Homemade: Nicole’s Restored Treasures | Local News

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Editor’s Note: According to the Small Business Association, approximately 50% of the 31.7 million small businesses in the United States are home-based.

That’s about 15 million people who manufacture products or provide services using their homes as their base of operations.

The Chronicle’s occasional series, Homemade, not only tells the story of a home-based business, but also the why and “how I got here.”

Get more of the Citrus County Chronicle

Whether it’s an animal or a person or an unwanted, abandoned thrift store find, Nicole Smith believes in kindness.

Her home business, Nicole’s Restored Treasures, is an extension of what she learned from her mother.






Nicole Smith says she likes to take something that’s been thrown away and give it a new purpose.



“She taught me the greatest lesson in life that she ever knew she had taught,” Smith said. “She was a friend to everyone, always tried to make people laugh and was such an amazing mom, so selfless.

“She had a tough life, but she was always so kind. She was my example,” she said.

Smith said she and her mother, who died several years ago, would make crafts together, paint ceramics and visit local craft stores together.







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Nicole Smith uses a painting technique that puts white paint on a darker color, such as teal.



“That was our thing,” Smith said. “I get emotional talking about my mum – I miss her so much. She made sure I could dance and she paid for my lessons by being the dance studio secretary for next to nothing, just so my lessons would be unlimited.

“She was good at drawing and never tapped into her gifting potential,” she said. “I wish she were alive to see the business I’ve built.”

Smith’s business, Nicole’s Restored Treasures, was started by her friend, Amanda, who also restores “treasures.”

The two would scour the thrift stores together, looking for that random object, that obscure piece of furniture or that thingy or whatever that would capture their attention and imagination and be transformed with paint and sandpaper.

One of Smith’s first discoveries was a wooden soap dish.

“I painted it and loved the result,” she said. “Sometimes when I’m saving I look for something specific because I notice what people were looking for in my last sale. But sometimes I want the thing to speak to me.







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“People seem to like blue,” says Nicole Smith of current color trends in home decorating.



She takes her thrift store finds—glass candlesticks, old jars, metal shelves, outdated ornate picture frames, a table that’s seen better days—cleans them, paints them, adds embellishments, and gives them a new purpose.

“I really like to take things that are old school, that nobody uses anymore, and put them together, random things together, and give them a new purpose,” she said.

“The symbol on my (business) card is a butterfly,” she said. “A butterfly is beautiful after it has been transformed into a caterpillar. So I like to take flaps and transform them to have a new function.

give back

In 2021, Smith gathered some of his local artisan and craftsman friends and formed a group, Creative Connections Local Artisans (CCLA) and began hosting craft shows together.

From the outset, one of ACLC’s missions was to benefit the organization or place that hosts them.

Last September, during an autumn sale at the Connection Church of God in Inverness, the CCLA asked people to bring non-perishable food items to donate to the church to help feed local families in the needed through the church’s regular weekly food distribution.

They did several craft sales at the Angelotti restaurant in Inverness.

“They don’t charge us to use their big venue, but we buy their gift cards as door prizes and that way we give back to them,” Smith said. “Plus, we buy food from them while we’re there and hope the shoppers eat there too.”







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Nicole Smith is working on a batch of restored treasures. She sells her work at Inverness Market at the Depot on the first and third Saturdays of the month and is also worth repeating for the high end resale and unique gifts at Inverness Regional Shopping Centre.



Additionally, Smith said that when she buys potential treasures from local charity thrift stores, the money she spends benefits the organization of the store, whether it’s the key training center, Habitat for humanity, hospice or others.

“It’s important to me,” Smith said.

Smith also sells his restored treasures at Worth Repeating Upscale Resale and Unique Gifts in the Inverness Regional Shopping Center and has a stall at Inverness Market at the Depot on the first and third Saturdays.

“I think what I love the most is hearing the ‘why’ stories, why the person buys me a piece,” she said. “I like it when they tell me where the item goes in their house. Or if they give it to a friend, the story behind it, maybe someone died and they buy it so that their friend comforts them.

“I love stories,” she said. “When I started doing this, someone bought this cute coat rack for their granddaughter’s room. I thought it was really sweet that a grandpa thought of it for the room. of a little girl.

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