Sweet Tea Restorations: Creativity flows freely in family business

October 2017 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Business

By Nancy JenningsIMG_5349 (2)

Nikki and Caytlan McIntire make in-law relationships look easy. The mother-in-law / daughter-in-law duo started “Sweet Tea Restorations,” their home-based business in 2016.

Nikki, 48, first met Caytlan, 24, working in the attendance office at Silverton High School. Caytlan was a student there. Now she has been married for over one year to Mitchell, one of Nikki and Jim McIntire’s three sons – who was a year ahead of her at SHS.

Specializing in vintage-style furniture and knick knacks, Nikki credits HGTV’s Fixer Upper Joanna Gaines as a creative influence. The name of their business came easily. “We were working in the garage one day and the name just popped up. I love sweet tea,” Nikki said.

Once establishing their business name, their next step was getting their name and talent out into the community. They found “Blackbird Granary Antiques & Curiosities” in Mount Angel and started displaying their merchandise for sale there in April.

“We have three different avenues within this business: Filling up Blackbird Granary with furniture and knick knacks, getting the custom work done in a timely manner and taking care of the customers on Facebook,” Caytlan explained.

They buy their building supplies – preferring real wood – from estate sales, Goodwill and auctions. The pair got the opportunity to shop at a large warehouse sale in Portland and buy many pieces of furniture used as props in the NBC TV show Grimm, which recently ended its final season.

They use “Annie Sloan” decorative chalk paint in a crisp, pure white for some of their creations.

The wildest color combinations requested for custom pieces so far? “Bright orange, purple and green on one desk. The client wanted it to match the colors on their business card,” Nikki laughed, adding that custom orders can be challenging.

SACA contacted them to donate their time restoring a wine table donated by the city specifically for its annual gala event in late July.

“I love to make things and I’ve always turned towards the DIY (do it yourself) stuff,” Caytlan said. “I’m a builder, and I can envision furniture and how I want it to look.”

The women have come a long way since finishing their first piece of furniture – a child’s little white desk.

“We asked ourselves ‘Do you think anybody’s going to want it?’” Nikki said. “A year ago, I don’t think either one of us expected to be where we are today. We are growing and it feels so good.”

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