With a shared love of reviving furniture, Debbie Westbrooks and Jamie Lott have opened Nostalgia on North Main Street in Statesboro.
With the slogan "Revive, Refresh and Reclaim," the pair has created a retail store front focusing on the sale of furniture that has been reclaimed using the age old products of chalk paint and milk paint.
"Both formulas are very old, and a much healthier alternative to modern paint," Westbrooks said. "We have two lines of paint that we sell, and are the retailers for them in Bulloch County. The milk paint that we have is from Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint Company. Our chalk paint is from the Maison Blanche Paint Company."
Heidi Howard has become a big fan of the store, and recently purchased chalk paint to renovate a coffee table that she owns.
"Every time I would come in here and find a piece that I liked, it had already been sold or being held for someone else," she said. "There are stores in Atlanta that have this type of thing, but not here. Everything is so well done. It really is amazing to look at their before and after pictures of pieces that have been painted."
Lott said her interest in reviving furniture began six years ago when she inherited furniture from her mother, great aunt and great uncle after they passed away relatively close to one another.
"I couldn't bear to part with the things I had inherited, but a lot of it just didn't fit with what I already had, so I began to explore what could be done with it," she said. "I enjoy looking at things in a different way and seeing the beauty in them. It was how I was brought up, so I began to refresh those things, and it worked out great. I couldn't believe how much difference a little bit of paint and care could make something look."
Westbrooks said she has had a number of customers describe their store as kind of Anthropology for Statesboro. Some even mention that it has the feel of a Pottery Barn.
"We envisioned that when you walk in here, it would feel good, smell good, and be trendy," she said. "We sell more than furniture. We have artwork, soaps, and everything is eco friendly. It just feels warm."
There are four vendors that share the same passion as Westbrooks and Lott, and they have rented space in the store to sell their revived furniture as well.
"It is really great, because the inventory in the store turns over rather quickly," Lott said. "When we opened, we were hopeful that it would generate enough to pay the bills allowing us to get on our feet and establish a customer base. Since we opened this past April, we have gone way above and beyond our expectations. We are thrilled."
In addition to the retail side, classes are offered on the weekends teaching how to paint and transform furniture.
"If you look on our website there is a section that lists the schedule of classes," Lott said. "In only one class, you can redo a piece of furniture. Sometimes the best part of our job is getting to transform something you already own into something you never thought it could be. The pictures on the website say it best."
To learn more about Nostalgia, visit their website at www.nostalgiaboro.com.