Two years ago Laurie Stephens was laid off from her job at a lighting company and decided to turn her hobby into a new career.
In January, she'll take the next step in that career by opening Redposie, a vintage furniture and custom paint shop at 431 McDonough. The shop is expected to open at 11 a.m. Jan. 4.
Stephens, 49, has been refinishing furniture for most of her life. She was the person who fixed things in her family because her dad traveled often for work.
As an adult she bought a big home built in 1898 in Omaha and filled with furniture she found at estate sales.
"I'm a furniture-aholic," she said. "I have so much furniture."
Stephens started selling painted furniture on eBay after she was laid off from her full time job at a lighting company several years ago. After she was successful on eBay, she created a store on etsy.com and eventually had a showroom for her furniture at Francesca's, a resale and home decor shop in St. Charles.
Now she's decided the time is right for her to have her own shop. Until now she's done all of the furniture refinishing at her house. The new store will include a showroom and work space.
"If you saw my house, it's so crowded," she said. "It's just packed. The garage is packed, the basement is packed. I can't open this other place fast enough."
Stephens primarily uses milk paint to refinish furniture. While initially most of her customers bought things in neutral colors, she's finding younger clients enjoy brightly-painted furniture.
"The furniture speaks to you on how to paint it," she said. "I spend a lot of time thinking about it before I even start painting. After that, it takes shape on its own."
In addition to selling refinished furniture, Stephens teaches monthly classes on furniture refinishing. Her next class is set for 10:30 a.m. Dec. 29 and will teach class members how to use milk paint. Cost is $55. To register, head here.
431 McDonough Street, St. Charles, MO, 63301
Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.