So many of you sweet followers have emailed asking me about how I got into faux finishing…. and how to start a business of your own. I hope this post will be an encouragement to anyone who isn’t sure “what they want to do when they grow up”…..
My dear mom just dug up some old pictures for me. This is me at age 3. My grandparents (whom I ADORED)… were painting some new steps. Gram left the garage to get something and when she came back, mom said I had taken over the painting. So, apparently… I loved it even then.
When I was growing up, I had a very conservative father who wanted all.of.the.walls.white. We could decorate our bedrooms to some degree. But he wasn’t into posters, wall art, etc. We didn’t have any creative freedom in our bedrooms. Dad used to say…. “when you get your own house someday….. etc.”.
So… I promptly bought my first house at the very young age of 21. I could barely afford the mortgage…. I certainly couldn’t afford any pretty decor. But I learned to garage sale like a mad woman!
The first “real” painting project that I remember is doing this:
And then I sprayed the bathroom cabinets. And then I spray painted the tile backsplash. 87 cans of spray paint later… I was hooked on painting.
I was in college at night getting my Bachelor’s Degree in computers when my husband and I went to the Home Show in Kansas City. It was there that I met Eric and Brenda Deeter…. they own Morningstar Faux Finishing. They had a faux school at the time. They were offering a 2-day introductory class and their excitement for their industry was contagious. I called my sister-in-law and begged her to go to the school with me.
My intent was to learn some things to do in my own home. However, that class was a defining moment in my life. As Beth Moore says… it was a moment when you are headed one direction and God clearly picks you up, pivots you, sets you back down and off in a new direction you go. I came home from that 2-day school so inspired, so motivated, so naive. I told my husband I wanted to start my own faux finishing company. Bless his heart… I was a month away from graduating with a computer degree. But he still said go.for.it. Thank you Lord for supportive spouses!!! (I have a post about supportive spouses here.)
I still got my computer degree and continued to work my computer job during the day. And for a year, I worked evenings and weekends doing small faux jobs for people I knew. My husband was THE BEST….. he helped me.
As God would have it, I lost my computer job a year later. The reality of no paycheck set in quickly…. but I was determined to give this “faux thing” a shot. I called every interior designer listed in the yellow pages in my part of town. If they had a store front… I showed up in their store with my portfolio and business cards and asked them if I could show them my samples. I turned down a really good computer job at the Cerner Corp in Kansas City. I wondered what.the.heck.I.was.doing. If my husband wondered too…. thank God he didn’t show it.
Because….I had NO IDEA what I was doing. I was flying by the seat of my pants.
The first designer to hire me hired me to glaze kitchen cabinets in a million-dollar house. Talk about intimidated. The house had a “secret room” for goodness sake. I’d never been in a house like that. I was way too cheap and way too inexperienced. But….. determined to pull it off. The job was a success and that designer continued to hook me up with new clients.
A few months later I found out I was expecting my first child. Holy crap… now what?
The good news is…. most faux finishing products are water-based. So, I fauxed until 2 weeks before I delivered my first son. Then I begged the sister-in-law who went to that faux school with me to come to work for me. For 17 years, I ran my decorative painting business, employed many women to help me and raised my three children.
The morals of my story:
- Trust God’s direction for you life. It may save you a wasted degree.
- If you’re a designer… give a young entrepreneur a chance. They may surprise you.
- If you want to be a faux finisher….take a leap of faith. Invest in a class.
- If you’re a spouse… encourage your spouse to follow their dreams. Be their best cheerleader. Mine was.
- If you’re a parent/grandparent….give your kids a little creative leeway…. You never know where it may take them.
My business was such a blessing. If you are thinking about making your creative hobby a creative business, you are in the right place. I want to encourage you and help you! You can find more information on my coaching group, the Inner Circle, HERE. I teach highly-driven creative business owners how to build their business online and embrace their creative talents. We learn together, network and support each other. I hope you will join us. I also want to encourage you to listen to my podcast (Episode 52,) where other creative business owners share their story and how they grew 6-figure incomes using their creative talents!.
I still love painting, decorating and creating! But my business is entirely online. I share my DIY projects on my blog and Facebook page. And I also run a Paint Finish of the Month club where I share my DIY videos and bring on celebrity “guest” painters to teach the latest furniture, cabinet and decorative painting techniques.