This has been an amazing year of growth!

A year ago, I was struggling to find my niche. Which, ironically is not as simple as refinishing furniture and selling it! Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE to fix up old furniture and breathe new life into it. But, I am passionate about sharing the secrets of the trade with other aspiring DIYers and finding ways to inspire others to create! It wasn’t until I signed a contract to sell Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in January that I really had an outlet to teach other people how to transform their amazing finds. Since then, we have successfully trained over 50 people in the art of painting, distressing and waxing furniture!

A year ago, I (literally) threw some new and old hardware in a basket with a price tag to “clean off” some much needed shelving. I wasn’t expecting it to sell…after all, it was hardware that I was intending to use in some future projects…but, it flew out the store. It was like a light bulb went off! If you can come buy paint at knot too shabby, then you should be able to get everything else needed to refinish a project. So, I set up accounts with some brush suppliers for paint brushes, waxing brushes and soaps and contacted a hardware supplier oversees so that I could start selling my own “Anthropologie” style knobs. Now, we sell fabric, burlap sacks, ribbons, sanding blocks, sandpaper…oh, and Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in our “Do-it-yourself Center.”

A year ago I put a stop to offering consignment opportunities in the shop. Reason number one; I simply didn’t have the space to share with others. Reason number two; it didn’t mesh with my personal style. Since I quit selling consignment items, I have been able to hone into my own style and let it flourish throughout the store. Which, is keeping to the vintage flair of worn metal and wood and re purposed items. It brings about a greater sense of unity throughout the entire shop.

Anyway…so many changes this year, lots of blog posts and some great new friends and customers! It is quite fulfilling.

I went back through my blog stats and was curious to see what the most popular posts were this past year! I was surprised at which ones made the list.

Number 5
A Kitchen for the Kids

I wrote about this really fun transformation just before Christmas last year because I refinished this play kitchen from the 1950’s with a paint treatment, new hardware and faux granite counter tops. My girls got this from Santa last year, and it is still their favorite play thing in the house!

Number 4
From 2 to 10

I think this one made this list because this farmhouse style table is so popular right now…and what’s not to like about it! It was a fabulous transformation from a golden maple color to this rich dark walnut top and painted base. Can I tell you a secret? The base is painted with spray paint! It looked great when it was finished and expanded from a simple 2-seater to a 10 seater!

Number 3
Redone Again

This post was about a dresser I refinished that didn’t sell for over six months so I refinished again. This was a post from 2011 as well, and I think it was so popular because I used a homemade chalk paint mix for the paint finish. About a year ago, the homemade chalk paint frenzy was all over blogland…but, I think it has fizzled out a bit since it just doesn’t compare to the real stuff.

Number 2
The Art of Re-purposing

This was another post written last December and among the most read this year! The entire post was dedicated to re-purposing everyday household items (or junk) and making them part of your home decor…be it furniture, wall hangings, garden accessories…etc.

And the Number 1 post of the year…
Vintage Decorating Styles

This entire blog post defined the differences between the popular “vintage style” decorating. Who new that there were so many different styles from French Country, to Shabby Chic to Modern Country? It also shows my personal decorating style which I defined as Early Americana Vintage…a cross between Urban Vintage and Modern Country (without the modern element). Basically, if it is made from old wood and metal, I tend to love it…and the more re purposed it is, the more I like it…but I still need traditional elements thrown into the mix to balance the “junkiness.” and add some class.

Looking back at the list of popular posts, I loved seeing the variety in topics! I’m going to take that as a cue for the new year and keep blogging about anything and everything. Of course, painting transformations will make the cut because that is what I do the most!

Thank-you for sharing in the adventure of our business this year! I hope that you have a wonderful and safe New Year’s!

From all of us at knot too shabby, Happy New Years! Here’s to a great 2013!