It was honestly very unexpected and unplanned. I was sitting on the floor of my office last January (2022) crafting and decopauging a few small canvases with my youngest son, Henry. We were eating popcorn and just trying to fill up the long, boring hours of January. And I was really just goofing around when I made up the name, “Mended Beauty”, but then I had the tiniest thought form in my heart... what if? What if I could create or make something and have a little business on the side?
Reclaiming What's Lost With MENDED || BEAUTY
How did Mended Beauty get started?
How do you manage a business and being a Mom?
I was also preparing to have all three of my children in school for the first time and so for the first time in twelve years I began wondering - what do I want to do next? And even more importantly, what could I do that would add value to our family but not take me away from my most important job as their Mom?
"What could I do that would add value to our family but not take me away from my most important job as their Mom."
The more I have dug into MENDED || BEAUTY, the more I find that it is a perfect fit for this season that I am in. When my kids need me, I’m there. If they need to be picked up from school, I’m still there. All I have to do is put down the paint brush. They remain my number one priority. Being my own boss is the best gift and I am so grateful to be able to do this on the side and still be there for my family.
How did you get into reclaiming furniture?
It was really another “by chance” kind of thing! It all kind of started because I had gotten the idea in my head that I wanted a rustic green hutch in our kitchen. I had seen one at an antique store and had told my husband and he said, “Why don’t you paint the one we have?” I had never considered it! But then once the idea was in my mind, I couldn’t shake it! So, I bought some paint and moved my piece into the center of my dining room and jumped in! After the first few brush strokes, I was hooked on all of it - the process, the change, the feeling of bringing fresh life to an old, tired piece of furniture.
After I completed our hutch, I redid a childhood desk that had been my mother’s for my own personal office (it’s pink!) Everyone started telling me I should do this “for real”... which was funny, because originally when I came up with this business concept, I was focused on paper goods (cards, journals, etc.) I was unexpectedly given multiple pieces of furniture and as my garage began filling up, I had to admit that this was definitely becoming a “real” thing!
What do you love most about reclaimed furniture and home decor items?
I love taking something that someone has discarded or gotten rid of because it’s “ugly” and being able to turn it into something completely fresh and reimagined. It’s where the basis of my business name, MENDED || BEAUTY comes from. There is always beauty there - it’s not lost - it just needs to be mended! The swan represents the possibility for that ugly duckling to turn into something remarkable. I also love thrifting and I’m a big advocate of buying “the weird stuff”! You can find so many cool things that add character and charm to your home that many mainstream decor stores can’t compete with!
"I love taking something that someone has discarded or gotten rid of because it’s “ugly” and being able to turn it into something completely fresh...it’s not lost - it just needs to be mended!"
What's one piece of advice you would give for other entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business?
One of the biggest things I tell myself over and over is to trust the process. So many times I will begin a piece or get halfway through and I just feel completely in over my head. I have to give myself a minute to step back and I remind myself to trust the process... to trust myself. In this day and age it’s so easy to scroll and compare and almost instantly feel like a failure and as though you’ll never measure up.
"I remind myself to trust the process... to trust myself"
If it’s something you love, then you have to shut down the extra voices and stop clicking on everyone else’s reels and stories and go out there and create some of your own! The more I create, the better I feel... the times when I have felt frustrated or stagnant is when I’m comparing more than I’m creating! It’s hard to feel bad when you’re in the middle of your art with your music blasting! Do things because they’re fun. Do things because it makes you come alive. You don’t have to make a million dollars at something for it to be worthwhile to you and to your life.
"Do things because they’re fun...You don’t have to make a million dollars at something for it to be worthwhile to you and to your life."
And also? Stop telling yourself you’re “too old”! You are never too old to dream a new dream or learn a new skill! My own mother is learning to paint - she’s 65! My grandmother didn’t learn to paint until her mid-50’s. Everything is figure-out-able! Be okay being a beginner and be enamored with being a learner. The entire world opens up for you when you realize you don’t have to be perfect or have all the answers... you’ll figure it out if you keep practicing and trying! Don’t quit your daydream!
Why did you decide to use a rubber stamp, as compared to another branding option?
I had actually seen some other furniture artists use a stamp to add their logo and I thought it looked so legit! So, of course I wanted to have one, too! I had looked on Amazon at first, but to be honest, I didn’t really trust that my logo or instructions would be what I wanted in the end... that’s when I found RubberStamps.com and once it was delivered, I couldn’t believe how perfectly my logo stamp looked when inked, even with the tiny details of my signature script it’s so perfect! It’s SO GOOD! I totally cried the first time I used it, because it made me feel like this crazy idea I had was really maybe my best one ever.
"I couldn’t believe how perfectly my logo looked on the stamp... even with the tiny details... it made me feel like this crazy idea I had was really maybe my best one ever."
How are you using your stamps?
I love the versatility of my stamp! I most often use it on an interior drawer or on the underside of a reimagined piece of furniture or decor - but I have also used it on a canvas tote bag that I use when restocking my booth spaces and on notecards and extra personalization for my customers and even on shipping boxes for my customers! I have received so many compliments about how good my logo looks on my finished pieces. I even used the stamp on the center of my work/crafting table! It’s seriously been my best business purchase!
Where can customers find you?
I’m so glad you asked! I love connecting with people and finding new friends! I am on both Instagram (instagram.com/mended.beauty) and Facebook (facebook.com/ mendedbeautybylaura)! Please stop by and say hello! And if you’re ever in Northern Indiana, you can visit one (or both!) of my locations: The Country Shoppes of Grabill in Grabill, Indiana or at The Shops at the Sanctuary in Columbia City, Indiana!
Anything else you would like readers to know about you, your store or your brand?
Whether it’s home decor or an inherited piece of furniture, or even yourself... give yourself the opportunity to try. Give yourself permission to dream a little. And to mess up. Learn how to keep beginning again.
I remember when I made my first logo and sent it to my best friend and I told her I was just being silly and messing around... but I think even then, deep down, I was really curious about what this would look like for me. What might be possible if I could do this and create a little corner for myself that I could fill with all of my big dreams.
I am grateful every day for this chance!
HOW DO YOU STAMP?
Branding and Marketing