I asked Marian Parsons (Miss Mustard Seed) over 2 years ago if she’d like to come and visit our space, which she dubbed an Inspirational Shop space in a blog post she wrote! She was very instrumental in our decision to open a shop, and she’s been a mentor to me on numerous occasions over chats on the phone when it comes to my blog and the world of buying and selling antiques. I wanted to market her paint line and who wouldn’t love to have her visit their store? Remember: you never know the answer unless you ask the question!
Marian was all for it, but the timing never seemed to work out. I am 1 of her 4 Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint Certified Retailer Trainers in the United States, so she finally said this year would be the year that she’d start to visit our 4 locations (hopefully) and that she’d start with us, since I’ve been with her the longest as a trainer. Then we just so happened to plan it around our 1 year store anniversary! It certainly didn’t happen overnight. It took 4 months of careful planning, and the day was magical, once it finally arrived!
The days leading up to it were tireless, but as we began to set the stage, the reality of what was about to take place began to set in. We were so excited and I know a lot of you were as well! We received countless emails from you of excitement and appreciation that she was coming to our store.
The day started with a road trip across Madison at 5:00 am for Marian’s interview on our local morning news program “Wake Up Wisconsin”. You can watch the interview here:
On the way back to our store, we (me, Marian and Kriste) talked about music and sang and talked about the day ahead.
Before we opened, we had a chance to have a little more fun and walk around our store together:
Above is the lovely, Kriste, of Rosemary & Thyme. She works with Marian so we had the pleasure of her company on this trip as well! Not only is Kriste one of the warmest people I’ve met, her Instagram feed and blog are equally as charming and lovely as she is in person! Please go give her some love!
We had a whole crew ready and waiting to serve everyone that visited:
Some of the people in these photos are some of the most important people in my life! The hubby in the back row, obviously. We are both full time The Ironstone Nest together and he helps bring my display visions to life. He is also building custom barn doors & custom furniture full time, which has been a wonderful addition to our customer service offerings! Mark and Kari came into our lives through the Vintage Markets I used to host in our driveway. Mark loves to treasure hunt and pick furniture so he’s been a true asset to our business. When you own a business and have children at home, the time to hunt becomes very limited and Mark has filled in our gaps when we’ve needed him. He has become an essential part to our business. Taryn takes care of our kids and me in a way that I never knew we needed it! We couldn’t do what we do without knowing how well our house is taken care of! She’s become family to us and we know how blessed we are to have her in our lives! Kari on the far right is a new retailer of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint from Illinois and she had recently attended Retailer Training with me. She was so much fun and made me laugh in a way I haven’t laughed since I was a kid, so when she volunteered to come and help us for the day, I took her up on it. It was great having her energy around!
And then there’s this guy right here:
Ryan is one of the Sun Prairie DECA high school students that visited our store right before the holidays. I wrote about it here. He has visited me a few times since then and has started a non-profit organization called Still Human, to raise awareness about Mental Health Issues and Suicide Prevention. You can read more about the work he’s doing HERE and HERE. I think I need to interview his parents to learn the secret to raising a good child like this. He is part of the next generation and he is doing great things for our world! He’s onto Illinois next year, and I know he’ll continue to do great things! We need more like him in this world!
Once everyone was gathered and the stage was set, the people started to arrive and the magic began:
Marian did a great job explaining all of the tools she uses to create hand-painted murals on her pieces of furniture and then walked us through step-by-step her type of strokes and the proper techniques.
You can view additional photos of Marian’s completed hand-painted dresser over on our Instagram Feed.
Once the demo was over, we had to quickly change gears and head over to the workshop location. We had to host the workshop at a different location because the amount of people that wanted to attend was may more than our store could hold. I thought about capping the attendees, but knowing this event would never happen again, I wanted to make sure that anyone that wanted to attend would be able to! After searching about 6 possible locations, I finally decided on Angell Park, which is a beautiful pavilion about 2 blocks from our store complete with rows of windows, open beams, refinished hard wood floors and galvanized metal siding, rusted to perfection. It wasn’t a barn, which is what I originally wanted, but it was close enough! And it had all of the amenities we needed to make sure everyone was comfortable.
We arranged for a “Pick a Piece” class so a piece of furniture was included in the price of the workshop, in addition to having one-on-one time with Marian herself. I asked Mark to find a combination of chairs, side tables, stools and they had to be all wood (no veneer), sturdy (no wobbly legs) and were not previously painted. It took him a few months to accumulate the pieces and his wife wanted to divorce him, I’m sure, as he piled over 32 pieces into his garage. But his hard work paid off! He did such an incredible job!!
Marian did such a great job coaching everyone through their projects, as you would expect she would. She made sure to spend time with everyone and I heard from so many of you how much fun you were having as the day progressed.
Kriste, myself and Kari stood by the paint bars and helped everyone mix their paint properly and restocked supplies as needed:
To see the joy on everyone’s faces as the day went on and to see all of the comradery that creating art and bringing tired pieces of furniture to life was incredibly inspiring!
At the end of the day, people started asking Marian to sign their work, hugs were given and more photos were taken.
No one wanted the day to end, especially me! It truly was a magical day of friendship, inspiration, encouragement, art, kindness and fun.
The beautiful pictures of our store were taken by the talented Mary Janes & Galoshes Photography. The equally incredible photos of the workshop in the afternoon were taken by Tumbling Sparrow Photography. We are so thankful to them for their talent and time! The pictures taken during Marian’s demo were taken by yours truly!
Thank you, also, to all of YOU that visited our store that day, attended the Meet & Greet, watched the Demo and/or attended the “Paint A Piece” Workshop. YOU are why we do what we do. Thank you for your continued support and we are so happy for many of you that you were able to meet Marian in person. We know the impact she’s had on many of you and our hearts are full and happy for you!
And of course, a GIANT thank you to Kriste and Marian for traveling all the way from Pennsylvania to our little corner of the world here in Wisconsin and taking time out of your schedule to grace us with your presence. Words cannot adequately express the gratitude myself, the hubby and everyone that had the chance to meet you feel. Thank you from the bottom of our full hearts!
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