Today we’d like to introduce you to Ragne Smith.
Felix Hart got started in 2012, five months after welcoming our first child. While at the time, it may have seemed as a sad chapter of our lives, it has turned into a beautiful love story and the light at the end of the tunnel. While I had always been creative, doing things-building things my whole life, the “I’m going to do this!” decision was made on the curb of Cooks Children’s Hospital after our daughter was diagnosed with an incurable heart condition. We left the hospital with that sweet baby, stopping by the local library to get as many upholstery-furniture books as available from there on, we grew together. Baby Ruby is learning about the world, mom learning upholstery.
Upholstery education is something that is quite difficult to come by. Due to a lack of formal education, one is pretty much on her/his own when it comes to learning. Learning from YouTube, every book available and trial and error, an idea turned into a product. By the end of the summer, Felix Hart sold its first product, after six years of building custom beds, headboards and daybeds, shipping them to every corner of the US, but also as far as Puerto Rico, Norway and Australia, it was time to take a creative “leap”. Since then, I have been busy creating furniture from custom build beds, re-loved antiques, over the top seating and whatnot. As long as the laws of physics don’t stop me, I am not stopping either.
Has it been a smooth road?
When I started Felix Hart, I started it for a reason. I wanted to make sure I have time to attend to our daughter’s needs, doctor’s appointments and see her grow up. Being a new parent for a kiddo who needs a tad more attention than your “regular kid” could be a struggle on its own. Now add learning a new skill and operating a brand new business to it. Oh, it could have been a hot mess, Thankfully, I have been able to gradually grow my business while still being able to raise that sweet girl (And add another one.)
It’s been a beautiful journey, I have a method to my madness. And if I need to build a headboard, take a kid to a doctor and have a baby all by six, so be it! (That’s the day we welcome our second daughter.) Being a small business owner, a female in a male-dominated field (upholstery/woodworking) and a full-time parent is probably not the easiest path, but I would not have it any other way! Push through, make it happen! If there’s a will, there’s away.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Felix Hart – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am a self-taught furniture artist, specializing in one of a kind furniture art. I consider my work “functional statement furniture” as every piece is usable in everyday life, even though sometimes you’d rather just look at the pieces than sit on them. My heart is with neglected antique pieces that are unique, it gives them a story. A chapter in their life and I get to add to it. Every piece I work on is custom made and has a story, I’ll add to that story and write a new chapter based on its new owner. Every detail, be is as small as 8-way tied springs, fabric choice or paint finish, has a thought behind it. I try to translate feelings into a piece of furniture, so every time you walk into that room and you see your piece, it reminds you of those good feelings.
Most of the time, my style is very over the top, I’m the Liberace of Furniture. I’m not scared to take risks with bold colors, new fabric manipulation techniques or cover the whole frame in glitter finish (No, it does not flake!). I love colors, bright and bold colors. I love glitter, feathers, diamonds. I am living my extra life and I love every second of it.
There are a lot of things I am proud of, but if I’d have to choose, I’d pick The Princess Daybed and The Peacock chair. The Princess Daybed was designed and built by me early in my career, I sketched it on a napkin and presented to the designer, she took a change on me and let me build it. I love it, but what made me really go: Yes, this is it!!! is when I received a message from the mom of the little girl who I built it for. Hearing a five-year-old say: “I prayed to God to make me a princess and now I am!” while laying in her new bed… that was it!
And the Peacock Chair… I made that chair because I felt like it. I let it take me to the direction it wanted me to take it. It sounds so cliché to say that I let my creativity flow and furniture talk to me. But that’s the way it happened. But what makes it one of the proudest moments, in the hustle-bustle of the unknown, changing world, not knowing what’s going to happen tomorrow, I stood there, looked at the chair and felt completely content.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
We have lived in Euless for eight years, going on nine. I love its proximity to Dallas and Fort Worth. I love the big city lights and feel of Dallas, the country coziness of Fort Worth, yet I can hide in Euless and be in the center of either in 20 minutes. Nobody likes traffic, I don’t either, especially when it rains.
- Website: www.felixhart.com
- Email: email@example.com
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- Facebook: www.facebook.com/FelixHartOnline