About Us

About us...
First let me introduce myself.  I'm Katie and I write most of the posts on this blog so I'll tell ya about "us" from my perspective.  My mom is Faye, the proprietor of sorts.  If you happen to have shopped at our little cottage this is who most likely helped you.  The cottage is located on my parent's property in Oregon City, OR.  "The Shabby Cottage" was born out of the "Shabby Chic" trend.  

My mom and my sister-in-law Shannon started painting furniture, but also so much more.  They built shelves on top of nightstands, cabinets out of old windows, added back splashes and appliques to pieces they found at garage sales and thrift stores.  Creating a look of their own.  They would load up their trucks on the weekends and then paint, refinish, and embellish, then load them up again all finished and take their masterpieces (that's just to make em laugh) to flea markets, bazaars, and vintage sales.  Way back when these types of sales all began.  I remember them taking loads of furniture and home decor and leaving with a single lamp.   Honestly I think they were some of the first ones out there.  

All the while, my sister and I we're home raisin' our kids, but contributing here and there.  We really began to get involved when we started participating in the Portland Gift Show selling to wholesalers.  There was a Vintage Cash & Carry section perfect for us to sell our one of a kind masterpieces.  We would load up the trucks and trailers, cart it all into the convention center, set it up, display and stage all our freshly painted furniture.  I tell ya it was ALOT of work.  We did really well in this market though.  In the mean time, we had no where to store our furniture between sales, so my dad set out to build a storage building.  Let me tell you something about my dad, he doesn't just throw up a pole building and call it good.  If you have had to opportunity to own or see some of the treasures he's built, they truly are very well built works of art, as far as I'm concerned.  Anyway,
The Cottage came out of scouring rebuilding supply shops and inventive ways of using industrial and reclaimed materials.  Fabulous old doors, windows, and old wood were used for siding and floors, window boxes, old posts, and galvanized tin for the roof.  If you really study it, it's also a true work of art, and all before reusing and reclaiming materials became trendy.  

We are pretty proud of our little Cottage, and couldn't possibly use it as just storage!  So the idea of opening to the public came up.  We opened on Saturdays only in 2009.  It was a little slow going at first knowing that our location was our handicap.  We did keep going to the gift show and sales, but soon realized this was just too much work and decided to have a go at retail only.  Again, my dad set to work, building and added what we call our "Summer Room".  Lots of light from the walls made from old windows. the clear corrugated roof and french doors.  We parked the cargo trailer, put on a porch and canopy, and we had a new place to display.  The garage is also decorated and displayed.  We've spilled onto the front porch and even the driveway in nice months.  We have almost 1000 square feet of refurbished, one of kind furniture and home decor.  Soon just Saturday became Friday also, and then website and email advertising, and finally social media like this blog, Facebook and so on.  

Our family
I  have one sister and one brother.  My brother, Dustin married to Shannon, they have one son.   My sister Holly has two grown kids, and I have four children.  Trust me the kids get involved in this little business as soon as their old enough to hold a paint brush. Just kidding!  They don't really paint when they're 2, but they all definitely contribute in one way or another if only to look cute on our display pics.  All of our husbands are also supportive and involved although mostly behind the scenes.  We truly couldn't do it without them.  

A little history...
This little business didn't come from nothing.  We all grew up going to school bazaars and craft sales.  I remember making little cinnamon bear lollypops, dough art ornaments, and my mom painting ceramics in the garage as a way of contributing to the family finances.  Although to me it was just fun.  This was a huge part of my memories growing up.  We had kilns in the garage and helped scrape and clean ceramics.  Some of the first business names I remember are the "Dusty Dungeon" this came from my mom and aunts working on ceramics in my aunts basement which definitely seemed like a dungeon to me.  Then there was "Faye's Originals", she mostly did ceramic animals or least that's what I remember, she got to be known for the eyelashes she painted on them.  I recently ran across this ceramic cat a Goodwill. 
I knew it was hers because of the eyelashes.  Pretty funny.  

After we were grown, My parents bought The Country Christmas Craft Bazaar.  They ran it a little different than most at the time.  They didn't have all the crafters come and set up their separate booths.  She gave each crafter a number and set up beautiful displays that coordinated everything together for the best display, like our shop now.   We all contributed, helped set up, displayed, and helped customers twice a year for 6 years.  Eventually they sold the bazaar and opened a home decor shop with a partner that did florals called "A Touch of Home".  I think this was definitely a dream of my moms.  They stayed open a few years, but I think being a shop owner was not all it seemed cracked up to be, with all the overhead, always having to be there, and rarely paying herself.  This is probably why we haven't opened "The Shabby Cottage"  as a shop somewhere although we still dream that dream now and then.

I guess that brings us up to date.  We have definitely evolved over time from painting everything white with pink flowers.  Don't let the name fool you, we go way beyond Shabby Chic.  Come along with us and see where this little business journey takes us.

You can check out my "at the Cottage"  Pinterest board to get an idea of what we have to offer.   Like our Facebook book page for the most current happenings and merchandise for sale at the Cottage.

  Thanks again so much for taken' the time to learn a little about us

                                                            Katie

3 comments:

Jacqueline den Daas Beringen said...

Love your blog it's a lot of inspiration for me.
Groetjes from the Netherlands
Jacqueline

.oblit0rat0r said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ChatChat said...

Hi there. I love the potting table made from the old window. I'd like to make one for my sister. Did you buy the old window and then frame it in adding hooks on the side?

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