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Furniture store offers DIY classes

Mandi Smith, owner of Persnickety
Mandi Smith, owner of Persnickety's Awesomeness Emporium on Main Street in Sumner.
— image credit: Photo by Theresa De Lay

Persnickety’s Awesomeness Emporium has moved onto Main Street in Sumner. With it comes a lot of color, a little quirkiness and an avenue for do-it-yourselfers to gather over a bucket of paint.

Inventory consists of locally sourced and refurbished household goods and gifts. When strictly local items aren’t available, owner Mandi Smith strives for US made goods. Each piece is unique — nothing is wholesaled and she personally handpicks every vendor.

“We build strong relationships with our team of contributing designers and work to create a positive environment and a family atmosphere,” said Smith.

Persnickety’s originally opened in Pacific last year but Smith was delighted at the prospect of integrating with the Sumner community. She enjoys networking with the other businesses and doing her part to lift them up. She said she feels blessed to be part of a community that doesn’t just talk about doing good things, they actually do them.

With the help of her mother and husband, Smith does a lot of refurbishing herself. This tends to be where the customization services come in. She describes the business as service and empowerment driven. Whatever it is the client dreams up, Smith is committed to helping that vision come to life.

She didn’t always consider herself an artist. In fact, she spent 17 years working for high end optical shops and proclaims that she wasn’t even able to draw a straight line. As a child, she enjoyed the process of interior design but never took the thought seriously until recently discovering her inner creativity. The classes offered at Persnickety’s come from a desire to share those newfound skills and industry secrets with everyone else.

Drab to Fab 101 will be offered May 18. Persnickety’s will provide all materials including paints, brushes, supplies and snacks. Participants must bring their own piece of small furniture, such as a chair or nightstand, to refurbish. With guidance from Smith, each piece will be taken “from dumpster to divine” by the end of the four hour class. Register in store or on Persnickety’s Facebook page.

Like all shop owners and artists, Smith said she hopes Persnickety’s can survive the retail game for years to come. She plans on expanding their custom furniture work to include onsite projects and maybe even creating a line of naturally made paints and sealants.

“I can’t imagine not having this creative outlet,” said Smith. “Painting is cathartic, amazing, and maddening all at the same time, so it’s a roller coaster but roller coasters are my favorite!”

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