VERNON, CT (WFSB) - Husband and wife team Ray and Lisa Stevenson took a hobby and created a business.
"I think it just kind of sparked when Pinterest was a big thing and it really sparked for me when I bought a dining room table. I wanted the look of a black hutch. I was searching on marketplace. The furniture flipping was just kind of coming, you know, getting really hot. People started to flip stuff, so I found a piece and I was like, you know, I'm just going to paint it. I want the look. I don't want to spend $3,000 thousand on a hutch," Lisa tells us.
Lisa started successfully flipping furniture and decided it was worth a leap of faith.
She left her job at a dental office to open Primitive Renditions in Vernon.
The pair recently expanded into this location and say they feel grateful for thriving during the pandemic.
"But painting furniture, that was something she could continue to do, so that helped get us through and the other thing about the pandemic was that people weren't traveling. People weren't spending money on things they typically spent money on. They were spending money on their house, doing improvements, making it look nicer and smell nicer, because that's where everybody was spending their time," Ray Stevenson explained.
And customers continue to come in, calling it a destination shop that they say transports them to Vermont or Pennsylvania.
Lisa and Ray have the store filled with Amish furniture, bird houses, mail boxes, and other locally made goods, like soaps.
"We're now that shop where people are like, 'Hey, I want a candle or a quick gift for somebody and it's nice'. It's nice that a lot of people came out and showed their support for us," Lisa said.
They constantly switch things up seasonally.
Ray says you'll find something new every time you walk in.
"People come in and they're like, 'I would love to have a shop. I can't believe you got to do this', and you know what, you can, power of positive thinking. If you tell yourself you can do it, you can do anything," continued Lisa.
"Honestly, we joke around. We call it our happy place. You're walking into a place that if you're, whatever mood you're in, when you're coming in through that door, you could be mad at the world. You walk through that door and, you know, a smile on your face. People are just happy," Ray Stevenson added.