Lauren Marcum has had a passion for finding new uses for unwanted treasures that dates back to her early childhood.
“My grandparents would visit my family outside of Chicago, and I would wake up with them at 5am, grab a quick cheese danish, and spend the morning ‘garaging’,” she explains. “Back then I would be in search of tchotchkes, but my love for trash to treasure has always been strong.”
The newest manifestation of that mindset is coming to life on June 8th as Lauren opens the Columbus Furniture Revival retail store at 246 South Fourth Street in Downtown Columbus (in between Dirty Frank’s and Little Palace).
We had the chance to catch up with Lauren to find out more about the evolution of her hobby-turned-business and why she’s excited to be Downtown. Read on for our full Q&A, below:
Q: What can you tell us about the history and evolution of your business, as it sounds like you’ve been operating for awhile before the new retail store?
A: I was working a traditional job before starting Columbus Furniture Revival. I had loved going to antique shows, shops and flea markets, and I noticed that painted furniture was becoming more and more popular. My husband Garett encouraged me to follow my dreams and start my own business. I had originally rented a space in a warehouse with no A/C or heat, where I could do all of my furniture restorations. I got involved with the Spring Flea in May of 2012 and that’s where it all began. A good majority of my furniture was purchased and I had people approaching me to do custom work for their own furniture. I had found my niche refinishing pieces of furniture that people already owned. So I continued to do that until Fall 2012 where I had gotten accepted as a Bad Girl Ventures finalist. I suddenly had to take a hard look at my business plan and decide where I wanted to take my business. After hours of classes, networking, writing, rewriting, and crunching numbers, I finally ended up with a focus. I would open a retail space where we had finished pieces, unfinished pieces available for custom, as well as continue to refinish pieces that customers already own.
Q: So opening a brick-and-mortar retail location wasn’t always a part of the plan?
A: If you had asked me this question 5 years ago, I would have never imagined I would be capable of doing all of this. I wasn’t sure where I would take Columbus Furniture Revival. After the last Winter Flea, I had decided that I without a doubt had to open a retail space. I love talking to potential customers and finding out what they like or don’t like. I also get a sense of pride showing off my work.
Q: What drew you to this Downtown location for the store?
A: I love Downtown and what the city is doing for its growth. I knew that there were only few retail spaces Downtown and with the new housing being built at Columbus Commons and the surrounding areas, that retail would be in demand. I enjoy the young vibe, specifically coming from the three restaurants on our block.
Q: How much room will your new space give you to display your products?
A: The store is about 1,000 square feet. The front area will showcase all of our finished pieces available for sale, which gives people an idea of what is possible and how I can refinish things for them. The back portion will have unfinished pieces available for customization, so if someone sees a piece that they want to match their rug at home, we will make it happen for them.
Q: What types of furniture will you specifically be carrying?
A: We will have all types of furniture and housewares. From magazine racks, to hoosier cabinets, to dressers and side tables. We even have a refinished working 1954 refrigerator. We will always have a healthy mix of options.
Columbus Furniture Revival opens their doors at noon on Saturday June 8th. They will be hosting a grand opening party that day through 8pm with food, drinks and music starting at 4pm. For every piece of furniture they sell in the month of June, they’ll be donating $1 for purchases under $100 and $5 for purchases over $100 to the MS Society.
More information can be found online at www.columbusfurniturerevival.com.