salvaged from a ditch. That will be given a fresh color and will find a home in a beautiful flower bed. I think to myself, gosh, can’t they paint these themselves? I guess I find it easy and have to start thinking that I offer a service that other people either have no interest in doing, don’t have the time or just like the way I do it.

I am extremely happy with my future. My husband of course is nervous, but supportive. We had to look for different health insurance and were approved yesterday, so that is a huge relief. I tried not to worry about it. I have learned that God takes care of me and worrying is pointless. Everything always works out in the end, maybe not on my timeframe, but it does.

I have lots of tips and trips to share that I have learned along the way. Can’t wait to share more with you guys. There is such great support and so many of you that want to do similar work. If you have a passion, do it. I wanted to do this for 15 years. If I wouldn’t have been a nurse first, I wouldn’t have been able to afford to do it. Everyone says, you can always go back and be a nurse if this doesn’t work out. That is true, but I ignore that statement. I am not going to worry about if this doesn’t work out. I am an achiever. Set goals and obtain goals.

So, today I am painting the office “Robin’s Egg Blue” sounds beautiful right? If cotton candy was blue, thats the color it would be. Not a huge fan, but I bought it for an accent wall for the store and didn’t like it there and don’t like it in the office. It’s going up though, I’m already half done. I want to get a little organized, my downfall is paperwork. More on this topic later… see I even procrastinate discussing paper work!! Haha..


Finishing touches

IMG_0946Tattered Awning5 x 5 window and doorNate working his magicTattered sign IMG_0950 IMG_0955

One thing about actually working on the building and making the projects, it leaves little time for the progress updates. The store is very near completion. I am so impressed on the work my hubby has done for me. Tattered looks like a store that is ultra chic- urban, yet rustic and industrial. The floors look fabulous, reclaimed fir from an old feed store. Initially I thought I would stain the floors a dark color, but I love the mix of colors and the gray on some of the pieces. The trim is indescribable! I got the stain called Cobalt blue for free from our local hardware store because it was mixed wrong. It gives the old wood a gray-blue hue which brings out red in the wood. Our windows and door were professionally installed and the awning is also up. My Tattered sign is hung on the highway side and the porch is about done. We have to put some kind of siding back up where the steel siding use to be. It looks shabby and NOT shabby-chic! Nate is working on the more tedious things now. Basically, he will build my counter and will be sighing relief. He can’t wait to go ice fishing!

Take a look at the photos and you will see the floors and the trim and the ceiling! I threw in my upcycling chandelier project. I found that beauty at a thrift shop in the outdated brass metal finish. I finished it in the green patina that is so gorgeous!! I have it hung in the store as a fixture. My mother in law loves it! That means a lot to me, she even said I should put a sale tag on it. Speaking of light fixtures, I have been fretting so much about lighting for the shop. Today I let it go. I have spent too much time worrying about the right lights, but not spending a lot of money. I am going with the ones that are already there and as I get more inspired, will upgrade. Why force it?

One more end note. My Tattered Facebook page has 98 likes without even opening the doors yet, which is great! I put a challenge in to get 100 likes and then I will announce the grand opening date. So help out my local friends and like the site. The link is at bottom of page and also on my blog roll. Happy Holidays!!!!     Thanks!! 

Juggling new business

Hey everyone! I haven’t had a recent update for awhile. I made it through The Vintage Carnival Saturday. It started a little shaky. My spot wasn’t ideal, but it worked out fine in the end. The weather was horrible, glare ice roads, that didn’t seem to deter traffic to the fair though, wow, what a turn out! The rustic arbor was a fabulous draw. I finally put a tag on it that it wasn’t for sale.  There was a lot of interest in renting it for weddings. So with one rental, it will be paid for. I sold about 16 pieces. I found that pricing was tricky. Of course at a holiday venue, a lot of people were shopping for Christmas gifts. It would take the right person to buy furniture. I had tons of traffic though and people seemed to be attracted to my booth. There were a lot of other vendors there that shared their experience with me, which is so much appreciated! We are having another carnival in the spring. I think the timing was perfect. I debuted my wares, before the store opens. I got the Tattered name out there and told people to watch for the store opening after the first of the year. By the time the spring carnival comes around, I will have more media in place and the store should be in full swing. Now to the juggling. Yesterday, I finally caught up on all the house cleaning and grocery shopping that has not been attended to the past month. I really didn’t do anything in regards to the store. It was the last day of deer hunting for the guys too, so tonight, Nate starts the renovation process on the shop, which to me is the ultimate excitement!! Today is back to my full time job as a nurse. I took Friday off to set up for the show. It’s hard to concentrate at the job with so much on my mind. Progress: Lumber has been delivered to the shop. Courtney is working on the signage for the store front. It’s going to be an 8 foot long sign with dark stained boards and the turquoise blue Tattered name on it. She is also a local gal that works a full time job and does these beautiful signs on the side with her hubby. I have all the quotes except for a furnace and an awning for the back door. I did stop at a consignment store yesterday where I had good luck finding quality pieces before. I struck out and left empty handed. I am going to an estate sale this Thursday to restock.  I forgot my camera, so couldn’t take any shots of the booth, so bummed. I too one awful shot with my phone. What kind of blogger am I!? Have a great week!, Nicole

