One Woman's Junk is Another Woman's Treasure

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on August 31, 2010 with No Comments

By Carl Kurek

Everyday junk can be transformed into art by the women of Thrifty & Chic, a small shop tucked away in a corner in downtown Valparaiso that then sells the exclusive art in a unique resale environment.

The five women who run the shop offer an eclectic mix of furniture, antiques, paintings, glassware, jewelry, garden art and much more. The women say their goals are to give old items new purposes and recycle things that would otherwise end up in landfills.

This is a good thing considering that the Environmental Protection Agency claims that the U.S. has over 3,000 active landfills and over 10,000 old municipal landfills. These landfills all have hazardous air emissions and leachate, or water runoff, and all landfills will eventually fail and leak leachate into ground and surface water.

Barb Pullins and her daughter Kari Brockway are two of the five women who run Thrifty & Chic. They specialize in transforming old furniture into something new and unique by using paint, paper and other types of embellishments.

“To find a piece that might look awful to someone else excites us,” Pullins said of the items they usually find abandoned on the side of the road, in re-sale shops, garage sales and auctions. “We can’t wait to start working on it. The end result even amazes us sometimes.”

Pullins said that they also love to paint on canvas and the duo’s new found love is using paper – anything from book and magazine pages to wallpaper and scrap booking paper – to make art.

“Whether it be putting it on canvas or furniture, it makes a big statement,” Pullins added. “We often use poetry, song lyrics or make up our own statements.”

The self-taught artists also have a love for furniture painting and interior re-design.

“Going into someone’s home and changing it to reflect who they are brings us great joy,” Pullins said.

They use what the client already has, just placing it differently.

“All of us have treasures in our homes that have great meaning to us but we keep them hidden away,” Pullins said. “Good memories should be seen and enjoyed.”

Pullins and Brockway say that their ideas come to them naturally and while people tell them it is a talent, they believe it is just who they are.

“The greatest thing about doing this is the customers love for the piece,” Pullins said. “We want to inspire people, let them know not to be afraid to decorate their home with who they are and where they come from.”

The women of Thrifty & Chic invite the public to come and see what they have to offer. Thrifty & Chic is located in the alley at 256 W Indiana Ave in Valparaiso with normal business hours of Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sundays 12-4 p.m.

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