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Mitchell natives have success in store selling gently used, refurbished furniture

Success for the owners of Furnishings on First Ave comes in the form of refurbished furniture. The downtown Mitchell business opened late January, and the owners are pleased by the interest the community has in their products. Nancy Sullivan and ...

The furniture in Furnishings on First Ave. is set up to look like themed rooms. Each display features refurbished furniture created by Cyndee Emmons, Nancy Sullivan and their husbands. All of the goods found in their store are handmade or secondhand items. (Katherine Clayton/Republic)
The furniture in Furnishings on First Ave. is set up to look like themed rooms. Each display features refurbished furniture created by Cyndee Emmons, Nancy Sullivan and their husbands. All of the goods found in their store are handmade or secondhand items. (Katherine Clayton/Republic)

Success for the owners of Furnishings on First Ave comes in the form of refurbished furniture.

The downtown Mitchell business opened late January, and the owners are pleased by the interest the community has in their products.

Nancy Sullivan and Cyndee Emmons opened the store, dedicated to furniture and furnishings, after gaining popularity from their items that were sold at various locations in Mitchell.

"It's so unbelievable," said Emmons, a Minnesota resident and co-owner of the store. "We work so hard when the store is closed to refill. We still feel like that is an overwhelming part."

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and the owners use Monday through Wednesday to complete projects to fill the empty spaces following the weekend.

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Emmons is a Mitchell native, but she currently lives near Minneapolis. She finds and repurposes furniture and then brings the items to the store in Mitchell.

The duo uses chalk paint, a decorative-type painting, to update furniture. Nancy's husband, Jon, and Cyndee's husband, Jason, also own the store.

For Sullivan, who learned to chalk paint more than a year ago, the store offers Mitchell residents recycled furniture and furnishings.

"We pretty much keep a lot of things from going into the landfill and give it a new life," said Sullivan, a Mitchell resident. She is responsible for staging the display when Emmons doesn't travel to Mitchell during store hours.

They find furniture at rummage sales, estate sales and other locations. Sullivan and Emmons also buy pieces from community members to be updated.

Sullivan and Emmons rent out a section of the store to Karen Jenkins, who sells furniture, furnishings and other assorted items.

The store - located at 117 E. First Ave. - also completes custom projects. The owners require the customer to bring in a picture of the piece they want updated and have an idea of what they want changed.

Emmons wants people to see the potential in recycling used furniture, whether it be a family piece or something they found.

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Customers can also find greeting cards, granola, magnets, pillows and other handmade goods as they browse through the store. All the items are secondhand or handmade, according to Sullivan.

Prices range from $1 for a magnet to $500 for a table and six chairs, but Sullivan emphasized that price depends on the piece.

"We try to keep our prices reasonable, and therefore we have big turnover of merchandise, which is fun for everybody, us and the customer," Sullivan said. "We have people that come in here every week just to see what's new."

Another service the store offers is chalk-painting classes. The owners teach participants how to create their own piece of refurbished furniture. The next painting class will be offered at 7 p.m. Thursday.

"Not everybody wants to do it, but some people want to try and give it a shot," Sullivan said.

The class is $30, which includes supplies for the workshop and a gift bag. Those involved with the class also get tips for chalk painting and updating furniture.

"When they leave here, they can go home and paint a piece of furniture," Sullivan said.

The success of the store has been fun for the pair, but Emmons' main goal for the store is to have customers decorate their homes with the products she and Sullivan spend hours making.

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"When someone comes in and falls in love with it," Emmons said, "you're so glad that it's going to a good home."

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