Mail’s here!!


For once I actually enjoyed getting the mail today! I got two envelopes related to the business. First I got approval on the business official name, Tattered. Now I just publish the name in a legal newspaper a couple of times and were GOLDEN! 

The second letter was my tax identification number. Wow, right? Now I can pay sales tax when I sell stuff. That isn’t what it means to me. It makes it so much more real and like this is happening.

On my lunch break today, I went to find Nate a birthday present and on the way back to work, I noticed a FOR RENT sign a block off the main drag. Of course it is not ideal retail location, but its close to the main retail section, the big Catholic church and the high school. It gets plenty of traffic. So a possible spot to park my stuff! We’ll see. I put a call in to number listed on the sign, but have not heard back yet. I peeked in the window, it looked like a smaller office space with rooms to the back.

More unknowns and waiting. I am making small progress. Tonight is Monday night and I historically don’t get anything done at home, chillin after getting back to work. No furniture or vintage chic tonight.

Have a great week! Nicky 

I joined Facebook!!

I took a leap and put myself out there and started a Facebook page for Tattered. Tattered is what the business will be named, YAY! Facebook is scary because everybody and their sister will know what I’ve been up to.

I made a lot of progress today. I contacted a local fellow vintage decor gal who is heading up The Vintage Carnival in Thief River Falls, MN on November 10. She has booth space available, so I am signing up to be a vendor. I have did a craft fair before, many years ago, with a little different type of merchandise. Overall it was very successful. So, I have a purpose to keep going with the project. That is how it progresses. I love it when a plan works!

I also contacted a local gal for help with signage for Tattered. I have a nice big old cupboard door I want to use for a sign. She wasn’t sure if vinyl lettering would work, but I’d be happy with a stencil and do a little more painting.

My other accomplishment was tinkering with the soft wax and chalk paint. I took some pictures and will let you know how those turned out another day.

Thanks for all your support! Nicole

Saturday’s tasks

My plan for today was to attend the Harvest Festival at The White House Boutique, but due to the unseasonable winter storm, it has been postponed until next weekend. So Saturday is pretty open. I do see some dust that should be attended to. There’s laundry, you know, the usual tasks that never go away. I have some vintage furniture thats waiting for an inspiring makeover. I tend to be filling up the garage with my finds, to the frustration of my hubby. He is trying to clean the garage as I keep dragging in more junk.

I am almost finished with a beautiful side table that I picked up on the way to the lake last weekend. Nate said I paid too much for that piece of junk, although he didn’t use the term “junk.” He didn’t see the beauty I did through the highly varnished brown. I saw it though. The deeply spindled legs would be perfect for dark colors to settle into against a lighter color paint. I had a vision, he is a self-described, non-creative type. He has learned to trust my instinct and doesn’t say too much. When he doubts me, I can just give him that look.

shabby chic side table

The side table is near done. I ‘m just waiting for a new product that will be my first attempt at using wax finishes. I ordered Annie Sloan’s chalk paint and waxes. I can not WAIT to play and learn how to use it!! I read about it on a cool blog called Perfectly Imperfect and ordered it from there. I was at work a couple of days ago and got a call from an out of area number. I immediately thought, telemarketer. It was Perfectly Imperfect calling! They had a quick question for me before shipping my order!! Very impressed with the customer service!

Another little round side table that I have in mind for the wax finish is this one….

Table is patiently waiting for finish work

And this one….

Ready for redo!

The house is clean, Yay! for a day probably. 😦 All the projects above will have to wait until UPS makes the special delivery.

I will carry on with slooow progress of the vintage decor business. Last night at supper, Nate told me that my dream can only be a side line business right now. I would love to rent a store in Thief River Falls and jump in because I know I can do it. I have to continue to grow inventory and probably attend craft shows and build a web presence for right now. The store in town will be a long term goal I guess. Thats ok, I have a lot of ideas rolling around that will keep me busy!!