My favorite part of First Friday Weekends is standing at the door to greet people. To be honest, I originally did it to make sure people knew there was a store open inside of what used to be the storage space for haunted house props of days gone by. I would encourage them to come in and help to relieve their concern of what was behind the small doorway. I didn't know it then, but it was in those moments that I started to get to know the people that would become my friends and our loyal customers. After some polite small talk the question that I got the most was, "So how did you guys get into this?” So, here is how we got into this.
Chrysy and I got married at 19 and had our first of three children when we were 20. It was necessary for us to find old things and restore them to make our house a home. We would go out picking the neighborhood, dumpster diving, and collecting roadside treasures. This was both a thrill and therapy. During one of our “hunts” we found a four drawer dresser that had been treated cruelly and painted in several layers of ugly paint, but it had potential. After taking it home and stripping of layer after layer, the original beauty was found. I fixed the drawers and we were able to find it a new home for its second life.
Much of my childhood was spent watching my grandpa load up the car and take grandma to craft shows across the hills in Southwest Missouri. Her specialty was taking something common, and bringing it life. She would repurpose socks into monkeys, pillow cases into dolls, and crochet just about anything you could imagine. Her crafting room was filled with Amish dolls that she talked to, curly headed babies that each had a name and a sewing machine that I believe was magical. Granny Mac would fill her card tables with all of her crafts that she had worked tirelessly to create and I do not remember many times that she would go home with more than a handful of items. We would go to Ozark, Nixa, and several other small towns that had shows, but the big show each year was in Fordland. I will always be indebted to her for modeling a life of creativity, drive and desire to make her customers happy.
The earliest memories of refinishing things was watching my Grandma and Grandpa McDonald bring home furniture from auctions. We would strip it down in the gravel driveway, put a new finish on it and make it a part of the other collections in the house. My favorite piece was a green chase were I pretended to be a doctor evaluating my patients, Grandma MacDonald was so proud of that piece that she held onto it until they moved to town.
Chrysy’s parents had the auction bug as well, and she recalls many times of pulling to the side of the road while one or both of her parents ask if they could go through abandoned houses to see what they could find.
Our home has always been our canvas. If you ask Chrysy she will tell you that I have not always been handy, in fact you may not even have to ask her, she may offer this up without any prompting. The reality is that my handyman skills have developed greatly over the years of our marriage, it became necessary for me to be able to do things that I had never done before.
Many times I have said that we are the perfect example of dreamers and doers. Both of us have elements of these characteristics, but no one dreams bigger than Chrysy, so I had to become a better doer. We have renewed our home via a variety of mediums- paint, décor, paint, removing walls, paint, updating unused spaces, and did I mention paint? A big reason we got a space at Sentimental Journey Antique Store was that we had filled our home with so much greatness and we needed to sell some. It was there that our journey of sharing our treasures with others truly began.
I can remember laying in bed and brainstorming names, dreaming of the stores potential, and not being able to sleep much at night. Chrysy and I were bouncing ideas back and forth until it came to us. The name and tag line (restore, repurpose, refinish, renew) all came together that night.
That is how we got into this. It wasn't five years ago when we opened our doors, it has been a part of both of us all of our lives.
The RE: Life has been an exciting one so far, and we thank You for being part of our story.