Here at Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, we are always on the lookout for talented artisans who are using our products in beautiful and unique ways. It seems that every time we check our Instagram feed, incredible pieces are popping up left and right from a consistent and uber talented furniture painter. We’re talking about ridiculously pretty furniture, like this Outback Petticoat stunner:
How could you not slow your scroll with eye candy like this?!
These gorgeous creations all hail from the talented Kristie of Lee.Marie Antiqued Furniture in Innisfail, Alberta.
Now you may be wondering why her business is called “Lee.Marie” if the owner’s name is Kristie. (We were too, so we asked!) The name “Lee.Marie” came from combining Kristie’s middle name with her sister’s middle name. Ever since they were little they would pretend they were store owners, and regardless of what kind of store they owned, it was always called “Lee.Marie”. So when Kristie discovered her passion for refinishing furniture, it was easy to make the choice for a name! Kristie ran it by her sister first, of course, and she was given the “thumbs up” to use it!
Kristie’s journey to painting furniture started when she was little. As a young girl, she was always asking her dad to paint the walls of her bedroom a different color every year or so, until her father showed her how to do it herself. When she moved out and got married, she drove her husband crazy with the same obsession of wanting to paint the walls and change the decor and switch everything up all the time. (Can any of you relate?)
Eventually, Kristie got into painting canvases and it solved her creative itch (for a little while). She also took up playing multiple instruments and attending lessons, but she still felt like she was always looking for another project to do.
One day, she came across a Pinterest post about painting furniture, and knew she had to try it! Kristie’s mom offered up a small side table and bookshelf. Kristie painted them white with some light distressing and the rest is history. As is the case with a lot of our MMS Milk Paint users, Kristie was completely hooked! She had finally found her creative outlet and developed a love of photography along the way. It solved her constant itch to create something, and she knows her husband is happy that the home projects have slowed down! Her cello is now used as a furniture prop these days.
Without the help of her husband, Kristie says she couldn’t paint and sell furniture. Between the physical demands of the profession and being a Mom to an adorable young boy, there just isn’t enough time in the day to do it all. Everyone who is a parent knows that it is hard to get anything done throughout the day with a little one in the home, and it’s even harder to take time to work on extra things like hobbies. Kristie is fortunate enough to have an amazing husband who is always happy to tire out her toddler while she paints. He also helps with the heavy lifting and repairs that come along with painting furniture. She literally couldn’t do it without him.
While it may seem that her business takes her away from her family life, it has actually done the opposite. Kristie and her family often make day trips out of picking up pieces that are further away and visit family if the pickup is at the opposite end of the city where they live. Sometimes they’ll hang out at a new park or try a new restaurant along the way. Painting furniture has allowed Kristie to have a creative outlet that she so desperately needed, and provides a way for her to make some extra money while her baby sleeps. We call that a win-win!
Kristie started using MMS Milk Paint when she visited one of our fabulous retailers, The Vintage Verandah, in Cochrane, Ab. The owner of Vintage Verandah, Tanya, gave Kristie a confidence boost by asking her to be in a vintage market and Tanya always had kind words and encouragement for Kristie every time she frequented the shop. (See? Aren’t our retailers amazing?!)
Kristie always saw MMS Milk Paint on the shelves but she was too scared to try it. She wasn’t exactly sure why, but as she joined Instagram and started seeing tons of authentically chippy pieces, it inspired her to buy her very first pouch of Milk Paint the next day. Kristie was amazed at how simple and easy it was to create the chippy look, which was exactly what she was going for. We encourage you to take this step as well, dear readers. Every so often, we hear how intimidated folks are to try our paint, and we encourage you to prove yourself wrong and give it a go. It’s not as hard as it appears to be. We promise!
We asked Kristie if she had any advice to pass on to a brand new users of MMSMP. Here’s what she said:
“For anyone wanting to try milk paint but hasn’t yet, I encourage you to try it. I was apprehensive because I heard it was unpredictable and hard to mix. As far as those two go, the unpredictability is actually why I love it the most and you really can’t mess up the mixing! It’s easy, and I wish I discovered milk paint sooner!”
Kristie is always amazed at how every single MMSMP color turns out prettier than she imagined. She swears every shade looks good in her house, and she loves how mixing and matching colors always turns out beautiful. She says that the MMSMP color pallet is exceptional, and of course, we have to agree with her! Her most favorite aspect of our paint is how it takes on a mind of its own and it almost “decides” where and when it wants to chip. She has learned to roll with the unpredictable nature of MMSMP and she says that the paint is always right. It’s like magic!
While Kristie has used a wide range of our colors, her favorites are our Farmhouse White, which is a classic, or any of the other neutrals in the line. She truly believes that furniture should enhance and hold a space together. A dresser in a bedroom should be handsome but humble, all the way down to the hardware.
She always imagines her pieces covered in dishes, picture frames, lamps, books and other trinkets of life, so she tries to make pieces that are subtle statements without adding to the clutter and chaos of the average home.
The same is also true for her colorful pieces too. Outback Petticoat and Boxwood have been her favorites, especially on something like an entryway server welcoming guests as a bold surprise in a neutral setting.
The finish she uses about 99% of the time is our Hemp Oil.
She loves that it’s extremely easy to apply. The finish it creates is always extremely smooth and durable.
Kristie sells her gorgeous hand-painted furniture in her booth at The Old Creamery Antiques in Innisfail, Alberta.
The store is owned by her father-in-law, and she is lucky enough to learn from his knowledge of (and access to) antique furniture. Kristie would highly recommend renting a space in an antique mall. Even though The Old Creamery is family-owned, she still pays rent and commission just like everyone else. She finds it to be a good trade off for the advertising, storage space, showcase room and storefront hours that she simply couldn’t provide on her own. About 75% of Kristie’s sales are through the antique mall, and the rest is through her social media, so The Old Creamery is a huge help to her! Kristie enjoys the community of being with other like-minded creatives and having a whole new audience and exposure. So, if you’re wondering if you should begin selling your MMS Milk Painted furniture in an organized way, renting a booth in an antique mall or market is an excellent way to begin! Many of our MMSMP retailers sell out of antique booths, so you’ll be in good company!
Are you a talented artisan who is using MMSMP products in beautiful and unique ways? Do you know of someone we should follow? Tell us! Send Jenn Baker an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with links to social media feeds and photos, and who knows – maybe you’ll be our next MMSMP Featured Artisan!