It's also about giving life new direction.
The mother-daughter team runs Alter'd Relics:
Only a matter of months ago, the business was just a distant dream, a maybe-we'll-do-that-someday kind of plan. But the two had their hands full with another project, preparing a nursery in Neill's
Mother and daughter combed tag sales for a dresser and glider to outfit the baby's room and used their skills to turn those pieces into treasures. They crafted a perfect place to welcome the child they awaited so eagerly.
Sadly, that nursery was never put to use.
Neill went into labor on
The sudden death of tiny
She struggled with her grief but found solace in the nursery she and her mother had created. As she sat there one day, she came to a realization: The creativity she had put into that room could be a therapeutic outlet.
"I thought, there's something else I need to do with this energy," Neill recalled.
She had a willing accomplice in her mother, a lifelong scavenger and longtime furniture restorer. Andrella, who lives in Green, has seen the potential in other people's castoffs ever since she dragged a monogrammed leather suitcase out of the neighbors' trash the summer before she was in fourth grade. She once sold furniture she'd repurposed at Best Kept Secrets, the shop she ran for 10 years in the storefront next door to where Alter'd Relics is now.
"Before there were pickers," she said with a laugh, "I was doing that."
She is also no stranger to pain. At age 36, she lost her husband and was left alone to raise their four children, who at the time ranged in age from 2 to 9.
She knew the consolation that came from work she enjoyed and the empathy of caring customers. She wanted the same for her daughter.
They set up shop in an empty storefront in downtown
After more than two months of tireless work, they unveiled their business with an open house at the end of November.
The shop sells vintage furniture and pieces Andrella and Neill have spruced up with paint, along with jewelry, home accessories and other goods created by a few local artisans. They also do custom work and sell Blue Minerals chalk paint powder, an additive that turns latex or acrylic paint into chalk paint.
Eventually they hope to offer classes to teach others how to revive their own furniture.
The original plan was to open the shop only one weekend a month, Andrella said. But the response has been so positive that the store is currently open from
This month's splurge dates are coming up next weekend:
And if people should happen by their shop at
"If we're here and the lights are on," Andrella said, "of course they're welcome."
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