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Meet Melanie Grady of Rustic Tids & Bits in Lewisville

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie Grady.

Melanie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started painting small home decor projects after a spark of inspiration hit me at a flea market in McKinney. I soon discovered CeCe Caldwell’s Chalk + Clay Paints (my favorite) and expanded to refinishing furniture.

My ideas quickly grew from small hobby crafts to a business. I rented spaces at the flea market where I was first inspired for about a year before I upgraded to renting space in a cute little boutique in downtown McKinney. I was working out of my little apartment which was always seen with stacks of vintage furniture ready to be painted.

We eventually bought a house, and I now have an amazing garage to work out of along with an indoor studio for smaller projects. Despite my family’s grunts, pieces of my business are all over the house. I can’t seem to contain it to one room. My business has evolved and changed in many ways over the last six years. I’ve learned new techniques and skills allowing me to continue adding services as my passions and interests change.

Currently, I build furniture including dining tables and small home decor items. The only two things that have stayed constant in my years with this business are my passion for my “work” and I still love CeCe Caldwell’s Paints!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Coming from a career in education and counseling, there has been much to learn in the small business world. Ebbs and flows in the market, advertising, pricing, etc. are things that I didn’t need to consider before and continue to provide me learning opportunities.

Aside from learning about the world of business, my greatest struggle has been the balance between life and work. Because I love my “job” so much, I rarely see it as work, and it has taken over my life. In some situations, I don’t mind. It keeps me busy and active and growing.

In some cases though, my priorities need a reality check, and I have to step away from “work” for a bit to focus on the rest of my life. Finding a healthy balance is a continuous struggle.

Rustic Tids & Bits – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My business became more than a hobby when I started refinishing furniture. I veered away from the neutral whites and painted statement pieces in vibrant colors most of the time. I have always enjoyed the accenting step in the refinishing process most of all. That can be adding a little distressing on the edges, glazing the details of an ornate piece, or adding some dark or metallic waxes for an aged effect.

The products and services I offer have changed with my interests and passions. I’m glad that I’ve allowed myself to change the business as I change because I don’t feel I can offer my best work when I am stagnant — or bored. I still refinish furniture, mostly for client requested custom work, but I also build furniture and home decor pieces.

I currently love building turned leg dining tables and adding my aged paint finishes with CeCe Caldwell’s Paints. I am still a retailer for CeCe Caldwell’s Paints, located at Antique Gallery of Lewisville, and I sell my smaller home decor items such as serving trays, signs, and other wooden decors in my Etsy shop.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moment was the realization that I could support myself and contribute to my family financially with this “hobby” that I enjoy so much. Having freedom with my time and energy is something I cherish because I’ve worked hard to develop a high quality of work that continues to bring more work, keeping my passion and business alive.

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Getting in touch: VoyageDallas is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Alisa Slavens

    January 23, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    I love self-made stories like this! I’ve worked personally with Melanie for serval years and she really does produce beautiful, quality pieces!

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