Maybe you have an antique table that has been passed down from generation to generation, and you want to be proud to seat people at it, but it's stained and scratched, and well—just plain old ugly. Initially, that need to refurbish is what grew Jewels and Jems Furniture Redesigns, but today, it's a whole new ball of wax.
Daralee Kittelson, the store owner, started refinishing her own furniture. She was good, so good that her friends wanted her to do theirs, and then their friends reached out and so on. All of the projects she was taking on were filling up her garage! That's when she started looking for shop space.
She didn't envision the shop as a downtown retail storefront, but the space was exactly what she wanted. The opportunity inspired her to reimagine the business as a refurbishing shop and a space to host workshops, private events, sell tools, supplies, and home décor.
"I am so fortunate that we were able to transition into what the store is now," explains Daralee. "There aren't many furniture refurbishing storefronts, let alone one in southeast Saskatchewan.
We love teaching others the craft. Especially when it helps us keep a beautiful piece of furniture out of the landfill."
They also supply materials, tools, and advice on making themed home décor items. Clients can join a class or host private events, such as ladies' nights and birthday parties. Kittelson added, "over the Christmas season, we were even hosting staff parties and family nights."
Daralee especially loves learning the stories of the pieces she works on. Recently, she was refinishing a little dresser; while pulling out a drawer, she found a sticker on its back, which read, 'Kathlyne, July 31, 1946.'
"The wonder of who Kathlyne was or is, is magical," she shared. "While working, I imagine what was stored in the furniture, who ate at the table, how many jokes were told around it, or tears fell on it. How little hands have touched and coloured on the furniture. I love what I do; if it brings joy into someone's life by having us fix up that old family heirloom they didn't know what to do with, then I feel my work was a success."
NOTE: Daralee participated in the Destination Creation program in the fall of 2021. A big takeaway from the course for her was that by tracking her time better, she could focus on her short-term goals and achieve them even faster! A clear vision was all she needed.
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