Carey Shotton has always been confident working with fabric, and it was when she started retouching some 1930s chairs — sanding, a stain, new cushion pads — that she realised she could make a career of it. She became addicted to the transformation, how a rundown set of chairs could become stylish and renewed. After taking a six-week furniture restoration course, Shotton knew she was set.

Shotton made the leap to selling her pieces at the beginning of August of 2021. She started by testing the market: listing different styles of furniture to see what was of interest. This gave her confidence for the next pieces of furniture she sourced. The work was well-received, reflected in the number of sales she has had since launching her business.

Being able to create something of her own — bringing an idea to life — has been one of the most enjoyable parts of Shotton’s work. The idea that her furniture could become a statement piece in people’s homes is reward enough.

“I love re-crafting tired, retro furniture into modern, stand-out pieces that can be enjoyed for years to come,” said Shotton. With a focus on geometric designs, bold pops of colour, and innovative use of metallics, Shotton’s hand-painted furniture stands out in the market.

“I’m not sure I’m experienced enough as yet,” Shotton said, on giving advice to other aspiring entrepreneurs. Still, she encourages others to pursue their own creativity and business ideas. “I’ve a chronic illness, so it’s given me the opportunity to look for a redirection. Retropolitan Design has given me a chance to really explore my creative side.”

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