After spending nearly 25 years in the construction industry, as a design consultant, we relocated to the beautiful Ventura coastline. Once here, I realized that it was time for me to find employment. Within a short time I found that jobs within my field were going to be next to impossible to find, as new homes were not being built in our area. So, just for fun, I took a class with a couple of friends and learned how to use Milk Paint. After learning how to use it, I painted gifts for some dear friends for Christmas, and that's where it all began...
I soon spent countless hours learning about up-cycling antique furniture. I read books, magazines, and blogs studying the latest trends. I quickly learned what to buy and not buy at thrift stores, estate sales, at local yard sales and many flea markets. There were a lot of late nights spent under the covers on my iPad learning all I could about starting a small business. My desire was to do what I could to make a bit of extra money to help with our family finances.
One of the first things I knew I needed was a name, something that would help to identify my new found love for old things. I had recently come across some items given to me by my dad that belonged to my grandmother. I had such sweet things that belonged to her: jewelry, old photos, and some old cherished letters. It was in those letters that I became aquatinted with my great, great, great grandmother. At some point my grandma Mary, was creating our family tree and sent out letters to any and all our relatives that could help. She soon put together names, birth and death records of at least 6 generations. It is an incredible piece of our family history. One name and person, however, struck a chord with me. As I mentioned before, my 3 times great grandmother, kept getting brought up in letters. Her story was so compelling, I felt a connection to an amazing woman who was born the year of the California gold rush on Valentine's Day and died the month and year that my mother was born. Her story was one of love, hardship, and redemption. And it will forever hold a special place in my heart. Grandma Georgia Ann, this is for you!
These past six plus years have been filled with shopping, collecting (possibly hoarding),learning and all the while painting many pieces of furniture. I often say, ''if wood could talk oh the stories that would be told..."
Being dirty and sporting paint stained clothing has become my "new normal." I've also learned from two generations before me, that as a painter, I wanted to use an all natural paint. Unfortunately great uncles, uncles, cousins and brothers have had health issues because of spending years of inhaling and working around toxic paint and solvents. Using Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint as a safe alternative makes the most sense to me.I immediately connected with the lifestyle and story of Marian (MMS Spokesperson and blogger.) With the support of my husband and family,I am now a retailer and certified instructor. My new life is now spent in color, lots and lots of color...
Naming the Shop
Opening our shop was exciting and a little scary all rolled into one. For months I thought about what might be the perfect name. I wanted something new and different from what I'd had previously, as a way to mark the new journey. I had running lists of potential names and had even employed family members to help with the task.
But when it came to it, the name came on a Sunday morning while in church listening to a sermon on worry (or why not to worry because God is in control of all things.) The message was timely as the weight of opening the shop, had caused a few sleepless nights and I needed the solid reminder that God is sovereign and was with me every step of the way. There is a portion of scripture in the book of Matthew where Jesus talks about worry, here is a paraphrase: "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than clothing?" It goes on in verse 28 of Chapter 6, "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin (in other words, they don't work or make their clothing.) Jesus goes on to encourage the people, that if God cares for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, how much more will He care for His people?
So Lily Fields Vintage in name, was birthed out of the reminders: not to worry and that God is in control of all. My heart in having this shop is to bless those who come through its doors, teach a craft that can be passed on to future generations, and to be an integral part of keeping Santa Paula's downtown streets beautiful with unique businesses.