Up-cycling store opens in downtown Marietta
MARIETTA — Tables and other furniture with clean, elegant lines, unusual lamps, mirrors and wall plaques, decorative candles and other home decor articles have taken up residence with skateboarding clothing and gear in an uncommon combination of merchandise at 179 Front St.
Tayla Lerch and her mother, Darla Kemp, decided earlier this year to make a business out of a lifelong hobby – “up-cycling”, Lerch calls it – that involves refinishing and repurposing old household furnishings and other items into articles that fit well into contemporary decorating trends. The name, 1¯7¯9, is taken from the shop’s Front Street address.
“My mom has been doing this since I was growing up,” said Lerch, a junior studying education at Marietta College. “Our flair for it is sort of second nature. Mom was always into something like this at home.”
Lerch’s husband, Jordan Lerch, established Threadz, a clothing and accessories shop that caters to “urban lifestyles” and carries skateboarding gear, in July. Lerch said he suggested to her a couple of months ago that the work she and her mother, along with friend Vickie Deleruyelle, do might be a good fit in the shop.
Kemp gave up her job as a receptionist in a medical office in Waterford to give her passion for repurposing household furnishings and objects full rein.
“I miss the job and the people I worked with, but this is a lot more fun,” she said. “Where else can you bring your granddaughter to work? It means I can spend a lot more time with my kids. This is living the dream.”
The items they find to rejuvenate, or remake altogether, come from a variety of sources, Lerch said.
“We find things on Facebook marketplace, at flea markets, sometimes stuff by the side of the road that people have just put out for free,” she said. “We’re always on the lookout for things.”
Items on the floor Friday included a refinished steamer trunk, an antiqued green wood and glass coffee table, several oval mirrors with a variety of framing treatments, cups, wooden tea trays and a three-foot-high sign on the theme, “Let it snow.”
The work is done in Kemp’s basement.
The stock is moving well, Lerch said, and they are getting to know their customers, getting repeat business and sometimes requests for custom work.
Although the business isn’t focused on selling merchandise online, the internet is a useful tool, Lerch said.
“We’ve got a Pinterest board, and it’s very active. We just pin stuff up. These days, it’s all about do-it-yourself,” she said.
The store keeps the same hours as Threadz, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.