Dumpster Darlins Designs

Doing crafts is one of my favorite pastimes, but refinishing furniture is a whole different ball game. Unless you know what you are doing, it's best to leave painting furniture to the professionals. My friend, Charla is the talented and hilarious owner of Dumpster Darlins Designs. She refinished the dresser for baby girl's room and my dining room chairs. Charla did excellent work, and I would recommend her to anyone looking to freshen up their furniture.

Tell us a little about your business, yourself, your family, and your favorite pastime.
I am the creative mind behind Dumpster Darlins Designs,  mother to the cutest little girl this side of the Mississippi, and an amazing wife to my husband of almost 5 years (no need to ask him...just take my word for it, wink wink).   I would have to say these days my favorite past time is going to Target alone. Not once hearing someone say 'Mommy, I do it' or 'Mommy push'.  The joys of trying on a pair of shoes without holding your two year old daughter under your arm like a football.  You know, normal stuff. What is Dumpster Darlins Designs? At DDD, we take old items and give them new life.  I work with my dad and my stepmother. It's a real family affair.  I do most of the painting, custom signs and creative work. My dad is the master woodworker and is my saving grace.  I come to him with ideas and he tells me if they will work. My step-mom is our seamstress and helps out wherever we need her. 

What made you start a business refinishing furniture?
Ah yes, it was 2012. I was enjoying my last few weeks of maternity leave and was about 28 shades in to Fifty Shades of Gray when the call came.  My department in Corporate Relocation would be shutting down. I finished out my maternity leave and went back to work for 6 days then received my severance. My husband and I decided that I would just stay home. Me and my sweatpants were very excited about this decision.  The first six to eight months were a blur.  I don't remember showering much, brushing my teeth, or even realizing what month it was. I was concentrating on keeping that cute baby alive and losing the 61 pounds I'd gained (scratch that..EARNED) while being pregnant.  But soon, I realized I was going bat poo crazy and needed something all my own. I needed my own identity and that's when Dumpster Darlins was born.  

What is the best part/worst part of owning your own business?
There are so many wonderful things about owning my own business.  The hours are flexible so I'm always able to be there for my husband and daughter.  I don't have to answer to anyone and pretty much everything is on my terms. I love coming up with new ideas and seeing the looks on my clients' faces when they fall in love with that special piece.  The downside is trying to develop the balance between SAHM, wife, and business owner. I only work on my projects 2-3 days a week so I don't always get as much done as I would like. I keep telling myself that it will all workout in time and someday I'll stop running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  

Did having your daughter have an impact on running a small business?
Absolutely!  It was the number one factor in my decision. I would love to teach Violet the ropes and build a company that could someday be passed down to her.   She already helps me paint. Well, that one time anyway. We're still trying to clean up the paint spatters. 

 'Balance' What exactly does that mean?  This is a constant struggle for me.  Violet has been to more estate sales and thrift stores in her two years of life than I care to admit.  Sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day. This is a work in progress for me!

Any tips for those looking for someone to refinish their furniture?
Call me, of course!  Haha.  There are so many people out there that paint and refinish furniture these days.  Just find someone that you click well with and that you feel like really understands the style you are going for.   

Finish this statement. I wish someone would have told me that owning a small business...
I wish someone would've told me that you won't become a billionaire overnight and that owning your own business isn't easy!  It's expensive to have this type of business.  Sandpaper, tools, paint, rent, market fees, gas for all the 'pickin', and not to mention finding the perfect pieces that you hope will speak to someone.  

 I currently have a booth at Frisco Mercantile (suite 616) and I also set up at ORLY Market in McKinney the weekend before the third Monday of each month.  While I love the people I meet and getting to share my passion with others, I dream of the day I can open the doors to my very own store filled with the perfect mix of vintage and modern goodies and homemade bread!  My future's so bright, I gotta wear shades. (I'm officially delirious) 

Thanks to Charla for stopping by to answer some questions. There are so many pieces I see at thrift stores and antique malls that would look lovely with a fresh coat of paint. It is so much work to sand and paint antique pieces. I'll just keep Charla busy with my painting projects. Have you refinished any furniture? I'd love to hear about it.


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