Today we’d like to introduce you to Molly Dohm.
Hi Molly, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I started refinishing furniture about 7 years ago when I found a vanity at a thrift store that I wanted to paint for myself. I quickly fell in love with so many parts of the process – from the problem-solving needed for repair work to the therapeutic painting, to the end result of a massive transformation.
A few years after that when I had more space, I refinished a few pieces for myself and friends/family. Then one day I decided to buy an old China cabinet to refinish but had nowhere to actually keep it so I decided to sell it. I started just doing it as a hobby and selling the pieces because I had no room to keep them.
I didn’t get serious about refinishing furniture as an actual business until last year during COVID when I had a lot of time on my hands and started working on more pieces and building my Instagram presence. I created a Facebook page and then an Etsy shop and now I can sell and ship my pieces nationwide. It has turned into a great little side business that allows me to flex my creative muscles and I am so passionate about it!
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It hasn’t always been smooth and it still isn’t! While I’ve learned so much about this craft over the years, I am still learning every day. What’s amazing about working on vintage furniture is that no two pieces are the same – each one will require different amounts of effort, repair, and problem-solving. But that’s part of the fun.
Owning a small business also has its own challenges when it comes to understanding how to navigate the world of exposure and branding. Instagram, Facebook, Etsy – they all have different algorithms, rules of engagement, and best practices that take time to learn and to truly build your presence on each of these platforms. I have to work at it every day and I am constantly learning.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a business professional by day and a creative “furniture artist” by night and weekend. My professional life doesn’t fulfill my creative desires so I turned to furniture refinishing as a hobby which quickly blossomed into a real side business for me. I specialize in refinishing vintage and antique furniture that is usually beyond the option to truly restore or that needs updating/modernizing to find a place in someone’s home again. I love giving old, worn down (and often ugly) furniture a new lease on life. When I can transform a piece that no one wanted, that was destined for the landfill into a gorgeous statement piece for someone’s home, there is no greater feeling. I primarily only refinish solid wood pieces, which are really desirable in this day and age of MDF and composite furniture. They just need a little love to bring them back to life. I like to refer to it as restoring a little grace into each piece, hence the name of my business – “Vintage Grace Design”. I think what sets me apart from others is my attention to detail and level of perfectionism.
What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
Not to give up. There is always that piece that tests your limits and sometimes you just need to walk away and come back the next day with a fresh mindset. I think I’ve also learned how important it is to have a sense of community. I’ve built a great following for my business but I’ve also discovered an amazing community of other refinishers. We all inspire each other and we learn from each other every day. I truly believe it’s the reason I’ve been able to build a successful business so quickly!
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @vintagegracedesign
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vintagegracedesignfurniture/
- Other: https://etsy.me/3pnNJqu