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Friday, March 8, 2013

MIA & Feature Piece

Hi all! I have been so busy at the shop that my personal blogging and home fix ups have fallen by the wayside. Mike and I finished the master bathroom a few weeks ago, so I will definitely have to get photos of that up ASAP.

I'm just popping my head in quick to brag a bit about an article in this week's Essex Reporter featuring me! (And my store...) Check it out!

Q&A with Theresa McCabe

Co-Owner of The Green Dresser, LLC.

Furniture Consignment Center Williston Vermont VT Used Furniture Co-Owner Theresa McCabe
Theresa McCabe stands in her
shop in Williston in February.
“I’m an expert dolly-user,” said Theresa McCabe. “I can roll and move things 15-times my weight.” As the co-owner of The Green Dresser, LLC — also known as Furniture Consignment Center in Williston — McCabe’s dolly-skills serve her every day of the week, when she’s managing the shop, taking consignments, or restoring or selling a piece of furniture.
McCabe partnered with Danial Ardesh — the original owner of Furniture Consignment Center — in the summer of last year when she moved to Vermont from Boston to live with her partner Michael Fletcher, son of John Fletcher.
The couple met when McCabe was attending Emerson College in Boston, but when Mike was offered a position at National Life he moved back to the home he grew up in situated off of Lost Nation and Discovery Road on the Essex Junction boarder of Colchester. Mike bought the property from his father John who now lives in Fairfax.
John used to operate an antique clock restoration business from his Essex Junction home, and according to McCabe there’s still a “freaky room called the clock room downstairs with gears hanging from the celling.”
“John has been showing me the ropes,” McCabe explained. “Over the years he’s been to a lot of flea markets; he’s been showing me how to fix things up, what’s worth what, and how to fix clocks and stuff.”
McCabe is the fourth child of seven; she grew up just outside of New York City and never expected to get into restoration and furniture, let alone drive a tractor. “I have to mow the lawn and plow the driveway; it’s a bit different,” said the 2010 Emerson graduate. “When I grew up I would see 20 houses and tons of cars driving by when I looked out the window… Now I can look out the window and not see a house — I actually see horses. It’s an adjustment for me, but I’m starting to like the silence; and if it’s too quiet, I just start talking.”
With a BA in Broadcast Journalism, McCabe hasn’t given up her dream of having her own show one day. But for now, she and Badger — her almost 2-year-old Great Pyrenees — go to work helping people reconnect with quality furniture.
McCabe recently elaborated on her craft and enthusiasm for “green furniture.”
Q: How did you discover your interest in furniture?
A: I never thought I would get into furniture. I was a college basketball player, and I thought I’d like to do sports reporting. I guess I always had a little obsession with HGTV and the DIY Network. I remember helping my mom paint our bedroom set when I was young. I guess I was pushing in this direction as a kid, but I never really noticed it.
Q: When did you begin selling your furniture?
A: When I first moved up from Boston I took a job in Richmond for a bit; on the side I was always going to garage sales, flea markets and fixing up furniture and selling it on Craigslist. I was also blogging a lot at the time.
My blog was called Quar-Décor — décor for your life at a quarter of the price. (Visit www.quardecor.com)
My tag line was: “I’m aspiring to become a self-employed furniture fixer-upper.” It was a way for me to figure out how to use old stuff and make it new again.
Q: How did you connect with the Furniture Consignment Center?
A: I remember I fixed up this one dresser in August that I got at a garage sale for free. I painted it green and put some gold knobs on it and put it on Craigslist. A man called almost immediately after I posted it and said, ‘I want that dresser I’m coming to get it tonight.’ I sold it to him for $60.
It turned out that man (Danial Ardesh, of Williston) was the owner of this store (Furniture Consignment Center). I had been here many times before. He opened it earlier in 2012, but he was struggling to make it work. Danial also runs Williston Transportation Company.
From Day One I knew we were a really good pair; we work really well together. The next day, I met up with him at the Merrill Auction… and every weekend from then until October I came in and helped him run the store and learned the ropes.
At that time, I was the social media director for Vermont Public Television. It broke my heart to leave them because they are an amazing crew… they were all so supportive.
Danial and I ended up starting a new company called The Green Dresser LLC after the green dresser that he bought (from me) and then sold.
Now I’m the co-owner of the store.
Q: Why do you call this type of business “the green way to buy and sell quality furniture”?
A: The green theme runs through our company. We want to make sure we keep pieces out of the landfill. I fix things up, put some wood glue or a fresh coat of paint on to help keep furniture from destroying the environment.
We are in the business of rehoming furniture. We encourage shoppers to opt for used, well-built furniture from us, rather than brand new, lower quality pieces from the “Big Box” stores. I’m happy to do a bit of repair work here and there; it is so rewarding to give functional used furniture a chance to go back into circulation, rather than into a landfill.
Q: How do you find the furniture to restore?
A: There are a lot of ways that we come across our furniture. We’re working really hard to make it so that we don’t have to go out any more and find it, but we still do go to auctions and garage sales and estate sales. But eventually we want people just to come to us, so we can help them liquidate their estate, sell a piece they’ve had in their garage forever or whatever it takes to help get furniture back into circulation.
Q: Do you have a favorite piece of furniture, or a favorite memory of restoring a piece?
A: I had a favorite piece but it sold. It was a gorgeous five-drawer dresser; it was tall, it had an amazing carved out legs. It got an imperfection one day when I was moving it — because I always move things alone; it was so heavy that one of the legs came off. I thought it was ruined. So I had Mike’s dad come in and he showed me how to strap it up with these ratchet clamps and I glued it back together; it sold for $275.
Right now my favorite piece is this turn of he century carved table. The inlay is beautiful; it’s in great shape for its age.
Q: Why is buying/selling “green” furniture rewarding?
A: I really enjoy meeting people. I feel like the kind of people I meet are my kind of people. They are looking for deals and finds. People come in here just looking for something that will catch their eye. It’s always really nice when someone comes in here and says, “wow this is nice,” and I get to say, “Oh, I did that.”  I have met some really amazing people from all over.
While it’s true that I enjoy fixing up and transforming furniture from drab to fab, more often than not we are bringing in pieces that don’t need any fixing at all.  We primarily focus on consigning and selling high quality, gently used furniture that has aged well.
Editor’s Note: More info about consignment and galleries can be found atwww.furnitureconsignmentcenter.com.
— Elsie Lynn

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