Talk about creativity! With the economy slowing improving women are taking to the streets to create income. I ran across this great story written by Delma Francis for the MinnPost in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There is hope for the Interior Designers to make a come back in the sluggish Arizona economy.
When Angela White Smith drives around the Twin Cities, folks stare. When she parks her vehicle they often walk over for a closer look, and that’s just fine with her.
White Smith is the proprietor of Uniquely Attainable, a 230-square-foot home-décor store on wheels that opened for business June 5. Housed in a 1999 school bus painted white, the rolling business is reminiscent of the peddler’s wagon of yesteryear. White Smith, however, is a thoroughly modern woman who is meeting the economic downturn head-on.
“I call myself an entre-poor-person,” she said with a grin. White Smith, 39, has an MBA in marketing from Western Illinois University and worked in corporate America for 15 years before launching her own business.
“My kids [Jenessa, 19, and Breon, 16] think I’m crazy,” she said. Sometimes she agrees with them.
‘I just had to try this’
“I was under consideration for a six-figure job, but I called them and said, ‘I can’t believe I’m going to tell you this, but I respectfully withdraw from consideration.’ I felt I just had to try this,” White Smith said. After purchasing the bus for $4,000 and obtaining her bus driver’s license, she prepared the interior for business. She removed all the seats, “with the help of my child labor,” namely Jenessa and Breon, and laid ecru carpeting , scrounged from a friend who was putting in new carpeting at her home.
But White Smith’s work is two-pronged. She not only sells furniture, vases, pillows, lamps and other knick-knacks, she trolls thrift stores, yard sales and occasionally picks up freebies left on curbsides for her merchandise. “I’m recycling, reclaiming, reusing,” she said. Monday through Wednesday you’ll find her in her home workshop in St. Paul, refurbishing her finds. She takes pride in the fact that her merchandise is of quality.
“I really get frustrated when I go into some of these home décor places. The furniture isn’t even real wood a lot of the time,” White Smith said. “It’s got to be solid, something that will last, or it’s not coming on this bus.”