This business is my baby. I love it, live it and sometimes even obsess over it. I stay up late working on it and can say that I have honestly put my blood, sweat and many tears into it. Our Instagram and Facebook pages show only the beautiful side of our business. While we LOVE to show off the pretty things as a result of our hard work, sometimes it's not so pretty AND crazy things happen.
Funny story - One of our first real events was an eye opener for me. While I dreamed of gorgeous weddings, darling details and breathtaking vintage furniture, I never thought about the other side. My husband, Chris, so lovingly reminded me that the pretty stuff is about 30% of what we do. The remaining percentage consists of logistics, emails, organizing, meetings, loading trucks, moving heavy furniture, sweating, packing, unpacking, packing again, and repeating these steps. All of which I have grown to love BUT as I carried our extra heavy "Winnie" sofa up three flights of stairs, I realized just what he was talking about.
Owning our own business is scary and exciting and sometimes a little stressful. We have grown so much and made it through our first and what I imagine will be our most difficult year. I thought it might be fun to reflect back and share some funny and not so funny things that happened to us.
Chris just so happened to be deployed during every single one of these crazy moments. I hope you can imagine my phone calls to Poznan, Poland every time something little happened. Shout out to to him for dealing with my million phone calls, tears and as he puts it sometimes, my "over-Bri-actions." LOL. Enjoy these moments, I will never forget.
An Unexpected Deployment
While we are on the topic - let's just start there. With Chris being active duty in the Army, it is always a possibility that he will have to deploy. For some reason, I had it in my mind that after our last two moves, we would make it back to NY, settle into our new home with our new business and live happily ever after with no more time apart. They say when you make plans, God laughs - and what a crazy time to have him leave for 9 months. Talk about a panic. How was I going to do this alone? I mean - obviously I knew that I could handle it - but physically, I couldn't lift vintage couches and farm tables by myself. Insert a Facebook post for summer help. Little did I know that this Facebook post would introduce me to some amazing, strong women that have turned into some of my best friends. Long road trips, hard work and hilarious stories. I am SO grateful. They don't even know.
Back it Up, Back it In.
For the life of me, I could not back up our huge trailer down our extra long driveway. It is a V-nose and sways back and forth, the opposite of the truck if you don't know what you're doing. Before Chris left for overseas, he tried to teach me how to do it and I wasn't having it. I guess you could say that I am one of those people who just has to figure it out when I am under pressure and has no other option.
Let's just say practice make perfect - and by practice, I mean crying at the end of the driveway, making huge mud tracks in our grass and sometimes parking in the road for the night. Long story short? The crazy thing that happened? I figured it out.
Reupholstering furniture was always on my list of things to learn. If you're interested in learning how to reupholster just like I did, you can read below for my fun how-to guide.
So, you want to learn how to reupholster a vintage sofa? Perfect. All you have to do is ruin one 6 days before it's rented for a wedding. You'll figure it out real quick. Luckily, you'll get the hang of it fast and nobody will know that anything happened. #latenights #lotsofcoffee
We usually pack for big weddings the day before drop off so we are ready to roll bright and early in the morning. This was a big wedding so we had to reserve a really big 26 foot truck and it took us over 3 hours to pack. Just imagine tons of chairs, tables, vintage couches, furnishings and more. I woke up, made my coffee, went outside to start the truck and click, click, click. It was dead. Talk about panic mode. It would have taken us FOREVER to unpack and repack this truck.
Happy ending alert - We were so kindly rescued and the massive truck just had a dead battery. Why, you might ask? Oh, because I may have left the light on in the back while packing up late the night before. Lesson learned. I will NEVER do that again - and a friendly reminder - if a moving truck has a sticker that says the lights are on a timer, don't ever believe it.
We Met Kelly Kapowski
Less of a panic story. We had a wedding out near Sharon Springs, NY one weekend and my friend Kelly was working with me that day. She told me all about the Beekman Boys and we decided to stop at their cute store on the way back from the wedding. We were browsing the shop and Kelly was asking about a charcoal mask that they were selling. Someone else in the shop chimed in - It was Tiffani Amber Thiessen. For those of you who aren't familiar - she played Kelly Kapowski in Saved by the Bell. She was talking about some charcoal toothpaste she was using and how much she loved it. My friend, Kelly didn't recognize her right away and I kept mouthing "Do you know who that is?" LOL - We left the store and instantly Instagram stalked her to find out she was staying with the Beekman Boys that week. In case you're wondering, she was just as beautiful and charming as you would imagine.
Same day. 20 minutes later. We got a flat tire on the trailer and had to wait forever for someone to come change it for us. I still laugh about this now as I picture my poor friend sitting under the tree, waiting for help to come, probably thinking "what did I get myself into, working with this girl?" For the record, we now travel with extra tires and continue to always leave early.
Vintage Couches on a Boat
Fun fact: We were part of a wedding on Cherry Island this Summer and had to load a bunch of rentals onto a pontoon boat to get there. I may have been a little bit nervous on the inside putting all of our pretty things on an open boat with no railings - but it was worth it. If you're getting married on an island, call us, because we are totally in.
Accidents happen and while packing up for a wedding, we dropped and broke a whole tub of beautiful glass pieces the night before the event. One of my good friends, Katie pulled through and found 50+ pieces from a neighbor friend who owned an antique store. With her help, the crisis was averted and my gosh, did Katie save the day - and the wedding centerpieces. Consider this story proof that we will always make it happen.
Hanging on by a Hinge
Our big and beautiful enclosed trailer has been through a heck a of season and let's just say has suffered some minor wear and tear. We ended a triple wedding weekend back at the warehouse to unload and reset. Only to find out that our trailer door was hanging on by a hinge. Thankful for no accidents on the way home and for an amazing local guy who had us back in action 3 days later.
NNY Living Magazine Cover
The craziest thing of all. We were lucky enough to be featured in the wedding issue of NNY Living magazine with a beautiful article, interview and cover photo. What an honor to be recognized for our work and as a new business in the area. We framed it and put it in the warehouse and consider this crazy thing - the highlight of our first year in business.
I know that I am missing a few but all of the the crazy and hectic moments don't even come close to the wonderful moments and lessons learned. Needless to say, it's always an adventure and we can't wait to see what this little business and next season brings.