Wednesday, May 22, 2013
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Tim and Marsha Kelly have turned their hobby of finding ways to reinvent common items into the boutique Trash to Treasure on Court Street in Dallas.
May 29, 2012
DALLAS -- Marsha Kelly was never one to waste anything that could be recycled or reused.
She said as a child she would make dresses for her dolls out of discarded materials and random items around her home.
She's continued that hobby of taking what some people would consider "trash" and turning it into "treasure" all of her life. Always looking for that next project, Kelly is a frequent garage sale and thrift store shopper and has even taken items advertised as "free" on the side of the road.
"She's been bringing home three-legged tables for a long time," said Marsha's husband, Tim.
It seems fitting that now the couple have opened a business to sell what those three-legged tables, old dressers and discarded bed frames become -- after some creative revision.
Trash to Treasure sells repurposed items as well as interesting found objects the Kellys have collected, like this glass hummingbird feeder.
The shop, Trash to Treasure Boutique, opened in April on Court Street in downtown Dallas.
Tim minds the store during the day while Marsha works her day job as the program coordinator for Capital Manor in West Salem.
Tim is also the carpenter for the furniture projects Marsha brings home. His skill, paired with her creative vision, often results in unique pieces. If you look carefully you can tell what they used to be.
For example, in the store recently was a high-backed white bench decorated with a colorful blanket and pillows. At first it just looks like a unique design for a bench, but upon closer inspection it reveals itself as a refashioned bed frame. The same is true of a two-tiered table displayed in the middle of the store. It, too, was formerly a bed frame.
"We really do like to repurpose and 'up cycle' the stuff we find," Marsha said.
She doesn't limit herself to furniture. She also takes ordinary items, such as old light bulbs and toilet paper rolls -- really, no joke -- and creates art. Wrapped in twine, the light bulbs become pears. Cut up into different shapes, painted and framed, the toilet paper rolls become decorative wall pieces.
Marsha said it's the creative process she loves the most about her craft.
"I get an idea in my head about something," she said. "Sometimes it turns out exactly like I thought it would, other times it's different, but I love seeing what it ends up as."
Often, Marsha is inspired by home decor magazines, finding that she can re-create much of the trendy decor featured at a fraction of the cost.
"I don't like to spend a lot of money if I can make it myself," she said.
In keeping with that philosophy, Marsha aims to sell items in the store at reasonable prices.
Tim Kelly cuts a wood block that will be used in a converted dresser. The Kellys often have a number of projects in various stages of completion in their workshop.
"We want to keep it affordable," she said. "I want customers to come in here and be able to buy more than one thing or see something they like and say `I can afford that.'"
Whether it's the low prices or the unique designs of the pieces, Dallas-area customers have found the couple's creations appealing. They had been selling their pieces in other outlets around town and were hardly able to keep items in stock.
With that in mind, when Tim was considering a career change recently, they decided to turn Marsha's hobby into a business.
"It got to the point where I was going to get another job or open the store," Tim said. "We going to give this a try and see where is goes."
Thus far, it's been going well, the couple said. Marsha said it's been a challenge to keep the store stocked with new items -- not that she's ever short of ideas.
The couple has 10 or 12 projects in the works in a shop at their Dallas home.
"Those will be in the store next week," she said. "We've got plenty of stuff to do."
What: Trash to Treasure Boutique.
Where: 141 SW Court St., Dallas.
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information: 503-623-7895.