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Juliet Stock fashions colorful plastic flowers from recycled bottles. She rescues vintage art and spruces it up with a fresh frame. And old furniture has a new life with a colorful new finish. Stock is the owner of Vintage Home & Art on Roosevelt Street in downtown York.
Juliet Stock fashions colorful plastic flowers from recycled bottles. She rescues vintage art and spruces it up with a fresh frame. And old furniture has a new life with a colorful new finish.
Stock, 36, is the owner of Vintage Home & Art on Roosevelt Street in downtown York. She sells and takes orders for painted furniture, and she offers classes to help people create their own pieces.
“I love showing people, because they don’t think they can do it,” Stock said about painting furniture. “I hate it when I hear, ‘I’ve always wanted to know how to do that and I can’t,’ because you can.”
Stock sells and uses eco-friendly Annie Sloan chalk paint for her pieces, a water-based specialty paint she discovered several years ago and has been using since then. She said the paint, which she said is only sold by local retailers, doesn’t require priming and sanding.
Stock, who grew up in Charlotte and now lives in Rock Hill, said she began selling some of her painted furniture pieces and house wares on Etsy about a year ago. Her need for more space prompted the decision to open the shop in York, where she and her husband want to build a home.
“I started painting for Etsy to see what it would do and then it started selling,” she said. “I painted some furniture for a house in Malibu and they loaded it into a Pod and shipped it. And I did a bunch of urban stuff for someone in Brooklyn, N.Y. And I have four pieces on Lake Norman.”
Stock opened the shop in July, and she and her husband, Mark, fell in love with York.
“It’s been total bliss,” she said. “And the people I meet every day are incredible. I’m meeting some cool people. And I love teaching classes — people go home and they start painting.”
Stock said she prefers vintage pieces to new furniture.
“I hate new furniture; it’s just manufactured, and it’s not real wood. But I love the craftsmanship of old furniture — the dovetail, the wood,” she said. “But a lot of it is ugly finishes.”
Her husband, a manufacturing engineering manager, appreciates her talent. “It’s always nice when you find something you enjoy doing, because everyone needs a creative outlet,” he said.
Stock said she always wanted to do something with her artistic talent. During high school, she studied art in Switzerland, France and Italy on a summer scholarship trip. But she married at age 20 and spent years promoting her first husband’s very successful road racing career. She also spent years raising their two children, now 14 and 11.
In 2008, however, the marriage ended. In the midst of a traumatic divorce and without much money for daily expenses, Stock said she found herself living in an upscale gated community and waiting in line for food from a food bank that she’d donated money to the year before.
“I had given up my individuality,” she said of the marriage. “When he left me, all I was was an uneducated mother in the worst economic crisis ever, and that was kind of scary.”
But two years later, she met Mark and they married. After the birth of their son, Laylon, now 20 months, Stock said she and the baby both suffered life-threatening health issues. She didn’t want to put off her passion for art any longer.
“When they asked you in class what you wanted to be when you grew up, I never raised my hand and said, ‘Mother,’” Stock said. “I wanted to do something with art. I tried not to do art, but it makes me insane.”
Stock said she enjoys giving new life to vintage furniture.
“A lot of it is the whole good bones thing,” she said. “A lot of the furniture pieces are discarded. Some of it is new stuff. But they’re good quality. I want to make it wanted again.”