People of Charlotte, please meet Melody Adams! The way Melody restores new life into discarded furniture will no doubt catch your eye as it did mine. The fresh, bold refinish she brings to each thoughtfully selected item becomes a showcase piece in homes around Charlotte. Perhaps Melody's work will lead you to see new life in a piece of furniture that you were considering tossing to the curb! Now let's get to know her story!
UNC Charlotte—I’ve lived in Charlotte since 1997!
Area of Charlotte that you call home?
Have you always been the creative type?
I’ve always dabbled in the arts. I was a 3rd grade teacher for eight years at Cotswold Elementary where I always tried to incorporate art throughout the day.
How did your girls inspire your first creative endeavor?
Before I started working on furniture I owned an Etsy store, Ella Jane, named after my two daughters. I enjoyed making children's clothing and made most of Ella and Jane's clothes when they were small. However, I’ve always loved thrift stores, antique shops and places like Habitat for Humanity, so those venues have long been a stomping ground.
How did perusing second hand furniture stores turn into your next business venture?
When we made the move to a house double the size of our last, I found myself drawn to older pieces that have a story. I meticulously chose each piece of furniture and about 90% of the pieces in our home are second hand. I’ve also reupholstered a lot of our furniture, but learned it takes way too much time and effort! I prefer working with wood and paint.
Where can we see the new life you have restored to tossed out pieces?
I found the green dresser behind me in the main picture above about five years ago. It was my first real fixer upper. It’s not perfect, but I love it and will never sell it. I now have a shop on Facebook called Miller Modern Design. I mostly sell midcentury modern, but love a pretty antique every once in a while.
Is it difficult to find the right fixer uppers?
What I do takes a lot of time and patience. I’ll hit up Goodwill, Salvation Army, Habitat, and also scan FB Marketplace and Craigslist several times a week. Some days are good while other days I’ll spend hours searching and end up with nothing. But the good days outnumber the bad! I’ll bring the pieces home and decide how much work they’ll require and go from there.
How has COVID-19 affected your business?
This quarantine has not been good for business!! I’ve actually started offering furniture painting at a discounted rate. People just drop off their furniture in my driveway which I then paint. They pickup their items without us ever coming into contact. This new stream of business has actually kept me quite busy.
You are being generous with your creative talents during this time! Please share.
I’ve also kept busy making masks for anyone who needs them. In the last two days, I’ve made about 25 face masks for my neighbors to wear while out shopping. I’ve even have my girls helping me sew!
Dark times hold the potential for greater light. What has been your light?
The quarantine has been difficult, but we’ve never had this many consecutive family dinners...ever! My husband works pretty late and my 14-year-old son plays a lot of sports. So I’ve really enjoyed our time— especially dinner—together, along with family movie nights. But we can’t wait to hang out with friends and visit our favorite restaurants when this is all over!
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