Amy Geib is proving that Millennials will happily accept their parents’ and grandparents’ gifts of furniture. Whereas the Baby Boomers cherished furnishings with cherry finishes, and the Greatest Generation was gaga over mahogany, younger generations’ tastes are decidedly different. They love antiques and vintage pieces that are made modern through painted finishes and upcycling, thus delivering a one-of-a-kind piece.
Ever since she was a young girl, Amy has loved rummaging through other people’s unwanted possessions. Her love for thrifting started as quality time spent at yard sales with her grandmother and ultimately grew into the foundation for her career.
Despite her natural inclination for upcycling and interior design, Amy’s career path initially took her in other directions. After dropping out of art restoration school, through which she learned how to restore paintings, murals and statuary, Amy decided to get a degree in health sciences and pursue a career as an X-ray technologist. She spent the next decade in the medical field, but her love for design lingered.
Fate intervened when Amy attended a blogging conference, where she was inspired to create a home-improvement blog. Since she is constantly looking several steps into the future, contemplating what she is going to tackle next, Amy appropriately named the blog Always Never Done. “I always have a new project on deck,” she says.
Posting about her projects and home renovations became her new hobby. It didn’t take long for her friends and family to start asking for her help with their own home projects. As Amy’s brand grew and word spread beyond her friends and family, she decided to drop to part-time as an X-ray tech, and then eventually left altogether in order to pursue what she loves. Now, her blog has such a following that it has attracted the attention of HGTV, The Home Depot and PopSugar. Brands like California-based Jeffrey Court (tile) give her supplies in exchange for blog posts using their product.
The success of her blog prompted Amy to open her first brick-and-mortar location in Salunga. Since making its debut in 2015, business is booming. In addition to her own work, the shop features items from more than two dozen other artists, upcyclers and makers. “Things are constantly moving in and out of the store,” Amy says. “The furniture usually only lasts a day or two.” Typically, Amy has two design projects going at a time along with five or six smaller repurposing projects.
Amy redecorates the shop habitually. “I like the store to look fresh,” she explains. She rearranges the furniture daily and changes the entire footprint of the store every other week. As her business continues to thrive, Amy is slowly focusing more attention on the interior-design services she offers. One aspect that has taken on a life of its own is freshening the look of kitchen cabinetry through paint.
Despite her start in upcycling, designing and decorating for her clients have become Amy’s new favorite part of her business. Looking forward, she hopes that she can get a better vision of her design services, employ more people and continue to slowly grow her business.
Amy is already making big moves towards those goals. This month, she will be moving her store to the former home of Aud-a-bud Ceramics in Landisville (3090 Harrisburg Pike) to accommodate more vendors and upcycled furniture. “It needs some love,” Amy notes of the new location. “I want it to look more modern and industrial than the old store, so there is a lot to do aesthetically.”
With her eye for design and a love for the Scandinavian Farmhouse style, Amy can somehow breathe new life into lackluster antiques or drab secondhand pieces. Her own home is filled with upcycled items from many digging and thrifting ventures. For example, a pearl-gray vanity in a seating area is an amalgam of wood scraps transformed into a stylish storage space and bar. The island in her kitchen is made from reclaimed oak from a local lumber yard.
Such strategies date to when Amy and her husband, Jeremy, bought their first home. They couldn’t afford to decorate, so they thrifted a lot of the furniture and décor. Even years later, Amy continues the thrifting lifestyle in her Landisville home that she shares with Jeremy, their 10-year-old son, a nosey black cat named Kit Kat and their 16-year-old pup, Bentley.
“It’s rare that I will buy something brand new,” Amy says, whether it’s for her own home or one of her client’s homes. She has mastered the art of digging. “It can be time consuming, but the hunt is the fun part,” Amy remarks. She can find pieces anywhere: roadside pick-ups, hand-me-downs, thrift stores, auctions, estate sales, customer drop-offs or even rummaging through trash. “The workers at the transfer station have already told me not to climb on the trash piles,” Amy laughs.
Amy is not only a maker; she is a resurrector, gifting a renaissance to each item or room she works her magic on. Amy loves what she does. She admits that being her own boss can be hard, but it is worth it to be able to do what “makes my heart melt.” To Amy, there is no such thing as regrets or mistakes in her line of work. “It can always be redone,” she says.
For more information, visit alwaysneverdone.com.