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Woman Breathes New Life Into Old Furniture

An area artist has started Vintage Chic Creations and sells locally online at Etsy.com.

An area artist has found a way to combine art, passion and function with a new at-home business.

Hilary Joyce started Vintage Chic Creations just six months ago, and already she has found a huge base of clients locally and online at Etsy.com.

Her trick? She's creating trendy new furniture and finding creative ways to repurpose old furniture in ways that get people excited.

An example is her so-called dress-up closet, a miniature closet suitable for children complete with a rack for clothes, where parents can display their kids' coolest outfits in a fun way.

Joyce said once she put out a photo of one of the closets, she had dozens of orders filling her inbox. Parents were going crazy for it.

"Since I started, there hasn't been a time when I haven't had orders," she said.

It's just one of the projects that Joyce has absorbed herself in since starting Vintage Chic Creations. The company started with custom-designed signs for weddings, new births and businesses.

From signs, she expanded into refinishing furniture made with reclaimed wood—wood that once had another use. Her creations have a rustic, natural look, but are elegantly simple.

"Why throw out perfectly good wood when there's still a way to use it?" Joyce said of the worn-looking wood, which has become a signature look for her furniture.

Joyce works out of her home in Cape St. Claire, where she's already refinished every piece of furniture in her house. She said it takes long hours and determination to make this kind of business work, particularly when she has so many orders and only one employee. She also has a new daughter, and it's for her that Joyce said she decided to start an at-home business.

Joyce said she's not drawing the line at signs and furniture. She'll take on all kinds of artistic projects. 

"If you think of it, I can make it," she said. "It doesn't matter what I'm making so long as I'm creating something. It's stress relieving."

For more information on Vintage Chic Creations, visit its Facebook page

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