Q&A with Wendy from Dresser Up Vintage Boutique

I recently discovered a new gem on Monmouth Street in Newport, Kentucky. My mom said that she had stumbled upon this store and invited me to go one Saturday. First, let me start by saying how estactic I am that people are starting to invest in Monmouth Street again. I would love to see it filled with other boutiques and businesses like Dresser Up Vintage Boutique.

Dresser Up offers a variety of items from home accents to refinished furniture pieces to a full collection of the ever so popular chalk and milk paint. Wendy Critcher, the owner of Dresser Up, sat down to talk about her passion for DIY projects and what customers can expect from her Newport boutique. Here's what she had to say...

Tell us about the concept behind Dresser Up.

Wendy: The concept behind Dresser Up Vintage Boutique came from my desire to decorate my own living room in a repurposed and shabby chic design style. As I began collecting items to decorate my home, painting furniture and repurposing other "junk" for my space, the idea for Dresser Up began to form.  It took me over a year to voice my desire to start Dresser Up to my husband. I was so excited, but it was a big step for our family. 

I have been decorating, sewing and painting for over 20 years and I knew this was what I wanted to do. When I began to use Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and Maison Blanche Chalk Based Paint, I fell in love with the products and I decided this would be the foundation of my business. I wanted to interact with other people and I knew that teaching people how to use paint to repurpose their furniture and other home décor items would be a great way to have fun and meet great people. I was right.

What spurred your love for repurposing?

Wendy: I have always loved antiques. I used to go antiquing with my parents in high school.  I just hate to see the beautiful things of the past get tossed out in the garbage. The craftsmanship of even a simple door knob is interesting and can be used in repurposing. This helps keep our beautiful antiques from landing in the garbage dump.

What items are you currently collecting?

Wendy: I love primitives and am currently collecting primitive bowls and other smaller items. I just purchased two primitive rakes and a blanket chest.

What's one item you can't pass up?

Wendy: Anything with great vintage hardware.

Are there any vintage items that are hot and we should keep an eye out for when shopping?

Wendy: Anything with a French country style is still big, but I think people are looking for the pieces that speak to them personally.

What are your biggest selling items?

Wendy: My biggest seller is my repurposed tin roofing letters. Anyone can use them in their home as they are so versatile. However, on any given day, I don't know what will sell. Everyone who walks through my door has different taste and is looking for that item that will fit in their home.

You sell Miss Mustard Seed's milk paint as well as chalk paint. Can you tell us about the difference between the two?

Wendy: Both Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and Maison Blanche Chalk Based Paint are both called "no prep" paints. This means you don’t have to strip or prime your furniture. You can paint wood, metal, laminate, glass and other surfaces and it will adhere to your project. There are a few differences between the two paints.

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint is all natural, mineral-based and comes in powdered form. You just add water, mix really well and you get a great paint. You can give your piece that gorgeous aged look by making it appear chippy with little effort. Adding a bonding agent to the paint will give your piece a solid smooth painted surface.

Maison Blanche is our chalk-based paint and it will give your furniture that beautiful old world look. The chalk content is what makes it stick to the surface of your project. Maison Blanche comes in liquid form in a can and is ready to use. In the Maison Blanche line, we have products that will really make your piece pop, including a product called Organza Shimmer which will add a metallic look to your piece, seven different colors of wax, embossing creams, and laquers in both satin and matte finish.

You also offer classes at Dresser Up. What can people expect to learn?

Wendy: Yes, I offer classes about once a week. I currently teach both a milk paint class and a chalk-based paint class. I am getting ready to offer additional classes, such as "Bring Your Own Piece" and "Wine and Sign." I have lots of ideas for other classes. I will adding these soon!

In closing, I thought I would share my recent Dresser Up purchase. I picked up this vintage-looking chalkboard and flower magnet collection for my kitchen. Because of its interesting shape, it has become quite the conversation piece among guests.

A special thanks to Wendy for sharing more about Dresser Up Vintage Boutique! You can follow along on Facebook for updates on class offerings and DIY inspiration.

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