Saturday, September 13, 2014

w h a t   i s   t h e   m o d e r n    c o t t a g e ?

This is the question of the week here at MCC store. I don't normally get asked that question but it came up this week more times than I can count.
The Modern Cottage Company store is an antique painted and unpainted furniture store. I always want it to be that first. We also have new and vintage home décor and gift items for you home. I try not to make grand statements because life happens and opportunities come up, but for now you will not find paint here, jewelry or anything that doesn't reflect something beautiful for your home.
This is not my mission statement, is it what is is. It could change, I like a bit of fluidity with my business but for the most part the way I have run MCC has not changed in years.
The second question of the week that ties along with the first question is "Do you do all of this yourself?".  Obviously the answer to that is no. But I like to think of the store as an extension of my paint studio. I am first and foremost a furniture painter. I have been for 20 years and hope it is always a part of me. It feels like one of my children to me. The Modern Cottage Company is the name of the store and people know me as a painter so you better believe I have my own pieces in the store. Looking at it as an extension of my studio means I am almost always the one that runs the store. I want to be here. I built this company literally with a paint brush in my hand. I buy some products to fill the store but mostly the artists here create them or found them.
I am also a retail merchandiser and photo stylist. I might even enjoy that part more than painting. I love love love merchandising. I had a gentleman from a magazine come into the store this week and told me it was perfectly curated. I just about died when he said that. That is probably the biggest compliment I have ever had in the years I have been doing this.
The third question I get asked is  "If you paint furniture why are there different tags on pieces?". Simple answer. I did not paint or create that piece.  I fully believe in giving the artists here total credit for their work. If I was a consigner in a store I would want my tags on the piece. I approach this store as an artist myself. It does not hurt my business to have their tags on pieces. I am fully supportive of their brands and love sharing in the joy of them building their own brands. It takes nothing away from me. It actually motivates me to care about my work as much as they do. We have a small group here and it is built as much on admiration of each others work as trust.
The last question I get the most is "Where do you find your pieces?". I am not going to answer that one :) It is by far the hardest part of my job. The basic answer to that is I have been doing this a long enough time I have sources. I am picky with my pieces and sometimes I spend a lot of money on them. I like them to be from a certain era and be high quality pieces of furniture.
The Modern Cottage Company might an extension of mine and the other artists here studios but I want you to feel like you can come here to be inspired to create your own beautiful space. I can't tell you how many times a day I get someone that comes here to either show me a piece they worked on themselves but also to ask my advice because they are either about to start a project or got stuck in the middle of one. I love helping. I enjoy the family of customers we have here. Yesterday I had a day here when customer after customer was someone that I knew and built a trusting friendship with.
I left the store late last night with a full heart.
That is what the Modern Cottage Company is to me.