Amy Dawkins and Lisa Strack have found their way into homes all across Rome.
While they both have full time jobs — Amy as a Floyd County Government employee and Lisa as a teacher at West End Elementary — it’s their hobby that’s getting them attention on social media and in local home decor circles.
They’re the owners of The Sisters’ Shed, a booth at River City Antique Mall on Spider Webb Drive, where they sell furniture that they’ve painted or refurbished. They breathe new life into older, unwanted or discarded pieces and with their creativity and some color, those pieces find new homes all over Rome... and beyond.
“We’ve always loved to paint furniture together,” Amy said. “We just started doing it more and more. And last year we had this idea that we should open a booth to sell it. And that was the beginning of The Sisters’ Shed.”
The key to furniture resale is getting good pieces for low prices. The sisters were lucky to have many beautiful old pieces of furniture passed down to the them from family members.
“That gave us a good stock to get us started,” Amy said.
Lisa said she had lots of furniture just sitting around the house because her husband’s a “junker.”
“He started bringing home all these different things he’d find at yard sales and storage unit sales,” she said. “My sister had mentioned opening a booth and I did my first piece to sell and it was exciting because I didn’t think I could paint furniture that I’d want in my own home. It was great to see that I could paint something that others might want to buy.”
So they began painting and refurbishing pieces. Both sisters said the process of painting is therapeutic and relaxing. And it brings them closer together.
Their husbands are pretty handy, which helps.
“They’ll find pieces all over the place that they can fix and we can redo,” Amy said. “We get furniture from everywhere you can imagine, including from the side of the road.”
Amy said many people discard perfectly good furniture that in many cases only need sanding or minor repairs. The sisters (with the help of their husbands) make sure all their pieces are sound and sturdy, then they get to work painting them.
They paint and distress some pieces. Others may simply need to be sanded and stained. And they do it all — hutches, coffee tables, chairs, shelves, side tables, night stands, dressers, buffets...you name it. Between their jobs and family, the sisters have to make time for this side business. Amy also runs a limo company along with her husband. They work out of their garages at times and out of their kitchens at other times. They’re often up late into the night, getting pieces done for the booth or for friends who simply need to paint their furniture. But they don’t mind at all. They love doing it and both said that they have the best time when they get to paint together.
“We have the most fun when we get to do it together and bounce ideas off each other,” Lisa said. “That’s really why we started doing this in the first place — because it’s something that we enjoy and it brings us together.”
When pieces are complete, they’ll post photos to social media and take the furniture over to the Sisters’ Shed at River City Antique Mall. Amy and Lisa try to make sure the booth is beautifully staged with large and small pieces to make everything appealing to shoppers.
“These are items we would put in our own homes,” Lisa said. “We often have a difficult time letting go of the pieces and many times we’ve kept what we painted and just traded it out for stuff in our own homes which then end up in the booth.”
Thanks to their husbands’ handiwork, the booth is also filled with handmade pieces such as wine racks and coffee bars.
With the help of social media, Amy and Lisa are seeing The Sisters’ Shed blossoming into a thriving business. And the entire family gets involved as well. Lisa jokes that their mom will often visit the booth just to see how it’s been staged and will call the girls with her critiques and suggestions.
“And she wants us to teach her how to paint,” Lisa added. “But we told her she doesn’t have the patience for it.”
So whether they’re at estate sales, yard sales or just finding unwanted furniture all around Rome and Floyd Count, Amy and Lisa enjoy doing it together. And when they sit down to paint their furniture, it makes them happy to know it’s something they can share.
They want Rome and Floyd County residents to know that all the pieces at The Sisters’ Shed have been created with love and attention to detail.
“These are pieces we would be proud to have in our own homes,” Amy said. “And in many cases these pieces actually come from our homes or our family’s homes. We always try to improve the booth and how we market it. But regardless of the business side, this is something that strengthens our bond as sisters so it’s something we’ll always love doing.”
To see more of Amy and Lisa’s painted and refurbished furniture, “The Sisters’ Shed” on Facebook.