Bayou Vista artist finds her passion in repurposing furniture
When Kaylor Little and her husband, Brian, moved from their small home in Nederland, Texas, to a much larger home in New Orleans, they had an immediate problem that didn’t sit well with them.
“Right away, I had a furniture problem,” Little said. “I had a bigger home to furnish and not enough from our old house, so I went furniture shopping. I wanted real, wood furniture with real character, but didn’t have much money in the budget.”
After receiving some extra furniture from her mother, Little decided that instead of asking for furniture or shopping in stores, she would make her own.
“I thought, maybe I’ll try to refinish my own pieces the way I want,” she said.
Little taught herself how to use the tools and learned by watching others complete similar projects on YouTube.
“I don’t have a problem getting dirty,” she said.
Her husband suggested she try to find some cheap furniture and try to flip it.
“I bought a dresser for $35 at a resale, refinished it and put it on Craigslist,” she said. “I sold it in four days for a nice profit.”
Soon, that same client said he had a matching desk, and asked her to redo it as well.
“It just started snowballing from there,” she said.
Little began to see pieces of furniture in terms of how she could transform them.
“I could look at a lonely piece of furniture sitting with junk on it, and see past the ugly and focus on creating something beautiful,” she said.
She spent her days in the classroom teaching high school math, and the rest of her time filling furniture orders.
“I realized I had no life,” she said. “My hobby had overtaken everything. I didn’t want to do both anymore. I taught for seven years, but it was becoming stressful, and furniture really is my true love.”
She quit teaching, and, in April 2012, the Littles moved to a Bayou Vista home she furnished impeccably with much of her own handiwork.
“Brian is an avid fisherman and we’re both obsessed with the beach,” she said. “Being close to the water gives me inspiration for my work. I decided to start my own business repurposing furniture, and that’s how Fisherman’s Wife Furniture got started.”
Among the first pieces to find their way into her Bayou Vista home was a chest of drawers that once belonged to her grandparents’ bedroom set.
“I got permission to take this as long as I used it in some way,” she said, pointing to the rustic, chic coffee bar that now sits in her breakfast area. “It had a hutch top with a mirror, but I removed that and applied this glaze finish to it. It’s a lot of time and a lot of steps, but it’s got great sentimental value to me and it’s one of my favorites.”
Little has begun repurposing a large bedroom set, including two French provincial dressers and end tables.
“I have a six-to eight-week waiting list now,” she said. “It gives me satisfaction to take something that no one can imagine has any potential, and turn it into something beautiful. I love to see people’s faces when they come to get the furniture they dropped off and they can’t believe the transformation.”
Visit www.fishermanswifefurniture.com for information, to read Little’s blog, or see photos of her work.